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New Serving Seniors Affordable Housing Opens in Ramona

SAN DIEGO (Sept. 3, 2019) – Residents are now moving in to their new apartments at the recently completed Schmale Family Senior Residence, a 62-unit affordable apartment complex for low-income seniors in Ramona, Calif. Chelsea Investment Corp. and Serving Seniors partnered on the $21.9 million project, which broke ground in April 2018 and was completed on schedule and under budget.

The two-story building is comprised of 50 one-bedroom apartments, offering 560 square feet and 12 two-bedroom units, offering 790 square feet. An on-site manager will occupy a two-bedroom apartment.

Apartments at Schmale Family Senior Residence are restricted to seniors earning between 30 and 50 percent of the area median income. Qualified residents will pay 30 percent of their income to live there, with project-based vouchers (PBVs), a component of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, available to cover the remainder of the rents. 

Located at 430 16th St. near transit, shopping and services, Schmale Family Senior Residence will provide comprehensive support services for its residents, aged 62 and over. This is the first new affordable housing for low-income seniors to be built in Ramona, an unincorporated community in the foothills of the Laguna Mountains in San Diego’s East County.

“This is an important addition to the County’s supply of affordable housing for low-income seniors and we are proud of our ongoing alliance with Serving Seniors, with whom we have developed over 400 affordable apartments,” said Chelsea Founder and CEO Jim Schmid.

Thanks in great part to a generous gift from long-time Serving Seniors supporters Marge and Neal Schmale, Serving Seniors will provide on-site supportive services free of charge to the residents. This will include social services, mental health services, nurse case management, and socialization opportunities administered by a supportive services manager and an activity coordinator.

“Expanding our ability to meet the ever increasing demand for senior low-income housing is a priority for Serving Seniors, and this project is an important step towards our goal,” said Serving Seniors President and CEO Paul Downey. “We are grateful to Supervisor Dianne Jacob for her visionary leadership, and to Marge and Neal Schmale for their extraordinary support.”

Individual units at Schmale Family Senior Residence include central heating and air, window and floor coverings, patio or balcony, and appliances. Resident amenities include a 2,500-square-foot community room, computer room, picnic and barbecue area, and laundry room.

The 50,886-square foot Schmale Family Senior Residence received financial support from the County of San Diego, which provided $1.84 million in federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program money and 61 PBVs.

Additional financing was provided in part by a construction loan from Wells Fargo, $9.7 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) equity from Wells Fargo, a permanent mortgage from CalHFA and an Affordable Housing Program (AFP) grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank, San Francisco.

Project architect is Hedenkamp Architecture + Planning, with Emmerson Construction serving as general contractor.



Since 1984, Chelsea has developed 10,228 units of affordable housing at a cost in excess of

$2 billion. The firm’s development portfolio includes urban infill, mixed-use, suburban inclusionary, acquisition rehab and rural developments. The company is one of the few fully integrated affordable housing developers in the region that offers turnkey development, general contracting and property/asset management services. Chelsea is a long-term owner and operator and maintains a portfolio in excess of 6,000 affordable housing units. With 874 apartments started and 347 completed in 2018, Chelsea Investment Corp. is now ranked as the 11th largest developer of new affordable housing in the nation. For more information, visit



Serving Seniors is a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives. For nearly 50 years, Serving Seniors has been transforming the aging experience through an innovative model of comprehensive wraparound services including nutritious meals, housing, social services, healthcare and enrichment. This innovative model has earned national recognition for helping seniors remain healthy and independent, and Serving Seniors is the only organization in San Diego County – and one of the few in the United States – that provides such a broad base of vital services to vulnerable older adults.
Since its inception in 1970, Serving Seniors has served over 12 million meals. Every year, the organization serves nearly 640,000 meals to seniors at 11 congregate dining sites and via home-delivered to over 600 homebound seniors, as well as 400 units of permanent supportive housing. Serving Seniors changes the lives of about 5,000 seniors annually.
The agency has been skillfully led for nearly 25 years by president and CEO Paul Downey. Downey is the past chair and two-time appointed commissioner of the California Commission on Aging, board member and public policy chair for the American Society on Aging (ASA), and is also past president of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP). For more information, visit or call (619) 487-0701.

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