A downtown Escondido apartment project that started construction in mid-January will be the first in a series of similar North County affordable housing projects.
Estimated to cost $32 million, Valley Senior Village at 337 East Valley Parkway will have 50 apartments that will be earmarked for low and very low-income renters 62 and older.
Half of the apartments will be reserved for people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, said John Seymour, vice president for acquisitions and forward planning with National Community Renaissance.
National Community Renaissance is building Valley Senior Village in partnership with the San Diego Community Housing Corp. and the County of San Diego.
“Valley Senior Village is one of four that we’re working on along the (State Road) 78. We’ve got three others on the drawing boards,” Seymour said.
They include Greenbrier Village in Oceanside with 60 apartments for low-income and formerly homeless families and young adults coming out of foster care, Santa Fe Senior Village in Vista with 54 apartments for low-income and formerly homeless older renters, and a San Marcos project that’s still in early planning stages.
Seymour said demand for affordable apartments “is pretty incredible,” with long waiting lists, especially for older adults, before new projects even open.
“In San Diego, one-quarter of homeless adults on the street are more than 55-years-old,” Seymour said. “Our challenge is finding appropriate sites to build.”
Construction of Valley Senior Village is scheduled for completion in summer 2023.
The project will have 49 studio apartments of 375 square feet and one two-bedroom manager’s apartment of 750 square feet, Seymour said.
Monthly rents will be set at $267 for 25 of the studio apartments and $833 for the remaining apartments, but Seymour said that the higher rents will be offset by vouchers, with no renter required to pay more than 30% of their monthly income in rent.
Valley Senior Village is meant for people with annual incomes ranging from 30% to 60% of the area median income.
For one person, the range would be from $25,450 to $50,940 and for a two-person household, it would be from $29,100 to $58,180.
Speaking at the groundbreaking for the project, Mayor Paul McNamara said, “This is really a big deal for us. One of our biggest challenges is trying to have housing, especially affordable housing for all of our residents.”
More Than a Building
Designed by Studio E Architects based in Bankers Hill, Valley Senior Village is a 35,000-square-foot, four-story wood frame building in which the top floors form an overhang over the first floor.
“It’s kind of a modern looking building,” Seymour said.
Built in Escondido’s historic center, “The location is phenomenal,” Seymour said, adding that it is within walking distance of a transit station, medical clinics, the city library and retail stores.
City Councilman Joe Garcia said that Valley Senior Village was “part of the puzzle” to improve downtown Escondido.
“We have an enormous challenge with housing here in Escondido,” Garcia said at the groundbreaking.
The project includes commercial space on the ground floor that will be set aside for social service agencies that will provide services to building residents.
Services will be provided by the Hope through Housing Foundation, San Ysidro Health and Interfaith Community Services through a contract with County Behavioral Health Services.
“This work is really not just about bricks and mortar, it really is about people at the end of the day, those seniors that we keep talking about,” Greg Bradford, president of Hope through Housing, said at the groundbreaking. “More and more of our population is aging and we know their needs and we know the need is not just stable, safe housing but is also about the services that come alongside those seniors to make sure they stay healthy and happy and can live independently as long as possible.”
CEO and President: Steve PonTell
Headquarters: Rancho Cucamonga
Business: affordable housing developer
Notable: National CORE owns and manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior and market-rate apartments in California, Texas and Florida.
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