Robert Bettinger (right) set aside his walker to throw a shovelful of dirt
  • Robert Bettinger (right) set aside his walker to throw a shovelful of dirt
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A large crowd gathered at the northwest corner of Texas Street and Howard Avenue on July 13 for a groundbreaking ceremony marking construction of affordable apartments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors.

The housing project, by law, is open to all seniors regardless of sexual orientation, but it’s meant to house LGBT seniors who don’t always feel comfortable at the usual affordable senior apartments in San Diego County. The $28 million North Park Senior Apartments is a collaborative project by the nonprofit Community HousingWorks and the San Diego LGBT Community Center (aka The Center) in Hillcrest.

Dr. Delores Jacobs, CEO of The Center, spoke to the crowd assembled under a temporary tent. “It is absolutely our privilege and pleasure to partner on this project and watch it begin to come to fruition,” she said. “I realize we’re standing in a parking lot, but we know, 18 months to two years from now, what hope is going to look like.”

District 3 councilmember Todd Gloria said, “North Park time and again steps up and shows the best of our community as San Diegans. Lots of folks have money involved in this; a lot of our great banks.... I’d like to thank the San Diego Housing Commission led by my good friend Rick Gentry, who stepped up in a very meaningful way.”

Robert Bettinger, a gay senior, age 87, said, “It’s exciting The Center will take care of the social services and other related services that are so necessary, where you’re living in a building where people need to understand what your real needs are.”

Also speaking briefly were Assembly speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins and Sue Reynolds, CEO of Community HousingWorks. Following the speeches, civic leaders and Community HousingWorks people performed the traditional shovel-dirt routine. Bettinger later tossed a shovelful of dirt by himself.

The project will provide 76 apartment homes in studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom configurations. The rents (subject to change) are studio, $710 to $860; one-bedroom, $760 to $915; and two-bedroom ($905 to $1100). An interest list will open in May 2017. Completion date is tentatively December 2017, according to Community HousingWorks.

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Comments

SalULloyd July 14, 2016 @ 9:20 a.m.

Where's the "equality" in self-segregation???

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dwbat July 14, 2016 @ 9:31 a.m.

As my article stated, it's open for ALL seniors to apply there.

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SanCarlosGuy July 14, 2016 @ 5:54 p.m.

It definitely will be a visual improvement to the area and much needed. Although, the term "affordable" is relative to the sky high housing cost in San Diego. It's an excellent location especially for seniors with public transit, and shopping near by. Cost is my only concern about these developments.

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dwbat July 14, 2016 @ 6:09 p.m.

The "affordable" rates provided are not locked in, and are "subject to change." It's possible they could be higher by the time apartments are ready to rent. While the rents are under market-rate for North Park, some seniors would still have trouble paying those amounts. I anticipated that rents would be lower.

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AlexClarke July 15, 2016 @ 6:13 a.m.

Define affordable. These "open for ALL seniors to apply there" apartments are affordable on what basis? Are they income qualified or simply "affordable" based on a slight reduction from market rate?

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dwbat July 15, 2016 @ 8:02 a.m.

This apartment complex is not Section 8, where residents pay 30% of income. Rather, applicants must earn 60% or less of the area median income (for one person, $35,700 and $40,700 for two people). These guidelines are set by HUD. How much is paid is a range based on one's specific income. More information and FAQs are online at: http://chworks.org/real-estate-development/current-projects/north-park-seniors/

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dwbat July 16, 2016 @ 9:24 p.m.

This is highly unlikely, as there won't be any discrimination. Here's their statement: "CHW is committed to following all federal, state and local fair housing laws and does not discriminate against any person based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, medical condition or genetic information of that person or on any arbitrary basis."

1

dwbat Aug. 18, 2016 @ 5:21 p.m.

August 18 update: Here's a photo I shot today. Construction is underway.

None

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dwbat Nov. 1, 2016 @ 5:02 p.m.

November 1 update: I shot a photo of the site.

None

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