HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, the San Diego Housing Commission’s homelessness action plan, supports the San Ysidro Senior Village development
SAN DIEGO, CA — The development of San Ysidro Senior Village, which celebrated its groundbreaking today, will create 50 new affordable rental homes for seniors experiencing homelessness, with support from the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) homelessness action plan, HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO.
“San Ysidro Senior Village illustrates the collaborative approach that is needed to address homelessness in our region. This development will provide a place to call home for 50 seniors experiencing homelessness—and an opportunity for a fresh start with the supportive services they need,” SDHC Chairman of the Board Frank Urtasun said.
Multiple partner agencies will provide residents with supportive services on-site.
“This is going to offer long-term, community-based permanent supportive housing with high-quality wraparound services. So it’s just not the sticks and the bricks. It’s not just permanent supportive housing. It goes beyond that,” said John Seymour, Vice President of Acquisitions and Forward Planning for the developer, National CORE (National CORE).
SDHC awarded a $760,000 loan toward the development of San Ysidro Senior Village through HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, along with 50 federal Project-Based Housing Vouchers that will help the residents pay their rent each month.
These housing vouchers are awarded to this specific development to provide rental assistance linked to these units. When a tenant moves on, the rental assistance remains with the affordable housing unit to help another senior experiencing homelessness move off the streets.
The rental studios will remain affordable for 55 years for seniors age 55 and older who are experiencing homelessness and have annual income of up to 50 percent of the San Diego Area Median Income, currently $34,100 per year for a one-person household. The development also includes a two-bedroom manager’s unit.
“The San Ysidro Senior Village Project is going to be a great asset to this community,” said Victoria Barba, Executive Assistant to San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez, whose Council District 8 includes San Ysidro.
SDHC’s loan consists of:

  • $700,000 in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds granted by HUD to the City of San Diego and administered by SDHC; and
  • $60,000 from the City of San Diego’s Affordable Housing Fund, which SDHC also administers.

SDHC initially awarded up to $6.2 Million to San Ysidro Senior Village. Subsequently, on July 17, 2018, the San Diego City Council authorized a City loan through Civic San Diego of $5.5 million, which reduced SDHC’s loan amount. This was partial reimbursement from the City to SDHC for funds expended toward the City’s Temporary Bridge Shelters for San Diegans experiencing homelessness.
With this change, SDHC has made a preliminary commitment of $4.2 million through HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO to support another development that will provide 64 permanent supportive housing units, pending the approval of the SDHC Board of Commissioners.
“I was asked to join Civic San Diego some years ago. My goal was to see if we could get these types of projects, and these types of developments, for these types of communities—especially San Ysidro—but other communities like this. It’s a pleasure to finally see something like this come to fruition,” said Carlos Vasquez, Vice Chair of the Civic San Diego Board of Directors.
Residents will include 38 chronically homeless individuals, including 12 who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, who will receive on-site services from the County of San Diego Health and Human Service Agency (HHSA) Behavioral Health Services Division.
“We in Behavioral Health Services are focused on persons with serious mental illness who are older adults or Transition Age Youth, and we provide wraparound services … to ensure that the clients continue to sustain housing, and we provide the support services that are much more needed,” said HHSA Deputy Director Dr. Piedad Garcia.
Additional on-site services at San Ysidro Senior Village will be provided by:

  • San Diego Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which will provide medical, skilled, and custodial nursing care, primary and specialty care and prescription drug coverage;
  • Father Joe’s Villages, which will provide case management, mental health, and substance abuse services for up to 15 individuals; and
  • Casa Familiar and National Core’s Hope through Housing Foundation, which will provide social services to support residents.

“When this is done, that’s when the real building begins, because we’re going to be building not just buildings, but we’re going to be building people’s lives. So we’re going to change the lives of the 50 people that live here and we’re going to rebuild those lives,” said Brian Woods, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Hope Through Housing Foundation.
Residents of these studios will be identified through the Coordinated Entry System (CES), 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.
San Ysidro Senior Village is located in a walkable community with services including restaurants, a U.S. Post Office, and supermarkets.
“This project fits right into the needs of the community in regards to how we address our seniors … that are having a difficult time finding appropriate living,” said Michael Freedman, Chairman of the San Ysidro Community Planning Group, which supported the development.
Common areas at San Ysidro Senior Village will include a community room, counseling offices for supportive services, laundry facilities, resident storage lockers, bike storage, and 16 parking spaces, a reduced number of spaces authorized by Assembly Bill 744 in 2015, which allows reduced parking requirements for senior-serving affordable developments with access to public transit.
San Ysidro Senior Village is along Metropolitan Transit System Bus Route 906, which connects to the Iris Avenue Transit Center, the Beyer Boulevard Trolley Station, and the San Ysidro Transit Center near the International Border Crossing.
The development is expected to be completed in approximately 18 months.
For more information, visit www.sdhc.org.
Scott Marshall
Vice President of Communications
San Diego Housing Commission