Apr 24, 2024 - News

Pricey affordable housing coming to City Heights

Renderings of Quatro affordable housing in City Heights

Renderings of the affordable housing complexes with apartments and commercial spaces. Photo: Kate Murphy/Axios

Construction officially began Wednesday on Cuatro at City Heights, a $98 million affordable housing development.

Why it matters: As San Diego faces a housing shortage, Cuatro will offer new rental housing options for low-income families and unhoused veterans in the same place where construction of the SR-15 freeway divided the neighborhood and displaced people.

By the numbers: The apartments across four sites will be reserved for people making 30-60% of the area median income. That's about $40,000-$80,000 for a family of four.

  • Monthly rents could be as low as $683 for studios and up to $2,000 for three-bedroom units.
  • Thirty units will be reserved for unhoused veterans.

The intrigue: Beyond apartments and amenities, the development will house a new Salaam Youth and Community Center for African refugees and immigrants.

Zoom out: Mayor Todd Gloria and the City Council have tried to address the housing crisis by speeding up housing production through new policies, zoning changes, direct investments and accelerating the permit process.

Reality check: The city needs to build more than 13,000 units per year, with about 40% reserved for low-income residents, to satisfy its housing demand, per the city's state-required Housing Element.

Follow the money: Cuatro is financed by contributions from multiple state programs, state and federal tax credits and a local subsidy, as well as investments from private banks and acquisition costs covered by the nonprofit LISC San Diego.

Between the lines: Cuatro at City Heights is among San Diego's most expensive affordable housing projects, costing more than $800,000 per unit to build, including the two commercial spaces.

What's next: Families are expected to move into the new complexes by fall 2025.

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