Sea Breeze Gardens is home to 268 low-income seniors and families in San Diego, California. Built in 1969, Sea Breeze had in recent years been the subject of scrutiny in the press and by local agencies due to suspicious activity and poor living conditions. After more than thirty years without rehabilitation, Sea Breeze was in need of an infusion of capital so that it could be renovated and preserved as affordable housing for the long term. All units in the property are assisted under a Section 8 contract.
In February 2008, Bay Vista Housing Partners, LP (Bay Vista HP) purchased the building from the original non-profit owners. The transaction involved tax-exempt bonds, issued by the San Diego Housing Commission, guaranteed by Fannie Mae, with ARCS as the underwriter and servicer. Red Capital provided tax credit equity from an allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. HUD approved the assignment and extension of the existing Section 8 contract for an additional 20 years.
The building went through a $10 million rehabilitation which included renovations to the exterior of the building, upgrading all the major systems, pavement repairs and landscaping. Bay Vista HP removed the forbidding chain link fencing and gave the building an open, yet safe, feel. The partnership also made major improvements to the child care facility and community room, including computer lab upgrades and the creation of a police department satellite office and a tutoring room. The interior of the units received complete renovations, including new appliances, sinks, cabinets, ceiling fans, paint, flooring and carpeting, faucets, fixtures, closets and bathrooms. The Sea Breeze community now has a completely fresh look and feel.
In addition to these physical improvements, the new owners have worked hard to improve tenant services and safety. Bay Vista HP upgraded the security cameras, worked in concert with the San Diego Police Department to increase its presence and has dramatically decreased security issues on site. Tenants now enjoy a broad array of social services, including after-school programs, mentoring and tutoring, and food and nutrition workshops.
Located in a historically underserved community, Sea Breeze Gardens is now a true asset for the residents and the surrounding community – and will continue to serve low-income residents for at least 20 more years.