October 9, 2018

San Diego Habitat for Humanity
Lori Pfeiler | CEO
619-283-4663 x108

City of National City
Alfredo Ybarra | Director of Housing & Economic Development

San Diego Community Land Trust
Jean Diaz | Executive Director

Innovative Collaboration To Bring Affordable Homes To National City
San Diego Habitat for Humanity & San Diego Community Land Trust Working Together

NATIONAL CITY, OCTOBER 9, 2018 – At its City Council meeting on October 2nd, The City Council of National City voted unanimously to support a new affordable housing community at 18th Street and Harding Avenue in National City.  San Diego Habitat for Humanity and the San Diego Community Land Trust are collaborating to build better life stories for local hardworking families in need of decent, affordable ownership homes.

“We are excited about working with San Diego Habitat for Humanity and National City to marry the best of the Habitat and Community Land Trust models to provide permanently affordable home ownership to low and moderate-income families to the community,” said Jean Diaz, Executive Director for the San Diego Community Land Trust.

The community land trust model is an innovative approach to solving the housing crisis by creating sustainable affordability and long-term community impact.  Its bylaws call for homeowner and neighborhood participation in the leadership of the organization.  There are over 15 community land trusts in California, and over 250 nationally.  Community land trusts are nonprofit organizations aimed at creating and stewarding affordable homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income households.  The land trust retains ownership of the land and sells homes to income qualified homebuyers subject to a 99-year ground lease.  Resale restrictions in the ground lease preserve the affordability of the home for future homebuyers.

The project approved this week will allow San Diego Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) and San Diego Community Land Trust (SDCLT) in partnership with the City of National City, to develop six homes at 405-419 W. 18th Street in National City.  The homes will be sold to households earning 50 to 80% of the area median income, based on household size.  Using the conventional Habitat model, the homes will be sold at an affordable mortgage.

“We need to begin thinking outside of the box if we are going to solve the housing crisis that we are currently in,” said Lori Holt Pfeiler, President and CEO at San Diego Habitat for Humanity.  “We are entering into this partnership with great enthusiasm and hope for the future of homeownership in San Diego County.”

Habitat for Humanity homes are sold to families who qualify for the program by showing a demonstrated need for improved housing, a willingness to partner with Habitat by committing to 250-500 hours of “sweat equity” helping to build their own homes, and the ability to repay an affordable mortgage.

This community will ultimately will help families like Jonathan and Sarah’s.  They and their three children, baby Adrian, Arianna (8), and Jonathan Jr. (9) have lived in a two-bedroom rental apartment in Chula Vista for the past three years. Arianna and Jonathan, Jr. share a bedroom in the small apartment. Health, safety, and maintenance issues go unaddressed by the landlord. There are no safe spaces for the children to play outside.

Jonathan proudly served in the United States Marine Corps for four years, participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Like many parents throughout San Diego, Jonathan and Sarah work hard to give their children the best future possible. Even though they have good, steady jobs, they still need a hand up to have a safe, affordable home they can call their own. And they know that along with that home will come self-reliance, stability, and independence.

Habitat will be responsible for the development and construction of the six homes; Habitat will also select qualifying homebuyers, in partnership with SDCLT.  SDCLT will manage a 99-year land lease and will maintain the property. The City of National City will convey the property to Habitat during construction, and upon completion of the new homes, the land will convey to SDCLT.

“Because the CLT isolates the value of the land, the household ends up paying a mortgage only on the improvements to the property,” said Alfredo Ybarra, Director of Housing and Economic Development for the City of National City.  “The land trust is an effective way to offer affordable homeownership opportunities in perpetuity.”

Construction is expected to begin before the end of 2018, with all homes being completed and sold within a year.

About San Diego Habitat for Humanity
People in our community partner with San Diego Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners build their homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.  With our help, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability, and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families.  For more information, visit or call 619-283-HOME (4663).

About The San Diego Community Land Trust
The San Diego Community Land Trust is a 501c3 non profit organization whose mission is to expand and maintain permanently affordable home ownership opportunities for low and moderate income families throughout San Diego County. Permanent stewardship of the land and community participation by homeowners and neighbors is a foundation of the community land trust model.

About The City of National City
The City of National City was incorporated in 1887 and is the second oldest city in San Diego County. National City was originally part of the 26,000 acre El Rancho de La Nacion which was purchased in 1868 by Frank Kimball. National City is approximately nine (9) square miles and has 63,000 residents. It is located 5 miles south of downtown San Diego, on San Diego Bay in southern San Diego County, and 10 miles north of Baja California, Mexico. The City is bordered by San Diego to the north and east, Chula Vista to the south, the unincorporated areas of Lincoln Acres and Bonita to the south and southeast, and San Diego Bay to the west.