SDHC’s Housing First-San Diego Program Unveiled

j SDHCEarlier this month, San Diego officials announced a three year, $200 million, five-point action plan to combat homelessness.

Housing First—San Diego is spearheaded by the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC).

“It’s called Housing First, but it’s not housing only,” said SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry. “In addition to everyone we’ve collaborated with at the City and in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors to provide much-needed services, I especially want to thank the County Health and Human Services Agency and Dr. Piedad Garcia for their vital contributions.”

The Housing First – San Diego program will include:

  • The renovation of the Churchill Hotel to create 72 units to provide permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and former foster children — $17 million.
  • The creation of permanent supportive housing using $30 million in funding allocated over the next three years. This permanent supportive housing has a long-term covenant: It must remain affordable for at least 55 years.
  • 1,500 federal rental vouchers for at-risk low-income families and individuals — $150 million.
  • Moving to Work,” a federally funded rental assistance program, which will dedicate 20 percent of its San Diego units for permanent supportive housing.
  • A commitment of 25 of SDHC’s own affordable units ($348,000 annually) to serve as temporary housing for homeless families and individuals. SDHC is one of the first public housing agencies in the nation to pledge affordable housing units that it owns and operates for this purpose.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer made a point of thanking County officials “who really step up time and time again to provide (much-needed homeless) services. We are going to be working very closely with the County as we always do to make sure these programs are a huge success,” Faulconer said.

This five-point initiative follows the housing first method of providing permanent housing to families and individuals before addressing other needs.

“We cannot be America’s Finest City with thousands of neighbors sleeping on our streets,” said City Council President Todd Gloria. “We are taking a hard look at what is working around the country to solve this problem and realigning our homeless programs to support the Housing First model, permanent supportive housing, and a Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement system. Our plan will support these efforts as we work collaboratively with community stakeholders to end homelessness.”

SDHC has released the Permanent Supportive Housing NOFA, calling for qualified and experienced applicants to help create the affordable housing outlined in Housing First – San Diego.

The San Diego Housing Commission is seeking donations to help furnish the newly created housing. To donate, contact SDHC at housingfirstsandiego@sdhc.org.