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Hillcrest Inn to be purchased by City of San Diego, converted to affordable housing units

Hillcrest Inn to be purchased by City of San Diego, converted to affordable housing units

The San Diego City Council, sitting as the San Diego Housing Authority, on Tuesday approved the San Diego Housing Commission’s acquisition of the Hillcrest Inn in order to create more middle-income housing units and preserve low-income housing units for San Diegans. This action comes as a result of state legislation authored by State Assemblymember Todd Gloria known as the “Missing Middle Housing Act,” which allows the Housing Commission to develop and finance middle-income housing projects.

“I am very proud that our ‘Missing Middle Housing Act’ is accomplishing its objective and creating middle-income housing for San Diegans while also preserving critical low-income housing units,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “Hillcrest Inn will preserve 36 units of low-income housing as well as units for middle-income earners. I hope to see much more of this across San Diego.”

Hillcrest Inn is a 47-unit single-room occupancy (SRO) building. With the Housing Authority’s approval, the property will be acquired by the Housing Commission and undergo upgrades to fire and life safety systems, accessibility, and remediation for hazardous materials.

The project will provide 36 units of affordable housing for low-income households at or below 80 percent of San Diego’s area median income or $64,700 per year for a one-person household. Twelve will be set aside for permanent supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. Four units will be affordable for moderate-income households with income at or below 120 percent area median income or $77,900 for a one-person household. Five units will be designated for middle-income households earning at or below 150 percent area median income or $97,350 for a one-person household.

“Assemblymember Gloria’s AB 1637 provides a mechanism to finance the middle-income housing portion of this deal,” said San Diego Housing Commission President and CEO Rick Gentry.  “The ability to include a number of units that are affordable to middle income tenants is what makes the overall project feasible and will protect 47 SRO units for another 65 years.” 

AB 1637, known as the Missing Middle Housing Act, was signed into law in 2017. The bill granted new authority to the San Diego Housing Commission and its counterpart in Santa Clara County to develop and finance mixed-income housing projects. This new authority is a pilot program that will sunset in four years.