Fifty-nine formerly homeless seniors have a permanent place to live thanks to a new housing community in San Diego’s historic Talmadge neighborhood. Talmadge Gateway is the first 100 percent permanent supportive housing community in San Diego for seniors who have been homeless and have ongoing medical needs.
“Talmadge Gateway is unique in that it not only gives these formerly homeless seniors a safe place to live, but also offers wraparound supportive services designed to help them live stable, independent lives,” said Ken Sauder, President & CEO of Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, developer of the project.
Inspired by local Streamline Modern structures on the adjacent El Cajon Boulevard, part of historic U.S. Route 80, Studio E’s design features strong lines, curvaceous volumes and a simple color scheme that complements the established urban environment. The project includes a renovated 1940’s-era commercial building plus a new retail space with outdoor patio that brings street activation and enhanced walkability to the neighborhood.
Built by Allgire General Contractors, Talmadge Gateway features three stories of micro-unit residences, which despite their small size (350sf) feel open and airy due to tall ceilings and large windows. Homes contain all the expected kitchen appliances and plumbing fixtures within a compact footprint. The dwelling units sit above a ground floor which houses parking, meeting rooms and offices for on-site supportive care services, lounge areas and a large multi-purpose community space. A generous second-floor terrace offers space for residents to exercise, socialize and take in the view and the natural breezes.
The need for permanent supportive housing developments like Talmadge Gateway is strong in San Diego County, particularly for seniors. According to the 2017 San Diego Homeless Point-in-Time count, nearly one-third of San Diego County’s 9,116 homeless residents are seniors. Permanent supportive housing gives these residents a “forever home” where they can become stabilized and access community resources with the goal of staying housed for the long term. This combination of housing and services is known as the Housing First model and has helped some communities reduce chronic street homelessness by as much as 90 percent.
The $20.7 million development was completed on time and on budget. Financing came from a number of sources, including debt and tax credit equity from Wells Fargo Bank, a loan and Project-Based Section 8 vouchers from the San Diego Housing Commission, and funds from the California Community Reinvestment Corporation and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.
Serving the needs of at-risk seniors while transforming a blighted site in a historic neighborhood makes this affordable housing infill development a proud addition to the Talmadge community.