Nestor Senior Village rendering
A rendering of the Nestor Senior Village. Courtesy National CORE

National CORE and its partners will break ground Monday on 73 supportive apartment homes in the Nestor neighborhood of San Diego for seniors 55 and older who were previously experiencing homelessness.

Nestor United Methodist Church is allowing National CORE to use an acre of the church’s underutilized land for studio apartments. Nationwide, seniors are the fastest-growing population among those experiencing homelessness and in San Diego County, one in every four homeless adults is more than 55 years old, authorities said.

“I’m very proud of our progress in providing more affordable options and thrilled to celebrate the start of this construction for senior housing community,” said San Diego City Councilwoman Vivian Moreno, who represents Council District 8, which includes the Nestor neighborhood. “My heart is filled being here at this groundbreaking, and I’m looking forward to 18 months from now, being able to chat with some of those seniors.”

Nestor Senior Village will provide 73 studio apartments for seniors age 55 and older who experience homelessness. The development will also include one manager’s unit.

“Our Nestor family is very excited for the many seniors who will soon be a part of our community,” said Jim Geddes, trustee chair for Nestor United Methodist Church. “Nestor Senior Village will provide new hope and joy for those who, like all of us, have experienced challenges and persevered.”

According to the developers, Nestor Senior Village will be an all-electric community, anticipated to achieve LEED for Homes certification at the Gold level or higher. The development will include 4,000 square feet of community space, including a community room and private offices for case management. It is located within walking distance of grocery stores and pharmacies, a park, the Nestor Community Health Center, and bus and trolley stops.

“The Nestor Senior Village development is an important step forward in the continuing efforts to address homelessness in San Diego — especially among seniors,” said SDHC Senior Vice President of Housing Finance and Property Management Colin Miller. “When the development is complete and residents move in, the San Diego Housing Commission will be helping them pay their rent. This rental assistance will help the residents here as they work toward achieving long-term housing stability.”

SDHC awarded 73 rental housing vouchers and a $3.3 million development loan to Nestor Senior Village through Housing First San Diego, SDHC’s homelessness action plan. The vouchers are tied to the development. When a resident moves on, the voucher remains to help another senior experiencing homelessness.

According to the developer, the studios at Nestor Senior Village will remain affordable for 55 years for seniors with income up to 30% of San Diego’s Area Median Income — currently $27,350 per year for a one-person household. Monthly rents will range from $530 to $636.

Residents will have access to supportive services and case management provided by the Hope through Housing Foundation, Father Joe’s Villages, San Diego PACE, and San Ysidro Health Services.

To keep the community 100% affordable, National CORE utilized a complex financing model, including significant local funding commitments from the San Diego Housing Commission that included project-based vouchers for future residents, a loan from the county through its No Place Like Home program, tax credit equity through Hudson Housing Capital, construction and permanent loans from Chase, and HOME Investments Partnerships Grant funds provided to the city of San Diego by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the San Diego Housing Commission.

The city of San Diego is also waiving more than $1.2 million in development impact fees to assist the construction, which has an anticipated total development cost of $33 million.

National CORE is one of the largest nonprofit developers in the nation, with a 30-year history and currently serves more than 25,000 residents in California, Texas and Florida.

Updated at 3:25 p.m. July 25, 2022

–City News Service