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October 21, 2020

Grand Opening Video Celebrates The Link as a New Home for San Diegans Who Experienced Homelessness or Have Low Income

The San Diego Housing Commission awarded 72 rental housing vouchers to the development through its homelessness action plan, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO

SAN DIEGO, CA – Mark feels blessed and grateful to live at The Link, a San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) partnership development that turned an unused lot in downtown San Diego into 86 new affordable studio apartments, of which 72 units are permanent housing with supportive services for individuals who experienced homelessness.

“The building is beautiful,” Mark said in a video produced by the developer, Affirmed Housing Group, to celebrate The Link’s grand opening virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The apartments are nice. It’s just nice to be in a beautiful place, you know what I mean, where you can afford the rent and just live my life peacefully and comfortably.”

In addition to the studios for individuals who experienced homelessness, The Link includes 14 rental housing units affordable for individuals with income up to 50 percent of the San Diego Area Median Income (AMI), currently $40,450 per year for a one-person household.

“What I see time and again are projects of incredible quality, often the nicest building in the neighborhood, projects that actually change lives,” said California Assemblymember Todd Gloria, whose 78th District includes The Link’s location at the corner of 17th and G streets in Downtown San Diego. “That’s the power of affordable housing, and that’s what projects—every project like The Link, every unit in these projects—are opportunities for people to change their lives and to improve the community.”

The City of San Diego, through a Notice of Funding Availability issued by the City’s former redevelopment agency, Civic San Diego, invested a $10.3 million loan toward the development of The Link.

“Through Operation Shelter to Home, and other shelters in our system, San Diego has moved hundreds into permanent homes during this pandemic so far, and The Link serves as one of those great destinations,” City of San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said in a video to commemorate the virtual grand opening. “It is the light at the end of a dark tunnel for many experiencing homelessness in San Diego.”

Amenities at The Link include two outdoor terraces and a spacious community room.

“We have almost 80 individuals who formerly were housing challenged, didn’t know where they were going to sleep tomorrow night, didn’t know what their future had in store,” said City Councilmember Chris Ward, the immediate past Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH), whose Council District includes The Link. “They have peace of mind, they have stability, they have a home. And so it’s the human impact that we have here that just really warms my heart and motivates me to do more.”

Residents who previously experienced homelessness are identified through the RTFH’s Coordinated Entry System, a database that allows homeless housing providers to determine the most appropriate option to house an individual experiencing homelessness, based on who is most in need.

“There are barriers to creating more affordable housing,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who serves as RTFH’s Vice Chair. “We need resources, we need financing, we need more land. We need a coalition that will go out and make the case that affordable housing in every neighborhood strengthens that neighborhood, but these are all things that are doable.”

SDHC awarded 72 federal Project-Based Housing Vouchers to The Link through the agency’s homelessness action plan, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO. These vouchers help pay rent for residents who previously experienced homelessness. The vouchers are tied to the units, so when a resident moves on, the voucher remains to help another person experiencing homelessness.

“Housing has been a crisis for San Diego. It’s simply that we don’t have enough, and it’s especially challenging for folks experiencing homelessness—or on the brink of it—to find themselves safe and steady shelter,” SDHC Chair of the Board of Commissioners Stefanie Benvenuto said. “So The Link is going to provide 72 new spaces for folks to call home.”

In the nearly six years since it launched on November 12, 2014, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO has created more than 9,200 housing solutions for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness.

“We’re firm believers in the ‘housing first’ model, and so that’s what we utilize at all of our permanent supportive housing properties throughout California,” said Jim Silverwood, President & CEO of Affirmed Housing Group.

“Homelessness is a crisis not just for the individuals that we’re serving, but it impacts our communities, our business owners, our renters our property owners,” said Jonathan Castillo, Chief Regional Officer of People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) San Diego, the nonprofit selected to provide on-site case management and supportive services for residents of The Link’s permanent supportive housing units. “And so it creates a win-win solution where we have an opportunity to help those who are most vulnerable live dignified lives, and we also get an opportunity to help our communities feel safer.”

Located near the Martin Luther King Jr. freeway, The Link also includes a special artist-designed fence that bears a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

To inquire about the interest list at The Link, visit or call (619) 380-2186.



Media Contact:

Scott Marshall, Vice President of Communications



Photos from Affirmed Housing

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