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Mayor Gloria discusses city's homelessness, affordable housing plans

Posted at 3:11 PM, Apr 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-06 20:18:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Thursday, Mayor Todd Gloria outlined the city's top priorities for the month of April, including steps the city is taking to address homelessness and the affordable housing crisis.

Next week, the City Council Land Use and Housing Committee will discuss an unsafe camping ordinance.

Gloria supports the proposed law prohibiting homeless encampments on public property, including near schools, transit hubs, and certain parks.

Instead, Gloria said the city is working to establish safe sleeping sites with access to hygiene and supportive services.

"These would be sanctioned sites where people living in tents can go that does not block the public right-away or increase the danger to themselves or the general public," he said.

The city's efforts to create more safe spaces for people experiencing homelessness come as it plans to close the county's largest homeless shelter downtown.

"It was never intended to be there permanently because it's a convention hall, not a residential facility," Gloria said.

Gloria said the Golden Hall, which houses roughly 500 people, is operating under a temporary permit that's about to expire.

It would take millions of dollars to bring the property up to code to continue housing people.

"We don't want to invest the millions of limited taxpayer dollars in something that we would only get a few more months or few more years worth of use," he said.

The committee will also take the first vote on redeveloping the building and surrounding properties into affordable housing units next week.

Gloria said families in the shelter will move to the Travelodge in Barrio Logan. The city is looking at the Smart Corner property on 11th Avenue and Broadway for youth. Staff is still looking for safe alternatives for single adults.

"We have already successful plans for families. I believe we have a path for youth and we're working currently on the adults," Gloria said. "I believe we have plenty of time to successfully do that, just as we've done it twice before."

Later this month, the city will open the Rose Canyon Safe Parking Lot in Clairemont. The site will include live-in-ready camper trailers and parking spots for people who sleep overnight in their cars.