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New Affordable Housing, Community Space Opens In San Ysidro

The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church was restored as part of the Living Rooms ...

Photo by Priya Sridhar

Above: The Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church was restored as part of the Living Rooms at the Border project by Casa Familiar in San Ysidro on February 18, 2020.

Casa Familiar, a nonprofit dedicated to residents of South San Diego, on Tuesday unveiled the Living Rooms at the Border project, a mixed-use space that includes affordable housing and an area for immigration and financial services.

The $10 million, 13,000-square-foot project includes 10 affordable housing units. Because of high demand, Casa Familiar held a lottery and 30 people moved into their new homes on Feb. 1.

In addition to the housing, the non-profit restored the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, which was built in 1927. They plan to offer youth barista classes and rent out studio space to local artists there.

Reported by Priya Sridhar

"We need more of this in the region; projects and development that are mixed-use and looks and thinks of community as a whole," said Lisa Cuestas, president of Casa Familiar. "Not just trying to pencil things out, being creative, thinking of long term affordability for families, thinking of what enriches quality of life, its services, its access to education, its access to information and its space to just come together and celebrate and benefit from arts and culture."

The project was funded by tax credits allocated by Civic San Diego and donations.

Listen to this story by Priya Sridhar.

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