City looks to sell homelessness resource center to create affordable housing
The city of San Diego is looking to sell the building which houses its Homelessness Response Center in the East Village, it was announced Friday.
The 26,500-square-foot, three-story building at 1401 Imperial Ave. is located across from Tailgate Park. The city is looking to sell the property to an individual or organization who can redevelop the property as affordable multi-family rental housing.
The San Diego Housing Commission operates the HRC, along with city, People Assisting the Homeless, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless and other homelessness service providers. The SDHC will continue to operate it during the proposal and negotiation process.
"Housing ends homelessness, and the best resource we can offer to people experiencing homelessness is a home they can afford," said Mayor Todd Gloria. "While we'll continue to offer the HRC's valuable services to unsheltered San Diegans at other locations, the best use of this city-owned property is to provide the affordable housing residents need to get and stay housed permanently."
According to the city, the project requires that 100% of rental homes on the property go to low- or moderate-income people and families. This affordable rent will be deed-restricted and must remain in place for a minimum of 55 years. Proposals may include commercial businesses on the ground floor.
"I want to thank Mayor Gloria for his swift action on my request to turn this building into 100% affordable housing," said Councilman Stephen Whitburn, whose district includes downtown. "Converting a homelessness center into a housing site is emblematic of the advances we are making on our city's biggest challenges. These affordable homes will be a welcome addition to East Village and will support San Diegans who have struggled with the cost of housing."
The city will consider any potential buyer's qualifications and experience in constructing and operating affordable housing developments, their finances and the project's design, schedule, financing and specific affordability levels.
"With our sustained housing crisis, creating additional affordable housing units on underutilized, city-owned property is our highest priority," said the city's Economic Development Director Christina Bibler. "We are hopeful that we receive a number of interested development responses to quickly see this vision turn into reality."
Any proposals must be submitted to the city by May 1 at 5 p.m.