Assess Government-Owned Property for People to Shelter

by on June 11, 2021 · 2 comments

in Homelessness, San Diego

Every government-owned parcel in the region should be assessed for its viability as a place where people can live or shelter safely temporarily.

By Tamea Kohler / San Diego Union-Tribune Op-Ed / June 8, 2021

Housing ends homelessness. While it’s a complex and layered issue, if we start every conversation about homelessness with the truism that if a person has a home, they are no longer homeless, other aspects can fall into their proper place.

It is easier to talk about solutions to supportive sendees, crisis response, an adequate shelter system, rental assistance, property storage and outreach, if we can agree that housing must be the backbone of all of these discussions.

Gov. Gavin Newsom just announced a major infusion of state dollars to this end. Coupled with an unprecedented amount of one-time federal dollars heading to local municipalities to assist in their recovery’ from the pandemic and another potential major revenue source if Assembly Bill 71 passes, it is important that we use that money where it can make the most impact: increasing the capacity’ of our housing stock, diversifying our shelter system and investing in our homelessness-supporting work force.

A recent report published by the Regional Task Force on the Homeless identified a 21 percent 78 percent 6.028increase in the last year in the number of people accessing homeless services in the county’. Significantly’, there was a increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness for the first time.

Yet in the same year, one challenged by a pandemic, people in San Diego were helped to remain in or exit to a permanent housing setting. It can be done. The regional task force believes there are three primary areas where this windfall of funding should be focused, with the majority’ of it going toward housing.

For the balance of this article, please go here.

Kohler is the CEO of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, and lives in Little Italy.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Don Wood June 12, 2021 at 4:19 pm

Heck, the city is about to trade the land beneath San Diego High School in Balboa Park for two lots the school district owns without even knowing the galue of those two properties. This is the beginning of the end of Balboa Park. Thanks, Todd Gloria.

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Avatar Mat Wahlstrom June 12, 2021 at 9:00 pm

Absolutely right, Don. The Balboa Park land sale proposal* is a perfect example of this corruption. Despite the warnings tthat the city will incur legal liability by breaking a court order for approving this sale, the council agreed to bury it under cover of a consent agenda and unanimously approved.

The city has been holding a fire sale on all of its holdings with no rhyme or reason — until you look at which hand washes the other.

The council always begs off being able to lead on public projects or social housing because of the cost of buying well sited land, yet runs silent when parcels it already owns are optimal**. They prefer to sell what we the people already own by claiming they could sometime go for imaginary projects in impossible places. (That it later turns out these sales are revealed as sweetheart deals for pennies on the dollar is always as unfortunate as it is unforeseeable.)

It’s all just show to park numbers in a slush fund that they can borrow from/offset against to pay for pet projects and other donor-rewarding schemes. It’s the mirror image of how it buys property, such as the 101 Ash St fiasco.

Rinse, lather, repeat.

*https://onbase.sandiego.gov/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Meetings/ViewMeeting?id=4260&doctype=1

*https://onbase.sandiego.gov/OnBaseAgendaOnline/Documents/ViewDocument/Public%20Comment.pdf.pdf?meetingId=4460&documentType=Agenda&itemId=198667&publishId=481836&isSection=false

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