Making an Impact in San Marcos

When the City and Redevelopment Agency of San Marcos approved the development of nearly 3,000 new homes in San Elijo Hills they did not include any housing affordable to very low, low or moderate income families. Click here for current income limits. Since this 2,300 acre project encompassed one third of a 6,300 acre project area, AHA represented low income residents of the City to challenge its exclusivity.

State Community Redevelopment Law requires that at least 15 percent of all new housing built in a project area is affordable to and occupied by low and moderate income people and families, with at least 40 percent of these units serving the very low income. This "inclusionary" requirement ensures the long term viability of redevelopment by providing a balance between commercial and residential development, including housing affordable to lower income people and families. This case was settled when the developer agreed to include at least 272 apartments (10%) for extremely and very low income families in the San Elijo Hills master plan.

As a result of AHA's work, San Elijo Hills now includes 276, 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom apartments in 2 complexes, Copper Creek (204 units) and Sage Canyon (74 units). One third of the units serve extremely low income families earning no more than 25 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). The remaining units serve very low income families earning an average of 40 percent of AMI. Monthly rents are deeply affordable, starting at $270 to $570 for a 1-bedroom, $320 to $680 for a 2-bedroom and $370 to $780 for a 3-bedroom. To serve the needs of large families, 1/3 of the units have 3 bedrooms.

To secure these units, AHA worked with the master planned developer, San Elijo Hills, its nonprofit partner, BRIDGE Housing, and the City and Redevelopment Agency of San Marcos, throughout the development process. As a result, Copper Canyon and Sage Creek will provide decent and affordable housing for families for decades to come. In addition to enforcing CRL, these affordable units help make San Elijo Hills a balanced community and help the City meet its share of the region's affordable housing needs.

To learn more about Copper Canyon and Sage Creek click here.

To learn more about San Elijo Hills click here.

To support the development of more affordable housing in your community, you can:

  • Make a donation to AHA.
  • Learn more about our region's need for affordable housing. Click on Land Use and Regional Growth and then Housing.
  • Join the San Diego Housing Federation.
  • Advocate for affordable housing development in your community. Contact your local planning and housing departments to get involved.