SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Housing Commission is looking into state grants to purchase three hotels to serve as permanent affordable housing.
During a meeting, the commission identified three Extended Stay America Suites that would house more than 400 homeless individuals.
The three hotels are located on Mission Valley Road, Hotel Circle and one in Kearny Mesa on Murphy Canyon Road.
“It’s great. How you end homelessness is getting people into a unit of their own,” homeless advocate Michael McConnell said to FOX 5 Wednesday.
The 412 units come with kitchens, a total price of $157.8 million.
The Murphy Canyon location would be purchased for $40.7 million. The Mission Valley Road location would be bought for $52 million and the hotel on Hotel Circle South has a $65.1 million dollar price tag.
This breaks down to $383,192 per unit, much cheaper than the average price to purchase a home in San Diego.
“They’re almost ready to go, and so that’s certainly a reasonable cost to have a small apartment, put a little bit in it, make it even a little bit nicer and give hundreds and hundreds of people a place to live,” McConnell said.
He said there are hundreds of people just in the Mission Valley area and along the riverbed that are waiting for an affordable place to live and could fill these rooms immediately.
“If we did this in every area of the city, you can just imagine the just incredible difference it would make, certainly for the folks who need to unit, but for the whole community to have so many folks off of our streets doing so much better,” he added.
The locations were picked also in part due to their proximity to grocery stores and public transportation. The commission said they are completing their state funding Homekey application by June and should be notified by the end of summer. If the plan goes as the commission hopes, they could close escrow on the properties in October.
“Keep in mind there’s no free housing, so the people who are going to be staying here, they’re going to have to pay 30% of any income that they get,” McConnell said.
He says it’s a big win for San Diego and said the key to ensuring this will continue to work is having enough resources at the affordable housing locations, including job placements and addiction services.
“This is a piece of the puzzle but it’s the right pieces that we need. We need a lot more of these pieces in order to show a real result on our street,” he added.