SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego city council approved the city’s budget on Monday evening. Among the several new proposals that passed is a rental subsidy for seniors and others who qualify.
“Seniors are our fastest-growing group of people who are becoming homeless in San Diego. We should all be ashamed of that,” said Sean Elo-Rivera, San Diego City Council President. “Every incident of homelessness I think is a tragedy. But when we allow it to happen to our seniors, that's especially sad.”
The program called a Housing Stability Fund, will provide up to $500 dollars per month in rental assistance for up to two years. It's designed to keep seniors housed and help prevent homelessness before it starts.
“A lot of times we talk about what to do once someone becomes homeless…but we don’t talk a lot about how to prevent it in the first place,” said Paul Downey, President & CEO of Serving Seniors. Downey calls the fund “a major win” for low-income seniors.
He explains with rising rent and inflation, many are struggling to survive on fixed incomes and having to cut back on necessities.
“I talk to seniors every day who have to make that decision…do I cut my medications in half? Do I go for the cheapest food I can buy? Which is not necessarily nutritious,” he said.
In addition to seniors, certain families with children, people with disabilities, and people up to 25 years old regardless of immigration status will be able to apply.
“This is all part of a bigger, broader effort to find solutions to homelessness. We’re really trying to get to the root of the issue,” added Elo-Rivera.