Normal Heights sign

The San Diego Housing Commission held a grand opening ceremony Tuesday for a housing development for formerly homeless military veterans.

The Alpha Lofts project in Normal Heights includes 52 studio and one-bedroom rental units as well as various services to help formerly homeless residents re-integrate themselves into society. According to the housing commission, rent for the units will remain capped at 50 percent of the city’s area median income — roughly $37,000 per year for one person — for 55 years.

The housing commission broke ground on the project in January 2018, entering into a partnership with the Alpha Project and the Chelsea Investment Corporation to develop a vacant lot into the Alpha Lofts. The Alpha project will provide supportive services to the development’s residents.

“This community will provide quality housing to these people who sacrificed and served our country faithfully,” said Bob Cummings, the government relations manager for Chelsea Investment Corporation.

Alpha Lofts tenants will receive monthly rent assistance via federal rental housing vouchers from the housing commission. The vouchers are connected to each unit, according to the housing commission, ensuring that future tenants will also benefit from each unit’s affordability.

The housing commission administered $5.2 million in loans for the development of the Alpha Lofts project. In total, the project’s development cost totaled $19.7 million.

Alpha Lofts was developed as part of the housing commission’s Housing First-San Diego initiative, which helps homeless residents find permanent housing. The commission and its partners have developed more than 6,000 housing units over the last five years through the program.

“The hope is that we’re going to be able to build thousands of units for our folks who have served our country, who give us the opportunity to be here today, having fun, moving into our small facility here,” said Alpha Project President and CEO Bob McElroy. “We need thousands more units.”

City News Service