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.
ANSWERS FROM COUNCIL MEMBER GLORIA’S OFFICE TO HTC MEMBER QUESTIONS
– HTC HOMELESSNESS PANEL May 10, 2016 –
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:
In December 2015, 3 new initiatives were added to the Housing-First San Diego action plan. This includes:
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: