SAN DIEGO — A giant crane has begun lifting pre-built apartment modules into place along Market Street in the heart of San Diego's inner city.
It is a moment being applauded by Mayor Todd Gloria. "This is a very good day for San Diego. You all know the rent is too damned high. It is too hard to find a place to live that you can feel comfortable and safe in."
Affordable housing is a very high priority for his administration. "People who grew up in this neighborhood are being priced out of the neighborhood, so now they can actually stay here; be with their families, invest in their future," Gloria said.
Impact Housing is working to deliver 1,330 of these pre-fabricated modules to San Diego; beginning with the 34 being located in the Stockton neighborhood.
Drew Orenstein is the founder and CEO of Impact Housing. "These units are really for the teachers, public health care workers, nurses, city service industry; folks that really need this housing the most! They're completely furnished on the interiors so we have our kitchens, in our sinks in, air conditioning units, cabinetry; they're ready to go."
Mayor Gloria was beaming. "This is about hope! Hope for people who work their fingers to the bone and want to know if there's gonna be a future for them here in San Diego. What we're saying with this project: if you're willing to work hard, we'll make a place for you here."
Impact Housing Chief Development Officer Andrew Ranallo hosted a tour of the first of the one-bedroom modules. "We have a convection oven and microwave, high-end chrome faucet with under mount stainless steel sink," Ranallo said. "We're trying to make this feel like it is a class A apartment building, even though we're able to build it at a price point that makes it affordable to low and moderate-income."
Back outside, as the crane lifted yet another unit into place, there was a sense of pride and hope. Billy Moore is president and CEO of the Archie Moore ABC Youth Foundation. "The more of this affordable housing we get put up, maybe prices will start coming down so it makes me feel really, really glad."
One-bedroom units will start at $1700 a month; three-bedroom units will start at $2500. There will be 29 smaller apartments and five larger ones in this first build.
Pre-lease agreements will be available in May with occupancy expected in June. The complex is expected to take eight months to complete.
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