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Transit-adjacent affordable housing breaks ground in Rancho Bernardo

City leaders broke ground Thursday on 100 new affordable rental apartments for families with lower income on a vacant portion of a transit station parking lot in Rancho Bernardo.

The SkyLINE Apartments are being developed by Affirmed Housing in collaboration with the city, county, Metropolitan Transit System and San Diego Housing Commission, among others.

"Projects like SkyLINE, with this incredible constellation of organizations all working in the same direction, doesn't just give me hope, but I think gives hope to many San Diegans that wonder whether or not there's a future for them here in San Diego," San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said. "SkyLINE and projects like it are proof positive that if you're willing to work hard, we will do everything we possibly can to make a place for you here, that you belong here, that we want you here."


SkyLINE will consist of 99 affordable rental apartments for households earning 30% to 55% of the San Diego Area Median Income, or between $41,350 to $75,790 per year for a family of four. The property will also have one unrestricted manager's unit.

The apartments at SkyLINE will consist of one-, two-, and three- bedroom units that will remain affordable for 55 years.

“Fifty percent of those units will be two and three bedroom apartments. And the other 50 percent will be, I think we have some studios, but mostly one bedrooms,” said Affirmed Housing President Jimmy Silverwood.

The development is being built on a vacant portion of an MTS parking lot at the Rancho Bernardo Transit Station.

It is part of a larger effort by MTS to redevelop its park-and-ride locations throughout the county.


“We have property at our transit centers like here at Rancho Bernardo, where we have said let's rethink how we use that property,” said MTS CEO Sharon Cooney. “We’ll build some parking but ultimately we want to build housing.”

Where this project is being built also matters.

“This project in particular is in an area of town that has very little affordable housing at it,” said San Diego Housing Commission Vice Chair Ryan Clumpner.

The SkyLINE project will also offer non-residential office space and dozens of parking spots. The developer expects to finish construction in Spring 2026.

Affirmed Housing estimates that rents will range from about $700 to $1750 a month, depending on the size of each apartment.

"SkyLINE will bring much-needed affordable housing units to the Rancho Bernardo community," San Diego City Councilman and MTS Board Chair Stephen Whitburn said. "This development goes beyond affordable housing. It also aims to build a thriving community with amenities for residents to balance their daily lives with work and school and social activities, raising families and much more.

"Additionally, SkyLINE will make it convenient for its residents to connect with the rest of San Diego by offering accessible transit just steps away from their front door," he said.

The housing commission awarded 30 federal rental housing vouchers to the development to help pay rent for residents with the lowest income. These vouchers are tied directly to this development.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria speaks at the groundbreaking of SkyLINE Apartments, a transit-adjacent affordable housing development in Rancho Bernardo, Feb. 15, 2024
Jacob Aere
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria speaks at the groundbreaking of SkyLINE Apartments, a transit-adjacent affordable housing development in Rancho Bernardo, Feb. 15, 2024.

"This is the second groundbreaking we're having in Rancho Bernardo for affordable housing with Affirmed," said San Diego City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert, who represents the council district where SkyLINE is being built. "We pushed for years to get affordable housing up here in District 5 up here into Rancho Bernardo and Scripps Ranch."

SDHC authorized the issuance of $42.5 million in tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds for the development.

Additional financing for the development includes a $5 million loan from the city through the Bridge to Home program, a $2 million loan from the county through its Innovative Housing Trust Fund and a nearly $4.5 million Infill Infrastructure Grant from the state's Department of Housing and Community Development.

According to the developers, ConAm Management Corporation will manage the apartments, and Compass for Affordable Housing will provide resident services to tenants — including adult education, health and wellness classes, financial literacy, nutrition, exercise, art, parent, food preparation, career building, job readiness, computer education and voter registration, among others.

Each unit is planned to include air conditioning, blinds and kitchen amenities, including refrigerator, oven, disposal, dishwasher and microwave.

Site amenities include a children's play area, a community room with a computer room, shaded outdoor gathering spaces with built-in seating and a leasing office, a statement from the housing commission read.

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