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State of the County sheds light on county's progress and challenges

State of the County address
Posted at 7:16 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 10:16:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher delivered the State of the County address Tuesday night.

"We gather tonight to talk about the state of our county- where we are, the progress we've made, and where we need to go," he said opening his speech.

He touted progress against challenges like homelessness saying over the last three years its implemented long-term solutions like mental health crisis support teams and more shelter space.

He added there's nothing stopping county leaders from doing more.

"Tonight I am announcing that our county government is providing all 18 cities in San Diego a standard agreement to rapidly open homeless support sites without delay. You provide the structure. Your county government will be here to provide the behavioral health services," said Fletcher.

He said $10 million is available in grants for cities to kickstart those efforts.

Another topic of conversation was affordable housing.

"We all know that the cost of housing remains too high. I can't wave a wand and undo the failed policies of the board before I got here," he said.

Fletcher explained only an average of 600 units were built during the seven years before he was on the board but said now developments for working San Diegans are popping up.

"This year alone, your county government is on pace to issue more than 1600 new building permits for new housing in the unincorporated region of our county," he said.

However, he acknowledged unincorporated land won't suffice and highlighted taking underused county property in urban areas and turning it into housing.

He said he and other county leaders will work to bring every government agency willing to tackle the issue to the table to do the same.

"Bring your surplus land and let's put together a master plan [of] 10,000 units of affordable housing," he said.

Fletcher also discussed moving ahead with childcare solutions, tackling the opioid crisis and public safety.

He ended his message by saying the responsibility to build a better San Diego falls on everyone.

"If we can seek out our better angels and embrace the challenge to fight our most vexing and challenging problems and never be afraid to drive bold solutions. If we can do that then the state of our county will continue to get stronger," said Fletcher.