Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. – National CORE, one of the nation’s leading affordable housing developers, and the City of San Diego have secured a $5 million state grant to revitalize a 1.8-acre park, repair streets and build a crosswalk that links the improvements to a new 100-home affordable living community in San Ysidro.

The development, called The Iris at San Ysidro, is set to break ground in December 2023.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development grant is one of four such awards for infill infrastructure projects in San Diego County.

Park improvements will restore a children’s playground, add a shade structure, install security lighting along pathways and other areas, re-establish an ADA-accessible pathway circling the park, repair and renovate hard courts to include multiple uses and add fitness equipment.

John Seymour, National CORE’s vice president of acquisitions, said his team pursued the state because of the tremendous benefits it would provide for the entire community.

“The restored Howard Lane Park once again will offer a nice gathering place for the community,” Seymour said. “The new crosswalk and street improvements will boost community safety. We are indebted to the state of California for making it possible to bring these community facilities to San Ysidro and deeply value our partnership with the City of San Diego.”

The park is across the street from where National CORE is building The Iris at San Ysidro, a transit-oriented development located near a trolley station and bus lines, family health facilities, employment centers and less than a half-mile from an elementary school. As with other National CORE developments, solar panels will provide energy for heating and cooling.

The development will provide 30 apartment homes for extremely low-income families, 54 homes for very low-income families, 15 homes for individuals who have experienced homelessness and an onsite property manager’s apartment.

“As we build more affordable housing, we are also upgrading infrastructure and amenities around new homes,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said. “Everyone deserves access to high-quality parks, community centers, efficient and safe transportation and other infrastructure that supports the needs of growing neighborhoods.”

The City of San Diego will oversee the park restoration, sidewalk improvements and street work, which will include a high-intensity activated crosswalk – known as a HAWK – between The Iris and the park, schools, shops and services. HAWK crossings are triggered by pedestrians and generate multiple alerts to drivers – including two red lights, a vehicle stop line 50 feet from the crossing, ladder-style street markings and illuminated crosswalk signs.

“The Iris at San Ysidro is a much-needed project that will provide 100 homes to families in need,” 8th District Councilmember Vivian Moreno said. “This is a step in the right direction as we continue to build more housing units.”

National CORE President Mike Ruane said the home developer looks at how it can help serve broader community needs when launching each new development – bringing in parks, street improvements and services that serve the entire neighborhood.

“When Howard Lane Park is restored, it will provide what is essentially a new, functional park for all neighborhood residents,” National CORE President Mike Ruane said. “This is an essential part of National CORE’s commitment to building strong communities.”

About National CORE

National CORE is one of the largest nonprofit developers in the nation, with a 30-year history of being an innovator in the field. In 2021 National CORE became one of only two affordable housing developers to earn an A+ credit rating from Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings. In 2022, National CORE issued $100 million in Series 2022 Social Bonds to accelerate the development of critically needed affordable housing. Serving more than 25,000 residents, National CORE strives to be a launching pad, not a landing pad, for families struggling financially. In 1998, National CORE created the Hope through Housing Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit, whose mission is to end the cycle of generational poverty through resident services that promote educational attainment, economic mobility, and overall well-being.

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