Morning Report: The Big Homelessness Plan Has Dropped
For months, the city’s plan to address the homelessness crisis centered on … getting a group of consultants to write a plan on how to address the homelessness crisis.
The plan has finally arrived.
As Lisa Halverstadt writes, the plan concludes that the city will need thousands more supportive housing units and housing aid slots to better combat homelessness and move thousands of homeless San Diegans off the streets over the next decade.
The estimated tab for new housing resources detailed in the plan: $1.9 billion.
The plan also urges the city to try to reach three aggressive goals in the next three years: A 50 percent reduction in street homelessness and an end to homelessness among veterans and youth.
Now that the plan has arrived, Halverstadt writes, city leaders and voters will have to decide whether they are willing to foot the bill to execute it.
The plan also offers an answer to a long-running debate in the city. As Mayor Kevin Faulconer and others have rushed to add new shelter beds (an immediate but temporary solution), some advocates have argued that the city should focus on building housing instead (which takes longer but offers a permanent solution).
Power Shutoffs Could Be Coming
Roughly 30,000 San Diego Gas & Electric customers could have their power shut off beginning Thursday to help prevent wildfires caused by Santa Ana winds.
The utility released this map Tuesday, showing portions of the county that may be affected.
We reported in June that SDG&E has turned off the power for a total of three weeks during the past two years. The largest series of shutoffs happened last November, while the Camp Fire raged in Northern California and similarly dangerous conditions blanketed Southern California. More than 20,000 customers lost power for up to eight days.
The Los Angeles Times also reported Wednesday that the state’s largest power utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, began its first power cut offs affecting 513,000 customers just after midnight. In all, millions of customers in the state are expected to temporarily lose power.
If you’re wondering just how bad Santa Ana winds can be, we put together an explainer this time last year.
Pre-K Need Is Universal But Programs Still Aren’t
There’s a huge need for preschool care in San Diego and plenty of eligible parents. Space and money for those programs, not so much.
On this week’s episode of Good Schools for All, education reporter Will Huntsberry visited a preschool center that serves mostly low-income families in Chula Vista. He spoke with the director of the facility and its parent organization to learn more about how they serve families now and what they need to fill the gap for parents trying to access pre-K.
Housing Advocates Urge City Leaders to Reconsider Single-Family Zoning
A group of civil rights and affordable housing advocates rallied outside San Diego City Hall on Wednesday for higher-density housing in job-rich areas and the elimination of single-family zoning. They presented the City Council with a proposal that mirrors and revives SB 50, a piece of state legislation put on hold earlier this year, for the local level.
Its backers say they’ve put provisions in place to protect tenants in areas of single-family housing zones from displacement. That includes a ban on demolishing buildings that are currently or were recently occupied by renters.
It’s not clear whether any elected officials intend to take it up.
Ricardo Flores, a former City Council candidate and executive director of a nonprofit that finances affordable housing projects who’s leading the group, said the proposal should be welcomed by many lawmakers in the city, even with a mayoral election coming up.
“I can’t see why both Todd Gloria and Barbara Bry wouldn’t be in support of this,” he said. “They’re both from historic communities that have been kept out of neighborhoods.”
Elsewhere in San Diego: Gov. Gavin Newsom was in San Diego Wednesday, where he touted a series of bills he recently signed intended to boost the housing supply. One allows single-family homeowners in California the ability to build accessory dwelling units on their properties without as much red tape. Another, the U-T reported, gives the state attorney general power to force municipalities to create blueprints for housing production.
Newsom also signed a bill that creates an advisory committee to assist with the selection of a permanent suicide deterrent system for the Coronado Bridge. In June, the Coronado Times reported, the state allocated $5 million for the construction of a permanent physical barrier.
In Other News
- La Jolla philanthropist Denny Sanford is giving National University $350 million to expand its student population and lower tuition costs. (NBC 7)
- Test scores for students countywide crept up slightly over the last year, but achievement gaps remain. (Union-Tribune)
- Body camera footage shows an SDPD officer shooting at a mentally ill man who burst out of a room holding a shovel. (KPBS)
The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood, and edited by Sara Libby.