Two housing projects to be built


BIG NEWS: Mayor Todd Gloria speaks at a press conference May 30, where Father Joe’s Villages announced its plans to construct two new affordable housing communities. (Credit: Courtesy Father Joe’s Villages)

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SAN DIEGO — Father Joe’s Villages has announced its plans to construct two new affordable housing communities.

The first will be located at the intersection of 17th and Commercial streets, while the second will be located at 16th Street and Island Avenue.

Groundbreaking is slated for the latter half of 2024 and, upon completion in early 2026, the buildings will add more than 200 affordable and permanent supportive housing to the region.

“We envision a future where no one in our region is forced to live without a home, and these two new communities take us one step closer to that vision,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the City of San Diego and other community leaders who are helping to make our goal of providing 2,000 units of affordable housing to the region a reality.”

Construction of the property on 17th and Commercial streets will be funded in part by a $4 million Community Development Block Grant awarded by the San Diego City Council on April 11 in a unanimous vote. The faith-based homeless ministry God’s Extended Hand transferred the use of the property at Island and 16th streets, which will be demolished to make room for the new construction, to Father Joe’s Villages in 2022.

The plans for the two affordable housing communities were made public during a May 30 press conference, where Deacon Vargas was joined by local elected officials, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and Councilmembers Sean Elo-Rivera and Stephen Whitburn.

The new buildings are part of Father Joe’s Villages ongoing Turning the Key initiative, which was launched in 2017 and aims to create 2,000 units of affordable housing in San Diego through a combination of new construction on lots owned by Father Joe’s Villages as well as through the acquisition and refurbishment of motels.

The first affordable housing community to emerge from the Turning the Key initiative was Benson Place, formerly an EZ-8 Motel in the Otay Mesa area, which was purchased by Father Joe’s Villages in late 2019 and transformed by the following year into 82 fully-contained living units. The second was Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa, a 14-story building constructed at the intersection of 14th and Commercial streets that offers a total of 407 units with community space on every floor; it welcomed its first residents in early January of 2022.

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