SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The City Council is expected to decide on a proposal that would turn two purchased hotels into housing for San Diego’s homeless, and on Monday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer made a push in favor of the plan.
Part of California’s Project Homekey includes an initiative to provide more homeless Californians with permanent housing amid the COVID-19 crisis. The project’s budget is $600 million, with $37 million for San Diego County.
At a Monday press conference, Faulconer said, “Our goal was to reimagine our homeless system to get folks into housing more quickly with an emphasis on 'quickly.’ Tomorrow, the City Council will have the opportunity to put these dollars to good use for hotels to be transformed into 332 new housing units.”
The city is working with San Diego's Housing Commission (SDHC) to turn two Residence Inns -- one in Mission Valley's Hotel Circle and the other in Kearny Mesa -- into apartment-style homes for the homeless.
The hotels-turned-apartments would ideally create 300 units for over 400 homeless individuals, many of whom are currently staying inside the San Diego Convention Center's temporary housing facility.
But some San Diegans like Josh, who resides next door to the Residence Inn in Mission Valley, are in favor of finding solutions for the homeless crisis but against the locations the SDHC has chosen.
"If you see the homeless shelters in downtown, those don't look like the best places on outside. A lot of loitering, crowds, so we're not informed on what this will look like," said Josh.
He said if the purchase gets approved, he wants there to be strict guidelines for tenants.
"People who are elderly, have kids, or demonstrated work history. A qualified facility where you have to meet standards to come in,” Josh told ABC 10News.
The City Council is slated to discuss the proposal and release a decision on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, city leaders and the SDHC said security will be ramped up around the new apartments, with two live-in managers on site and residents will be the only ones allowed inside.
If the project is approved, the transformation could happen as early as December 2020.