Residents fight more low-income housing downtown

Posted at 5:41 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 01:35:55-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Residents downtown are fighting against adding more low-income housing. They say it's only making the homeless problem worse. 

Merle Jones moved to this East Village high rise for the views and the lush lifestyle.

"It's categorized as a luxury apartment complex, and there's nothing really luxury about it at all right now," said Jones. 

Homeless people frequent the streets and sidewalks outside the property. 

"There was a knife fight that broke out and that was in the afternoon," said Jones. "My girlfriend she's not even comfortable walking outside alone so its an issue."

In an effort to fight the deadly Hepatitis A outbreak,  more shelters and housing solutions are popping up downtown. 

One of them is a 16-story high rise for low-income families on 14th and Commercial Streets. 

"I don’t believe that's a good idea," said Jones. "I think they need to clean up the area because when you have that type of housing, it attracts attention from other areas."

The high rise is one of five Father Joe's projects to add about 2,500 affordable housing units. One-third of them would be downtown. 

More than 500 people signed an online petition to move more housing solutions to other parts of the county. 

"I think it would be a nice distribution of the concentration of it so that way it's not just one area and one area's problem," said Jones. 

For now, he's stuck paying high rent for a view he's not happy with. 

 "I pay quite a bit, so I expect a certain level of lifestyle when I'm living here," said Jones. "When my lease is up, I do plan on moving towards the other end of downtown that’s a little safer and a lot cleaner."

The building is set to open January 2021.