SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Tuesday to turn three vacant, county-owned properties in the cities of Escondido and San Diego into affordable housing.

According to a presentation by county General Services and Housing and Community Development Services officials, the properties are:

  • the former county Northeast Family Resource Center, at 5001 73rd St. in the College Area neighborhood of San Diego, which a includes a 22,000- square-foot building to be demolished later this year;
  • land located at 6255 Mission Gorge Road in the Grantville neighborhood, which holds a 23,385-square-foot building to be demolished later this year, and a separate 18,731-square-foot parking lot across Glacier Avenue to the northeast; and
  • a parcel in Escondido at 600-620 E. Valley Parkway, which includes 1.88 acres of vacant land that once housed the North Inland Family Resource Center.

The county said it will cost $1.29 million to demolish and clear the two San Diego-based structures. Afterward, selected developers could build on both sites.

Nathan Fletcher, board chairman, said he was pleased to see the proposal , as it opens up affordable housing opportunities.

“We ought to be doing everything we can on that,” he said.

Additional funding for projects could come from No Place Like Home, a California state program, and the county’s Innovative Housing Trust Fund, first established in 2017.

The $50 million invested in that fund has leveraged $567 million in other public and private funds, resulting in 1,397 permanent affordable housing units throughout the county. According to the most recent Cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment, 68,959 affordable-housing units are needed.

Two supervisors made suggestions on future housing projects. Jim Desmond said Escondido City Council members told him they favor senior housing, and want a senior center included on the parcel in their city. Terra Lawson- Remer asked Marko Medved, general services director, about including sustainability as part of future housing projects.

Supervisor Joel Anderson was ill and did not participate in Tuesday’s meeting, held via teleconference.

In a related development action, supervisors also voted 4-0 to approve a five-year plan for capital improvement projects.

For the fiscal year 2022-23 budget, county officials have identified $344 million for major projects, including the Health Services Complex ($223.7 million), George Bailey Detention Center ($29.5 million) and $25 million for County Administration Center.

A staff presentation also featured updates on recently completed projects, including the North Coast Coastal Crisis Stabilization Unit.

In addition, supervisors heard from residents, more than a few of whom urged the county to fully fund a plan to repair and reopen the Epicentre, a popular youth venue that closed in 2016 after the city of San Diego terminated its lease.

Last year, supervisors approved taking over the facility, along with several million dollars to redevelop it.

Helen Robbins-Meyer, chief administrative officer, said more money would be available for the Epicentre project contingent upon federal reimbursements for COVID-19-related expenses.

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