Waiting lists fill up fast for affordable units.
SAN DIEGO - Thousands of San Diegans continue to get squeezed by rising rents.
But some locals are landing apartments at a fraction of the cost.
"Hopefully, you know, you'll win the lottery also," said Janet Hall, who recently moved into Vista's North Santa Fe apartments.
Hall didn't even have to buy a ticket. Her complex has a barbeque and child's playset on the outside, and wood floors and a modern kitchen on the inside.
"And everyday when I would commute from Oceanside to my work, I would pass by and see them building it," Hall said.
And new construction in San Diego County usually means rents averaging more than $2,100 a month. But not Hall's two-bedroom home.
"For this particular unit, it's $800. $816," she said.
Hall splits that rent with a roommate.
Her North Santa Fe drive apartment is in an affordable housing complex subsidized by income tax credits and government loans.
Hall qualifies because she earns less than $34,000 a year.
Developer Community Housing Works reports that more than 1,500 applied for the 68 units, before it stopped taking names.
But more complexes are on the way. That includes a North Park development that will offer an accepting environment for senior LGBT residents.
Further south, Community Housing Works is also gathering names for a complex open to all ages in National City called Paradise Creek.
Community Housing Works owns 32 properties in San Diego County. One of the best ways is to get on each complex’s interest list. They’re listed at http://chworks.org/rental-communities/
Hall said even if a wait list seems daunting, joining can reap big rewards. Kind of like a lotto ticket.
"It's real, and it can happen,” she said, “Because it happened to me."