Mayor Faulconer’s Campaign to House 1,000 Homeless Veterans Wins Unanimous City Council Approval

'Housing Our Heroes' is a $12.5 Million Partnership with S.D. Housing Commission, Regional Chamber of Commerce, Local Apartment Groups Clears Final Funding Hurdle

Housing Our Heroes news conference
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE
 
San Diego – Funding for Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer’s “PDF icon Housing Our Heroes” campaign – a call to action to help 1,000 homeless veterans transition off the streets over the next year – won unanimous approval from the City Council today.
 
“This vote shows that San Diego is united in tackling the nationwide problem of veteran homelessness head-on. Every hero who has served our nation deserves the chance to live the American dream,” Mayor Faulconer said. “With this funding, we’re going to work with landlords to open their doors to homeless veterans and then provide the financial assistance and supportive services to make sure they don’t end up back on the street. Thanks to the leadership of the San Diego Housing Commission and the partnership with the Regional Chamber of Commerce and California and San Diego County apartment associations, we’re going to make a big difference for our veterans.”
 
First announced at Mayor Faulconer’s State of the City address in January, the “Housing Our Heroes” campaign is the fourth new initiative of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO: the San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) landmark three-year Homelessness Action Plan that launched in November 2014.
SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry has identified close to $12.5 million in federal, City, and SDHC resources that will be invested to provide housing opportunities for homeless veterans in the city who are living on the streets or in shelters. The funding package includes Mayor Faulconer’s commitment of $4 million in City funds that the City Council unanimously approved today.
 
“As the Chair of the Regional Continuum of Care Council and someone who has prioritized homelessness policy for years, I am proud to support the $4 million dollar investment for ending veteran homelessness in San Diego,” said City Councilmember Todd Gloria. “Other large cities and entire states have ended homelessness among their veteran populations, so I appreciate collaborative efforts by the City, County, Housing Commission, and our partners in getting San Diegans off the streets.”
 
Additional partners in the “Housing Our Heroes” campaign include the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the California Apartment Association and the San Diego County Apartment Association. It calls for landlord outreach efforts, financial assistance and supportive services to get homeless veterans the help they need to turn their lives around.
 
“I am very proud of the actions taken by our City Council today and the Mayor’s leadership to support the funding for the San Diego Housing Commission’s 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative, which will provide the housing opportunities and services that our homeless Veterans need to stabilize their lives and launch the landlord outreach program, ‘Housing Our Heroes,’ which the Mayor will lead,” said Richard C. Gentry, President & CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission.
 
The “Housing Our Heroes” campaign – administered through SDHC’s programs – will fund four major components:
 
LANDLORD OUTREACH
  • Provides incentives for landlords who rent to homeless veterans.
  • Assistance with security deposits and utility bills.
  • Creates a contingency fund to help landlords cover certain expenses, such as move-out repairs.
  • Mayor Faulconer, SDHC, the Regional Chamber of Commerce and apartment associations will lead the outreach effort.
  • SDHC will provide dedicated housing specialists to answer landlords’ questions.
RAPID RE-HOUSING ASSISTANCE
  • For individuals and families who become homeless because of an unexpected life experience, such as a job loss, domestic violence or medical crisis.
  • Provides funding to nonprofit or for-profit service providers to assist homeless veterans with rental payments, move-in costs and security deposits.
  • Service providers also may use the funding for supportive services, such as case management.
FEDERAL VASH HOUSING VOUCHERS
  • Distributes 300 rental housing vouchers from the federal Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program.
  • Vouchers provide rental assistance to honorably discharged veterans experiencing chronic homelessness with a disability.
VOUCHERS WITH SUPPORTIVE SERVICES
  • Combines housing for homeless veterans with supportive services, such as mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, job training skills and health services.
  • Housing vouchers will be awarded to nonprofit or for-profit organizations – chosen through a competitive bidding process – to provide rental assistance to homeless veterans to help pay for their housing.
  • Supportive services would be paid for by the SDHC.