Housing for low-income, homeless veterinarians

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The first tenants have started moving into Father Joe’s Villages’ Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa and there are still rooms available for qualified veterans who are at risk of homelessness or who need low-income housing.

The 14-story East Village building has been under construction for two years at the corner of 14th Street and Commercial Street and will house more than 500 people. Of the 407 rooms, 80 are specially designated for honorably discharged veterans, with approximately half still available.

The project was developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation, a nonprofit developer that has created 12,000 affordable units in California. Other local projects include the 203-room Alpha Square in downtown San Diego, the 168-room Hunter’s Pointe in Carlsbad, and the 204-room Fairbanks Ridge at 4S Ranch.

Adam Gutteridge, director of asset management at Chelsea Investment Corp., said they have worked with Father Joe’s Villages, Veterans Village of San Diego, the San Diego Housing Commission and the Coalition for Supportive Housing to let veterans know there are rooms in them new project available. Qualifications include honorable discharge from the military.

“We’re trying to create an integrated community,” Gutteridge said. “Not just for the homeless. Some people may not think they are a candidate for life in Saint Teresa, but they are.”

Charles Schmid, Chelsea Investment’s chief operating officer, said construction on the project is ahead of schedule but it takes time to find tenants for a project of this size.

The latest data shows about 300 veterans are homeless in San Diego County, he said.

In addition to the 80 rooms for veterans, the project will include 270 rooms for permanent housing for San Diego homeless people. Renters of these spaces are referred to the project by agencies that work with homeless people in need of support services.

The building will consist of 25 one-bedroom and 25 two-bedroom units, with the remainder being studio apartments. The most expensive units will be two-bedrooms, renting for $1,100, and many of the tenants are believed to be employed or have other sources of income.

Veterans wishing to apply for a room in Saint Teresa can call the property management company at (619) 546-9945.

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