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SAN DIEGO-With affordable housing an increasing problem locally, Deputy Mayor Toni Atkins announced a $20-million tax credit allocation for Senior Community Centers yesterday. The first project to take advantage of the credit is City Heights Square, a 150-unit development in the City Heights area.The project counts $29 million and is set for a February 2006 groundbreaking. The completion date is set for spring of 2007. As for the funding, the City of San Diego’s Redevelopment Agency earmarked $6 million for the project in June. In addition, the tax credits will be sold to a private investor to raise equity, according to Atkins.”The tax credits mean that a large portion of the project is paid for,” Atkins says. “With the more affordable single-room-occupancy hotels continually closing in San Diego, low-income residents are left with few housing options.”Atkins adds that City Heights Square, which will be located at 43rd and Polk in City Heights, will provide 150 handicap accessible units for low-income seniors–those earning less than $22,000 a year. Senior Community Centers will partner with Chelsea Services Corp. to build the project.For Senior Community Centers, the City Heights project follows a recently opened housing project for the organization–Potiker Family Senior Residence. Located in Downtown’s East Village neighborhood, the project counts 200 low-income units for seniors.Rent at City Heights will range from $359 to $549 per month, according to Paul Downey, president and CEO of Senior Community Centers. Downey says Senior Community Centers will provide supportive housing services for the residents, including meals, social work, healthcare and mental healthcare.Downey says his organization will enter a capital campaign to raise the remainder of the funds. “We will be asking the community to partner with us to ensure that the building is completed and all of the necessary services are in place,” he says.

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