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Rents to drop at 500-unit Escondido apartment complex

By: Jonathan Horn
Posted at 5:10 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 7:03 AM, Dec 08, 2021

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) — In an era of steep rent increases, many residents of a 500-unit apartment complex in east Escondido are about to see their rents go down.

And the same thing could happen at more complexes in the county.

Like many San Diegans, Jacob Maslonka has seen his rent only go up.

“My month-to-month agreed upon was $1,920, and then I received an update on my rent. It went to $2,020,” he said Tuesday.

That's for a two-bedroom apartment inside Solana at Grande, a 519-unit complex east of downtown Escondido. But things here are about to go in reverse.

HomeFed Corporation, in conjunction with the California Municipal Finance Authority, bought the complex for $167.5 million dollars. They're now turning it into affordable housing for middle-income earners — those who make too much to qualify for typical affordable units, but not enough to be able to rent market rate construction.

Households earning 61 percent to 120 percent of area median income would qualify for lower-rent units at Solana at Grande. For example, a household of three earning between $66,551 thousand and $102,000 per year would qualify.

Officials say this deal is the first of its kind in San Diego County, but more are on the way

“There's a handful of municipalities that have already said they are good with the program and open to submittals,” said Kevin Mulhern, who brokered the deal for CBRE.

In exchange for lowering the rents, Escondido is waiving property tax collection. The city has approved four other complexes for this arrangement, totaling 1,035 units.

Meanwhile, cities like Chula Vista, San Marcos and San Diego are studying arrangements of this type.

Rents would decrease as leases expire for qualified resident. Tenants who do not qualify for the affordable units would remain market rate. The units would convert to affordable once the non-qualifying resident moves out.


A Quick Guide To Mac's Policies


Fiscal Responsibility

Mac believes in providing great city services while living within our means. There is no such thing as a free lunch.



Mac supports smarth growth in the city that takes into account the current and future needs of residents.



The schools in Escondido are struggling, and the future of our city is with our youth. Mac is committed to supporting parents, teachers, and students with the tools to succeed.



Mac recognizes the importance of good environmental policy in the most biodiverse county in the world. Escondido continues to set the standard for conservation policy in the County.



Seniors are residents who have dedicated their life to working for us all. Mac is committed to supporting seniors with groundbreaking city services that respect their dignity and cater to their needs.



Mac has led the charge to address homelessness in the city. New methods of approaching homlessness, after a lot of work behind the scenes, are starting to materialize in Escondido.



As a veteran himself, Mac has worked diligently to promote the values and dignity of veterans. With his help, the city now has a Veteran’s Day Parade.


Public Safety

Under Mac’s leadership Escondido continues to be a city of law and order. Despite COVID setbacks, Escondido has adapted it’s emergency responses to be as effective and safe for residents as possible.


Economic Development

Mac has consistently been an advocate for both the businesses and working residents in the city. Escondido’s new economic plan prioritizes policies that are business-friendly and worker-friendly. Mac recently voted against the gas tax.


Pandemic Recovery

Mayor Mac’s level headed approach through the pandemic helped the city navigate through difficult times. Escondido has been able to focus on keeping businesses open and returning resident’s lives to being as normal as possible.

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