From KPBS San Diego:
Up to $500 a month in rental relief could soon be available for San Diegans at risk of homelessness.
The San Diego City Council voted Monday to include the Housing Stability Fund in the city’s $5 billion fiscal year 2023 budget.
The pilot project has enough money to cover 300 households for the next two years and is slated to help seniors, those with disabilities, families with kids and transitional youth, regardless of immigration status.
“We cannot solve our homelessness crisis without preventing people from falling into homelessness,” said San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera last week. “If we don’t take the actions necessary to prevent homelessness we’re going to lose this fight and I’m not okay with that.”
A recent needs assessment by the nonprofit Serving Seniors found the majority of seniors experiencing homelessness are on the streets because they can't afford housing. Serving Seniors CEO Paul Downey said an extra $500 a month could make all the difference, especially for seniors on fixed-incomes.
“Investing a few thousand dollars a year in somebody to prevent the homelessness is a lot cheaper than we’re spending now,” he said.
Long-term, Downey said more affordable housing is needed.
“The arithmetic just doesn’t work with their income and rents in San Diego without that kind of a subsidy,” Downey said “The rental subsidy we’re talking about now helps in the short-term, but it’s really not a long term solution.”
The Housing Stability Fund is projected to cost $3.6 million over the next two years. The San Diego Housing Commission will oversee it.
Read KPBS San Diego's article "San Diego to give cash to seniors, others to help with rent," featuring the San Diego Housing Commission.