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Landlord says homeless problem getting worse in College Area

Says renters avoiding homes in neighborhood
College Area Homeless.png
Posted at 7:47 AM, Jun 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-06 10:47:50-04

SAN DIEGO - A landlord in the College Area near San Diego State says the homeless problem is getting worse, and it's keeping people from renting in the neighborhood.

Suhail Khalifeh owns six homes near El Cajon Boulevard and Montezuma Road. He says one of them has sat empty for six months because renters are worried about the sight of homeless people in the area.

"When people come and see the scenes of homeless all around and smell the urine in the atmosphere, they leave and never come back," says Khalifeh.

Khalifeh says he finds trash, drugs and feces in the bushes near his properties.

The neighborhood has dealt with the problem for months. Last July, neighbors complained that a nearby vacant lot was becoming a camping ground for homeless people. The owners of the lot increased security and cleaned the lot out.

RELATED: Neighbors fed up with homeless trash on undeveloped lot

Khalifeh says that didn't solve the problem; it just moved the homeless closer to the homes.

"One of my tenants has seven children. She has to give them rides to the library next door," he says. "It's 50 feet away, and she doesn't feel safe for her kids to walk to the library."

Khalifeh showed surveillance video to 10News of a homeless man threatening one of his neighbors. He also has video of people meeting in the middle of the night for what he thinks are drug deals.

A search of the website shows 46 criminal reports filed in the area within the last month.

Khalifeh says the police do an excellent job at responding, but they can only offer short-term solutions. He wants the city to do more to address the bigger issue.

"They live in the street," he says. "In the daytime, they're in the street, and at night they go to the parking lot of the library."