Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE
San Diego – With the goal of getting San Diego’s fair share in federal homeless dollars, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Councilmember Todd Gloria today praised the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for moving forward with its commitment to reopen the comment period this summer regarding the decades-old federal funding formula for homeless services and realign it to more accurately reflect the realities facing American cities today.
Mayor Faulconer has repeatedly advocated for this opportunity in meetings with HUD officials in Washington, D.C., and he and Councilmember Gloria discussed it directly with HUD Secretary Julián Castro during his visit to San Diego last fall. Mayor Faulconer is also collaborating with U.S. Representative Scott Peters who shared the news from his recent discussion with Secretary Castro that the comment period will ask stakeholders to provide comments on HUD’s proposed options to update the formula.
“Changing the funding formula could position San Diego to receive millions more federal dollars each year to help make more headway on addressing our city’s homeless challenges,” Mayor Faulconer said. “This is a major step in the right direction as we work together to transition homeless individuals and veterans off the street. Federal funding helps pay for programs and services that have proven effective in ending the cycle of homelessness and we want San Diego to get its fair share.”
The federal funding formula for homeless services hasn’t changed since the 1970s. The result is that San Diego is ranked 23rd in federal homeless funding received despite having the fifth-largest homeless population in the country.
“The City of San Diego has shown its commitment to results driven solutions to ending homelessness by adopting the housing first model, but we need the resources to be able to provide the housing and services necessary to reach our goal,” said Councilmember Gloria, Chair of the Regional Continuum of Care Council, which directs federal funding for the region’s homeless programs. “I commend Congressman Scott Peters for his extraordinary advocacy in making sure the formula for federal funds for homelessness programs gets San Diego its fair share and appreciate Secretary Castro’s leadership.”
San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) President & CEO Richard C. Gentry, who also sits on the RCCC board, said, “We are fortunate in San Diego to have an active voice among our elected officials locally and in Washington D.C., who have made it a priority to advocate for San Diego’s fair share of funding, which will help us rebuild the lives of homeless San Diegans.”
Besides pushing for a change in the formula, Mayor Faulconer has taken several significant actions to address homelessness, including:
• The City’s new year-round indoor housing program for adults: In partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and Father Joe’s Village, the 350-bed facility offers supportive services to homeless individual and veterans every single day of the year. The year-old program replaced the need to erect temporary outdoor tents in the winter – the City’s previous approach – and the successful transition of residents to longer-term housing has doubled compared to the tents.
• The “Housing Our Heroes” campaign: Earlier this year, Mayor Faulconer and the SDHC launched this call to action to help up to 1,000 homeless veterans transition off the streets over the next year. It includes $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.