City to convert properties into permanent housing for homeless residents

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The city of San Diego announced Friday it has selected two proposals to develop vacant city-owned properties into permanent housing with on-site supportive services to house veterans, seniors, youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness.

The City Council will still consider the two proposals and their respective development plans in the coming months, but it is possible both sites will be approved and developed.

Community Housing Works and San Diego Community Housing Corporation were conditionally awarded the development bids Friday by the city after a request for proposals was issued in February.

The Community Housing Works’ proposal includes building 26 units for chronically homeless youth and young adults on the site of the former Serra Mesa Library, measuring about a third of an acre. It also proposes YMCA Youth and Family Services providing on-site case management and is targeting an opening in August 2023.

San Diego Community Housing Corporation proposed developing the 1.42- acre Scripps Ranch Park and Ride and constructing 60 units for veterans and seniors. Targeted to open in January 2024, it is intended to provide on-site case management through the San Diego Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

“After a comprehensive review, we determined that both organizations submitted well-qualified and responsive proposals,” said Deputy Chief Operating Officer Erik Caldwell. “Now, we will work on presenting both proposals to the City Council, so construction on these vital permanent housing projects can commence as soon as possible.”

The selection of the two proposals Friday comes after Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced in 2019 that eight city-owned properties would be made available for development into permanent supportive housing. The additional six properties could still be developed after a similar proposal period, selection and council approval.

Additionally, Faulconer said the selection of the two proposals furthers the goals laid out in the city’s Community Action Plan on Homelessness released in 2019. The action plan identified the need to increase permanent supportive housing by 2,659 units for individuals experiencing homelessness within the next 10 years, with 60% of those units — numbering 1,595 — to be developed within the first four years.

“There is a great need in our community for housing that gives folks a real chance to have a place of their own, but also the support system they need to stay housed,” Faulconer said. “This public-private partnership will help transform these vacant city-owned properties into opportunities that will change the lives of so many of our fellow San Diegans for the better.”

The two projects are in addition to the San Diego Housing Commission’s proposed purchase and transformation of two Residence Inn hotels – one in Mission Valley, the other in Kearny Mesa – into permanent housing and plans to further advance the number of individuals being served at Operation Shelter to Home at the San Diego Convention Center, which has already housed more than 660 people since May.

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