Affordable Living in San Diego’s Carmel Valley

A $48 million-dollar development, Cielo Carmel is an inclusionary community offering 197 one, two and three-bedroom affordable homes to families who earn 50% – 60% of the area median income (AMI). Offering rents ranging from $744 to $1,231, resident services include an after-school program and computer literacy courses as well as life skills classes for adults.


Community Room at Cielo Carmel, photo by Jim Doyle

Community Room at Cielo Carmel, photo by Jim Doyle

Located in the suburban community of Carmel Valley near San Diego, Calif., Cielo is in close proximity to the local highway and numerous amenities and is located within an award-winning school district. It has been designed to seamlessly blend with the neighboring market-rate community. To the common eye, the two communities are interchangeable, combating the general NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) mentality of affordable housing.


Cielo Carmel, photo by Jim Doyle

Cielo Carmel, photo by Jim Doyle

It’s nestled on a 9.7-acre lot and features 18 two-story buildings and offers residents walking trails, three tot lots, three community laundry rooms, a pool, furnished central community room, computer center and attached garages for most units.

The project team includes Humphreys & Partners Architects, Affirmed Housing, and Alhambra Group. Photography is by Jim Doyle.


One of three “tot lots” at Cielo Carmel, photo by Jim Doyle

Community Pool at Cielo Carmel, photo by Jim Doyle

Apartment interiors have been designed to optimize longevity and include quartz counter tops, vinyl plank flooring, tankless hot water heaters, and low-flow fixtures. The exterior has been landscaped with drought tolerant plantings and a solar photovoltaic system, helping to offset energy use in the common areas and to heat the pool.


Unit Interior with Resident Furnishings at Cielo Carmel, photo by Jim Doyle

Unit Kitchen at Cielo Carmel, photo by Jim Doyle

An energy efficient community, Cielo Carmel was strategically split into two legal parcels to optimize tax credits. Cielo received local, state and federal financial support as well as investments from private sources, including master development partner, R&V. In a county where the average renter spends approximately 50% of their income on rent, Cielo Carmel is a saving grace to its residents. Cielo Carmel apartments rent for less than half, the neighboring market rate apartments. According to housing guru, in Carmel Valley, the median home value is $923,000.00. The median rent price is $3,000. Median rent price at Cielo Carmel is approximately $1,000. One hundred percent occupied, Cielo provides a first-class example of visually appealing, sustainable, quality, affordable homes in an exclusive location.


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