Located in Bankers Hill, the New Palace Hotel was transformed into 79 affordable studio apartments by San Diego Housing Commission in partnership with a nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners. Photo courtesy of HDP.

The San Diego Housing Commission Tuesday earned an Award of Excellence from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials for its work to turn a hotel property into housing for seniors.

SDHC earned the award for its work rehabilitating the single-room occupancy property New Palace Hotel to provide permanent housing with supportive services for seniors who experienced homelessness or were at risk of homelessness.

“This national recognition reflects the San Diego Housing Commission’s outstanding work to provide affordable rental homes for vulnerable seniors in the city of San Diego,” said Richard Gentry, SDHC’s president and CEO. “I thank and congratulate Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council, who supported this rehabilitation, as well as our staff and the community organizations that worked with us to make this project possible.”

The NAHRO Awards of Excellence recognize “outstanding innovation and achievement in housing and community development programs throughout the country.” Nationwide, 21 programs or projects received NAHRO Awards of Excellence this year. NAHRO announced the awards  during its virtual 2020 National Conference.

Located in Bankers Hill, the New Palace Hotel was transformed into 79 affordable studio apartments by SDHC in partnership with a nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners.

It was the first major renovation of New Palace in about 25 years and included energy-efficiency upgrades and the addition of kitchenettes in each unit, which also received new shower enclosures and bathroom fixtures and was furnished with a bed and dresser.

Residents of the renovated New Palace receive federal rental assistance from SDHC and have access to supportive services provided by the nonprofit organization Serving Seniors, which also operates the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center located three blocks from the property.

Supportive services and resources include healthcare, legal services, entitlement and retirement benefits assistance, transportation, community events, and one-on-one support.

New Palace also includes one unrestricted studio manager’s unit.

— City News Service

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