Hillcrest Town Council Update

San Diego Uptown News

U.S. Rep. Susan Davis visits, affordable housing discussed

By Mary M. McKenzie

U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) paid a visit to the Hillcrest Town Council community meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 9, where she expressed an understanding of why many Americans appear angry with Congress.

She emphasized her resolve to continue to work on issues such as gun violence, Zika virus funding, a student debt solution, protecting voting rights, transportation and affordable housing, the theme of the night.


Follow up on our May Homelessness Panel



QUESTION: How and what are the plans to end homelessness. Arresting the homeless is not an answer. We kicked all the mentally ill out in the street and then were wondering why we have the epidemic.

ANSWER: Councilmember Gloria serves as Chair of the Regional Continuum of Care Council (RCCC), which is the regional planning body for ending homelessness in San Diego County.  This body is focused on ending family and youth homelessness.  The mission of the Regional Continuum of Care Council (RCCC) is to engage stakeholders in a community-based process that works to (1)  End homelessness for all individuals and families throughout the region (2)  Address the underlying causes of homelessness (3)  Lessen the negative impact of homelessness on individuals, families and communities. More info can be found at www.sandiegococ.org.  In November 2014, Councilmember Gloria joined the Mayor and San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) to announce Housing First–San Diego, SDHC’s three-year homelessness action plan to create additional affordable housing with supportive services. Housing First–San Diego will impact the lives of as many as 1,500 homeless San Diegans through the following 5-point plan:

  1. Renovates the historical Hotel Churchill to create 72 affordable studios for homeless veterans and youth aging out of the foster care system;
  2. Awards up to $30 million over the next three years to create Permanent Supportive Housing that will remain affordable for 55 years;
  3. Commits up to 1,500 federal rental housing vouchers to provide housing to homeless individuals and families;
  4. Invests up to $15 million from the federal “Moving to Work” rental assistance program to acquire a property that will set aside 20 percent of its units for Permanent Supportive Housing for homeless San Diegans; and
  5. Dedicates 25 of SDHC’s own affordable units to temporarily provide furnished apartments for homeless individuals and families. SDHC is one of the first public housing agencies in the nation to commit affordable rental housing that it owns for this purpose.


In December 2015, 3 new initiatives were added to the Housing-First San Diego action plan. This includes:


  1. The Guardian Scholars Program, a partnership between the SDHC and SDSU which assists students who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness, including youths aging out of foster care, under legal guardianship or wards of the state.  
  2. The Monarch School Project, that will provide federal rental housing vouchers to 25 families who have at least one child enrolled at the Monarch School in Barrio Logan, which is one of only a handful of schools nationwide that specifically serve homeless children.
  3. For the second consecutive year, up to $10 million will be awarded to developers to create Permanent Supportive Housing or convert existing transitional housing to Permanent Supportive Housing.


QUESTION: Why is stadium more important than ending homelessness? How do you think we can move forward in homelessness when we can’t respect people who don’t look like you and what you assume someone to be?


ANSWER: Councilmember Gloria does not believe and has never stated that the stadium is more important than homelessness.  Homelessness in San Diego and working towards achieving the goals of the Housing First –San Diego action plan are some of his highest priorities.  


QUESTION: The Salt Lake City model of housing the homeless (60 Minutes segment) is cheaper than dealing with folks on the street. Can this model fit San Diego? The people triaged in these housing situations were alcoholics, hard drug problems, and mental issues.


ANSWER: The model referenced in the 60 Minutes segment on Salt Lake City is the Housing First model, which San Diego is currently in the midst of implementing.  In 2014 the San Diego Housing Commission created the Housing First – San Diego homelessness action plan. You can find out more about this plan at http://www.sdhc.org/Homeless-Solutions/HousingFirst-SanDiego/.  


QUESTION: How do you deal with the problem of services being downtown while the homeless population is in neighborhoods like Hillcrest and Mission Valley?


ANSWER: Downtown San Diego has some excellent service providers and we look forward to more services like this expanding to other neighborhoods in need throughout the city.


