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Living community opens for seniors seeking affordable housing

Senior Living Design

Living community opens for seniors seeking affordable housing

Affordable housing developer Community HousingWorks celebrates the opening of its senior living community, supporting adults aged 55+ and the formerly homeless.


By Community HousingWorks | May 7, 2024
Puesta del Sol Apartments exterior affordable housing community
Puesta del Sol Apartments, San Diego, Calif. Photo courtesy Community HousingWorks

San Diego-based nonprofit affordable housing developer Community HousingWorks (CHW) celebrates the opening of Puesta del Sol Apartments, a new development with 59 apartments for adults 55 years and older.

A recent San Diego Union-Tribune article illustrated the challenge of seniors paying for housing on a fixed income, reporting that “55.8% of older adult renters in San Diego County don’t have enough money to keep up with their bills.”

With the opening of Puesta del Sol, CHW aims to reduce the number of seniors who experience homelessness. Puesta del Sol apartments are reserved for households earning 30%-60% of the Area Median Income and the community has been awarded 59 project-based vouchers to ensure access for the most income-vulnerable residents.

Additionally, six of the 59 vouchers will serve chronically homeless individuals supported by wrap-around services to ensure their housing success.

Affordable Housing at Puesta del Sol Apartments

Built adjacent to CHW’s Amanecer Apartments on Ulric Street, Puesta del Sol completes the combined intergenerational community in San Diego’s Linda Vista neighborhood. Together Puesta del Sol and Amanecer represent the first new affordable housing construction in Linda Vista.

Located near public transportation, parks, the Linda Vista public library, and numerous retail and employment centers, Puesta is designed for the needs of older adults. The community only offers one-bedroom apartments, plus a two-bedroom manager unit. On-site amenities include a multi-purpose room with a kitchen, a large outdoor courtyard and barbecues, a computer room, a rooftop terrace, and a centralized laundry room.

Puesta del Sol Apartments, San Diego exterior at night of affordable housing project
Puesta del Sol Apartments, San Diego, Calif. Photo courtesy Community HousingWorks

It was announced at the event that a second-floor “flex room” will be dedicated later this year to former long-time CHW team member Kelly Swanson. Swanson passed away in 2023 and had served CHW as a Senior Project Accountant for more than 12 years.

CHW President and CEO Sean Spear explained the idea behind the community’s creation: “When CHW started the work to build [Puesta del Sol and Amanecer] on Ulric Street, our intent was to provide housing for vulnerable community members who had a critical need for affordable housing. Our hope is that these two communities will really interact with each other as an intergenerational community within Linda Vista.”

In his remarks at the opening celebration City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria highlights the inclusion of vouchers specifically for formerly homeless individuals and explains, “What I love most about [Puesta del Sol] is the role it plays in our comprehensive approach to homelessness.”


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The San Diego Housing Commission provided a below market rate loan and project-based vouchers for the development. Additional funding was provided by construction and permanent lender Chase Bank (as a successor to First Republic Bank), and investor limited partner is Red Stone Equity Partners; the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee provided 9% tax credits, and the city of San Diego waived $144,000 in permit fees.

On-site services for residents are provided by CHW services partner, LifeSTEPS. The locally based development team included general contractor Sun Country Builders, architectural firm Studio E Architects, civil engineering firm Project Design Consultants, and landscape architect Schmidt Design Group, Inc. 

Puesta del Sol resident Marian Sewell also shared her story at the opening celebration. She moved to San Diego from Miami, Florida, in the mid-1970s and worked for the Department of Defense and later worked in retail. “I paid into social security since I was 18 years old ... I thought I had it made, but inflation happened. As it turns out I didn’t even have enough money to rent an apartment on a fixed income.” Sewell continues, “I’m so thankful and grateful to be here at Puesta del Sol Apartments. I’m so grateful to CHW for building the community and for being here for the people that need them.”

Ribbon cutting ceremony at affordable housing community for seniors
From left to right: CHW Board Chair Don Ambrose, Mayor Gloria, CHW President & CEO Sean Spear, Puesta del Sol resident Marian Sewell, Councilmember Campillo, CHW Vice President of Housing and Real Estate Development Anna Slaby, San Diego Housing Commission Board Vice Chair Ryan Clumpner, CHW SVP Housing and Real Estate Development Kevin Leichner. Photo courtesy Community HousingWorks

The opening ceremony took place Thursday, May 2, 2024, at 2601 Ulric Street in San Diego at 10 a.m. Speakers included San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Councilmember Raul Campillo, San Diego Housing Commission Board Vice Chair Ryan Clumpner, Puesta del Sol resident Marian Sewell, Community HousingWorks President and CEO Sean Spear, Board Chair Don Ambrose, Senior Project Manager Simon Fraser, and Senior Vice President of Housing and Real Estate Development Kevin Leichner. The San Diego Women’s Chorus performed. 

About Community HousingWorks
Founded in 1988, Community HousingWorks is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that develops, rehabilitates, preserves, and operates affordable apartment communities in California and Texas. In addition to providing working families and seniors with stable homes in healthy communities, Community HousingWorks layers in powerful programs, services, and connections to resources. These tools help people attain financial stability, improve their health and overall well-being, and set up school-age children for success in the classroom and beyond. Community HousingWorks owns over 4,200 apartments in 48 communities statewide, serving nearly 12,000 working families, children, and seniors. Community HousingWorks is an exemplary ranked member of the national NeighborWorks Network®, an award-winning affiliate of UnidosUS and a member of the prestigious Housing Partnership Network. To learn more, visit chworks.org

On the Building Team
Developer: Community HousingWorks
Architect: Studio E Architects
Civil Engineer: Project Design Consultants
Landscape Architect: Schmidt Design Group, Inc.
General Contractor: Sun Country Builders

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