Independence Point

Independence Point- Improving Lives Through Affordable Housing

Agueda Aguirre shares a three bedroom Independence Point town home with her children, including her 5 year-old developmentally disabled son, Esteban. 

Agueda Aguirre shares a three bedroom Independence Point town home with her children, including her 5 year-old developmentally disabled son, Esteban. 

When Chelsea Investment Corp. opened Independence Point in Lincoln Park just 10 months ago, it was San Diego’s first affordable housing community built with apartments set aside for people with a developmental disability. 

Last week we had the opportunity to meet with Agueda Aguirre, a resident at Independence Point who for five years prior to her move was living in a friend’s garage. Agueda, a single mother of four including a five year-old son with Down’s Syndrome, endured unimaginable conditions in order to stay off the street. She described for us the extreme temperatures, rodent and insect problems, and the heartbreak of needing her eldest daughter’s help, knowing she should be in school. 

Since moving to Independence Point, her son is thriving, her eldest daughter is back at college studying for her teaching credential and her 18 year-old daughter is attending Grossmont College as a freshman, planning to transfer to UCSD and ultimately become a history teacher. 

When a family's basic needs are met, they are free to pursue higher needs such as education and well-being, both physical and mental. 

“Imagine for a moment that you’re a parent or a family member of a person with a developmental disability,” said Jim Schmid, president and CEO of Chelsea Investment Corp. “Your single biggest fear is, “where will my child, brother or sister live when I’m gone?” Independence Point is a place where individuals can live independently in homes that are designed to meet their unique circumstances.”

Thanks to its funding and development agreements, Independent Point will maintain its affordable designation for 55 years. It is convenient to grocery stores, schools and public transportation and benefits from on- and off-site social services provided by the Southern California Housing Collaborative, through the San Diego Regional Center.

Professional Awards and Personal Triumphs- A Meaningful Night at The ICON Awards

Providing affordable housing for those with developmental disabilities hits home- CIC Founder and CEO, Jim Schmid dedicates his award to his beloved 12-year-old granddaughter Avery. (Pictured left to right: Jim Schmid, Janice Patterson, Senior Project Manager at Emmerson Construction, Inc., Executive Director So. Cal. Housing Collaborative, Nathan Schmid and Kursat Misirlioglu, Director of Project Finance for CIC. Front row: Miss Avery Schmid.) 

Providing affordable housing for those with developmental disabilities hits home- CIC Founder and CEO, Jim Schmid dedicates his award to his beloved 12-year-old granddaughter Avery. (Pictured left to right: Jim Schmid, Janice Patterson, Senior Project Manager at Emmerson Construction, Inc., Executive Director So. Cal. Housing Collaborative, Nathan Schmid and Kursat Misirlioglu, Director of Project Finance for CIC. Front row: Miss Avery Schmid.) 

For Jim Schmid, Founder and CEO of Chelsea Investment Corp., it’s personal and professional. His leadership in developing affordable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities comes from his heart and his head.

When Jim received a standing ovation from the Building Industry Association at the annual ICON awards last month, he was stunned and humbled. He shared that ovation – and an unprecedented Honorable Mention award -- with Independence Point, a modest infill project in San Diego’s Lincoln Park, where 25 of 32 units are set aside for those with a developmental disability.

Jim dedicated that award to his beloved and beautiful 12-year-old granddaughter, Avery, herself afflicted with cerebral palsy. Here’s Avery at the Icon Awards, with an award that hits home for everyone in the Chelsea family.

For more on the “monumental achievement” that is Independence Point, click here.

Independence Point - Dignified Housing for Families With Disabilities

"We are very blessed to have found Independence Point." - Jessica Alvarez

"We are very blessed to have found Independence Point." - Jessica Alvarez

At Chelsea Investment Corporation, we are committed to helping families by providing affordable housing for dignified living. One of our more recent undertakings is a newly built community of townhomes in San Diego. Independence Point provides housing for families with a developmentally disabled member and in doing so, helps to improve the quality of life for the entire family.

San Diegan Jessica Alvarez knows what hard times look like. A single mother with two daughters, she and her girls have survived the full range of insecure housing – from homelessness to a tiny one-bedroom rental with black mold and dangerous neighbors. 

Today, Jessica says she is “very blessed” as she tours us through her brand new, three-bedroom apartment at Independence Point, an affordable housing community built through our partnership with the Southern California Housing Collaborative (Housing Collaborative) and the San Diego Housing Commission. Located in Lincoln Park just off Imperial Avenue, Independence Point reserves 25 of 32 townhomes for qualified households with a developmentally disabled member. 

Both comfortable and affordable, 25 of the 32 units at Independence Point are allocated for families with a developmentally disabled member.  

Both comfortable and affordable, 25 of the 32 units at Independence Point are allocated for families with a developmentally disabled member. 

Jessica Alvarez found Independence Point while seeking resources for her six-year-old daughter, Babie, who is on the autism spectrum. Like other Independence Point residents, Jessica's income qualifies her for rent that is discounted from market-rate, increasing the funds she has available for care associated with her daughter's disability. 

Academic improvements for both children were noticeable within weeks of finding secure housing. 

Academic improvements for both children were noticeable within weeks of finding secure housing. 

“Both Babie and my teenage daughter have made great improvements in school since we moved here four months ago,” said Jessica, who noted that her older daughter is a high school senior with aspirations to win an academic scholarship at the University of Chicago. Jessica’s three-bedroom townhome includes an attached garage that they’ve converted into a private room for yoga and other healing therapies for Babie.

When basic needs are no longer a worry, families are able to focus more attention on improving both developmentally and academically. We are profoundly honored to be a part of this evolution. 

Independence Point Wins the 2016 Ruby Award!

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Chelsea Investment Corporation was honored to accept the Supportive Housing award on behalf of Independence Point at the San Diego Housing Federation’s 2016 Ruby Awards on June 2nd.  Independence Point was developed by a partnership between Chelsea Investment Corporation and Southern California Housing Collaborative, a nonprofit organization established to locate and secure affordable housing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.  The community consists of 32 affordable townhomes, 27 of which are for households with a developmentally disabled member. 

Affordable housing for families with a developmentally disabled member. 

Affordable housing for families with a developmentally disabled member. 


This is the project’s second Ruby award; last year, while under construction, Independence Point received the Housing Hero award. The Supportive Housing award recognizes an outstanding supportive housing project, organization, or individual leader. Nominations are invited for housing developments completed in San Diego County that have a focus on supportive services to enable people to end their homelessness, especially special needs populations, including people with disabilities.


This award is a tremendous milestone for the Independence Point team, and it was even more special to have it presented by District 4 City Councilmember Myrtle Cole, who supported the project from the beginning.

This is but one of the awards that Chelsea Investment Corporation is profoundly grateful to have been honored with throughout the years.