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Discount apartments may come for veterans

Posted at 7:15 PM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 22:15:53-04

SAN DIEGO - Hundreds of thousands of military veterans call San Diego home, but many also struggle paying its high cost of living.

Angela Bell struggles to name all the places she's lived during the past decade. She's lived in Serra Mesa, Chula Vista, and Linda Vista, just to name a few.

Bell has lived in a lot of areas with a lot of roommates. It's how she describes her life after she left the Navy in 2006.

"When you're in the service, they do give you housing," said Bell, a corpsman. "When you get out, it's a whole other world."

It's a world that's now led her to a Mission Hills apartment she shares with a roommate, while working two jobs.

"It helps pay off all my debt, my school loans, my credit card debt and whatnot," Bell said.

Bell said transitioning to civilian life would have been smoother with a steady place to live.

"It's almost like you're stopping a career to start a new career, so you're starting from scratch," she said.

But some help may come at a Motel 6 in Grantville. A developer bought the motel last month for nearly $10 million, and it plans to turn the 85 rooms into affordable apartments dedicated to veterans.

The units would be reserved for households earning 65 percent of the county's median income. A single veteran earning less than $38,675 or less would be eligible.

The project, owned by Grantville Veteran Housing LP, goes before the Navajo Community Planning Group next week. It will forward a recommendation to the city, which could approve the project.

Bell, now a nurse, will stay in Mission Hills.

"I love being able to just get into work, and let's face it, Mission Hills is very expensive," she said.

Bell finally makes enough to have that choice.