Chula Vista, Calif. — MAAC Project, a nonprofit affordable housing developer, is building a home on an elementary school campus for seniors interested in mentoring students.

“It’s a place where they can get involved with their skills and wisdom to shape the lives of children,” said MAAC Director Arnulfo Manriquez. Seniors will have the opportunity to tutor and mentor the students, as well as share their life experiences.

That chance grows out of a partnership between MAAC and the Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School that will create apartments on the school campus. MAAC broke ground last year on the 42-unit Seniors on Broadway apartments, and the project is expected to open in January 2007.

“The elementary school owns the land and has a strong interest in creating an intergenerational program for seniors with students,” said Manriquez.

The apartments are all affordable one-bedroom units for seniors earning no more than 50% of the area median income. MAAC will provide seniors amenities and programs such as free high-speed Internet and computer and financial literacy classes.

The project will also have 2,500 square feet of commercial space, a 700-square-foot lounge and a 1,000-square-foot community room. “We have an interest in putting in a coffee shop, flower shop, or a hair salon,” said Manriquez. “We’re looking for low-impact, not a restaurant.”

Financing for Seniors on Broadway includes $5.9 million in low-income housing tax credit equity from Red Capital Group; $3.5 million in federal HOME funds; a 17-year, $1 million loan at 7.22% with 30-year amortization from U.S. Bank; a $400,000 deferred developer fee; and a $252,000 Affordable Housing Program grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco through the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County, Inc.

Manriquez said the initial project cost was $2.5 million less than the $11 million that’s now anticipated. After the bid, costs increased 30% due to the prevailing wage legislation. He had to request extra HOME funds from the city to make up for that gap.

MAAC focuses on developing housing in the San Diego County region. But after this project, the organization will expand its operations to older urban areas nearby, said Manriquez.