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Mission Hills homeless housing plan faces 'historical' snag

Posted at 11:40 PM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-13 18:29:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A proposed homeless housing project in the Mission Hills community might face a snag.

Mission Hills Heritage is working on getting a historic designation for the old Mission Hills library on Washington Street. The building is one of several sites the city is considering for a public housing project. The city is looking to build permanent supportive housing.

Permanent supportive housing is not a shelter. It's a space helped paid for by rental assistance and offers supportive services to assist homeless people with disabilities or homeless families with disabled family members.

Barry Hager, with Mission Hills Heritage, says although there is some backlash from the community about the homeless housing project, his group is merely fighting to save history. They are not taking sides on the homeless housing issue, but their problem is the project would require the demolition of the building.

He says the building is worth preserving because it was built in the early 1960s and is a prime example of mid-century modern or mid-century style architecture.

“It’s really the only mid-century building in the commercial core area of Mission Hills,” Hager said. “This is really a preservation project, and preservation issue, not an issue about homeless housing.”

A city says they are working to find out how a historical designation could impact any plans for the site, but for now, they are proceeding as planned.

They sent the following statement:

“Cities up and down California are facing a housing crisis. Here in San Diego, we are encouraging all types of housing, including permanent supportive housing. We are in the process of finalizing the RFP for several city-owned properties we identified in early May for permanent supportive housing, including the old Mission Hills Library. We are moving forward as planned and will have the request out in the coming weeks.”