QUESTION: Why can’t we have concrete solutions for the homeless children, veterans, men and women and those with mental problems? The city should set aside money to house and help those in need.


ANSWER: Each year nearly $70 million in funding is distributed by the San Diego Housing Commission.  This money is a combination of Federal, State and City funds for housing projects and homeless services.  


QUESTION: It is my concern that a disproportionate influx of homeless population is stressing our financial resources. I would like to know and believe that increased funding from the State and federal is being directed our way. This problem/issue is not going to go away.


ANSWER: Since Councilmember Gloria came to office, he has been urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development to reassess their funding index.  Nationally, San Diego County is fourth in homeless population with almost 9,000 individuals sleeping on our streets and in our shelters. Last year, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro visited an affordable housing project in San Diego and committed to taking a step toward re-evaluating the federal formula for homeless program funding for the first time in decades. Under the current formula, San Diego is 23rd in the amount of funding it receives compared with other cities. To meet our goals, it is vital to secure the necessary funding to provide housing and services.  


Helpful links with more information:



What do you know about our community plan?

Hillcrest Town Council June 2016 Newsletter

** Join us at the next community meeting!

Date: Tuesday June 14, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Joyce Beers Community Center at The Hub | Hillcrest Market Map


Toni Duran for Speaker Toni Atkins (http://asmdc.org/speaker/)
Ralph Dimarucut for Senator Marty Block (http://sd39.senate.ca.gov)
Nerea Urtasun County Supervisor Ron Roberts (http://www.ronroberts.com)
Adriana Martinezfor (http://sd39.senate.ca.gov) Council member Todd Gloria (http://www.sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd3/about/)
Julio DeGuzmanfor the (http://sd39.senate.ca.gov) City Attorney’s Office (http://www.sandiego.gov/cityattorney/)
Benny Cartwright for The Center (http://www.thecentersd.org)
Ben Nichollsfor (https://www.alphaproject.org/) Hillcrest Business Association (http://hillcrestbia.org/)
Jessica Mier for (http://hillcrestbia.org/) Congresswoman Susan Davis (https://susandavis.house.gov)
Zach Schlagel or David Mier for UCSD Medical Center Hillcrest
Monica Montano for Scripps Mercy

San Diego Pride 2016 Update

Hillcrest is the host neighborhood to one of the biggest celebrations in the city, San Diego Pride. The weekend of events is fast approaching, scheduled this year for July 15-17. Stephen Whitburn, executive director of San Diego Pride, will join us to share a brief presentation about all of the exciting activities planned for this year’s 3-day celebration, including the Spirit of Stonewall Rally, Pride of Hillcrest Block Party, San Diego Pride Parade, and the two-day Pride Festival. More information about San Diego Pride is at www.sdpride.org.
Save the Date – Volunteer Opportunity: Post-Pride Clean Up
July 18th at 0800 on Park and University Ave, Join the HTC for the annual Post Pride Clean Up!
For more info please email; hillcrestcleanteam@gmail.com (mailto:hillcrestcleanteam@gmail.com)


Our June 14th meeting will be themed around an important topic: the upcoming update to our community plan. The City of San Diego is updating the 1988 Uptown Community Plan concurrently with updates to the community plans for Golden Hill and North P ark.

The City’s community plans are long range planning documents established as essential components of the General Plan. The community plan update process will develop the community-specific detail, relevant policies, and implementation strategies necessary to fulfill General Plan objectives. The General Plan sets out a long-range vision and policy framework to guide future development, provide public services, and maintain the qualities that define San Diego over the next 20+ years.

Presenters will give an overview of the plan, including the following topics:
* Background on our community plan
* History of the Hillcrest Town Council’s involvement
* Height/density/neighborhood character
* Location of additional density
* Parks and plazas
* Historic preservation
* Affordable housing
* Mobility

Come prepared to ask questions to panelists familiar with the Uptown Plan and how updates will affect the Hillcrest community. Community members will be encouraged to give input and ask questions.