North Park eyesore to reopen as affordable housing in 2011 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

North Park eyesore to reopen as affordable housing in 2011

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An old North Park motel considered an eyesore has been fixed up, and 17 formerly homeless men are set to move in early next year, city housing officials said Wednesday.

The former North Park Inn at 2625 University Ave. also will serve as the headquarters of Pathfinders, a 60-year-old nonprofit group serving mentally ill men and those recovering from addictions.

The future residents are all are graduates of Pathfinders' "Shelter Plus Care" program. In January, they are expected to move in.

A 16-month renovation project was funded by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department and administered by the San Diego Housing Commission.

"Thanks to Pathfinders, the San Diego Housing Commission and our other project partners, the renovated North Park Inn has strengthened the neighborhood through the addition of supportive housing and through the elimination of a blighted property," City Councilman Todd Gloria.

San Diego police officer David Surwilo, a community relations officer for North Park, said the renovation has improved safety in the area.

"Before the renovation, the number of calls responded to by the San Diego Police Department for problems at this address were extremely high," Surwilo said.

The motel's 27 rooms were converted into 14 studio apartments and four two-bedroom units, and a smaller building was converted into an office for Pathfinders. Seventeen units will be reserved for people making 30-60 percent of the median income in the area, officials said.

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