Encanto Village represents the future of communities, addressing challenges of crime and poverty in distressed urban settings. Through creative design, construction, and partnerships with the community and the city of San Diego, National Community Renaissance (National CORE) was able to transform six underused parcels of land into a thriving community that will be part of a new era of transit-oriented developments across the San Diego region and beyond. This high-density, mixed-use affordable housing community provides 65 apartment units for individuals and families with incomes between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), with eight units set aside for homeless veterans.
The surrounding neighborhood is marked by high unemployment, concentrated poverty, low educational attainment, rising crime, and a lack of affordable housing options with the presence of abandoned properties. In 2015, the city of San Diego established the Encanto Neighborhoods Community Plan to guide growth and development. The Encanto Neighborhoods Community Plan was approved by the city in 2015. With its approval, Encanto Village became a by-right project and did not require approvals for zoning or land use. As an affordable housing development, Encanto Village automatically qualified for a density bonus. Furthermore, the city of San Diego implemented a plan to expedite permits for affordable housing, allowing National CORE to accelerate its construction schedule.
Encanto Village addresses the six goals of the San Diego Promise Zone: creating jobs, increasing economic activity, creating a priority of safety, improving educational opportunities, increasing access to affordable housing, and improving health and access to health care and healthy foods. Retail space located on the street level of the community encourages investment and the opportunity to bring additional resources to the neighborhood. To break up the high-density design without overcrowding the 1.15-acre (0.46 ha) site, Encanto Village is designed with small courtyards, community gardens, and interluding spaces. Community amenities include a computer room, an outdoor play area, a barbecue and picnic area, electric vehicle–charging stations, bicycle storage, and laundry facilities. Certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold for Homes, Encanto Village uses a combination of robust, well-insulated walls; energy-efficient windows and glazing; high-performance, high-efficiency ducted mini-split HVAC systems; and a high-efficiency central boiler system to achieve an energy compliance margin of 10 percent over the 2016 California Energy Code.
Encanto Village optimizes limited space in an urban setting to provide much-needed affordable housing, creating a safer, healthier community. With the inclusion of permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and their families, Encanto Village creates an inclusive and diverse community that promotes education, economic mobility, and health and wellness.
Location: San Diego, California
Developer and owner: National Community Renaissance