Designs approved for Father Joe's new downtown San Diego affordable housing project

Project will bring 400 housing units to area

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Design plans were approved Wednesday for the permanent structure that will replace a newly constructed temporary homeless shelter in downtown San Diego.

Designs for the downtown affordable housing project at Father Joe's Village campus were approved Wednesday by the Civic San Diego planning group. Construction on the project is expected to break ground in early 2019, with residents moving in in 2021.

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The housing site at 14th and Commercial Streets will introduce 400 units to the site. Two-hundred seventy units are reserved for chronically homeless individuals, while the remaining units will go to formerly homeless veterans, families, and other individuals.

"We know that creating more housing that people can afford is the key to addressing our region’s homelessness crisis in the long term," Deacon Jim Vargas, Father Joe’s Villages president and CEO, said in a release. "With today’s vote, we take one step closer to helping more people off our streets for good."

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Father Joe's will now finalize architectural plans with local firm Joseph Wong Design Associates.

The project is part of Father Joe's larger plan to bring 2,000 affordable housing units to the area, including transforming motels into apartments.

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"Once you have an affordable place to live, it’s infinitely easier to get back on your feet and stay healthy," Vargas said. "This project will connect hundreds of people with the resources they need to succeed, and it can’t come soon enough."

The design approval comes one day after San Diego City Council leaders voted to approve a $6.5 million plan to fund three temporary bridge shelters for the city's homeless population - located in the East Village, Barrio Logan, and the Midway District.

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The three shelters will provide meals, bathroom and shower facilities, beds, job search assistance, and alcohol and drug treatment and counseling.

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