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County Supervisors to Lobby for SD Homeless Funding

County Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts want to change the funding formula that disadvantages San Diego in the receiving line for federal money for homeless services. They'll ask their colleagues to vote on a proposal to lobby for the change on Tuesday.

San Diego had the third-highest homeless population among major U.S. cities nationwide in 2012, yet was eligible for, less funding than 17 other cities.

The county proposal would direct county staff to lobby the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development "to revise the outdated formula and allow the San Diego region to receive our fair share of these federal dollars."

The supervisors' proposal joins a chorus of San Diego representatives seeking a change in the federal funding:

* In our initial article, Reps. Susan Davis, Scott Peters and Juan Vargas said they'll investigate why HUD's funding rules disadvantage San Diego.

"There is a significant discrepancy between the needs of San Diego's homeless population and the assistance provided by the federal government," Davis said.

* Two L.A.-area congressional representatives rallied 19 of their colleagues last year in a letter to HUD along similar lines:

"[T]he programs are not distributed across the country based on need or predictors of homelessness. The mismatch between resources and need is preventing this nation from more efficiently ending homelessness."

* After our story came out, Mayor Bob Filner said he will work with the congressional representatives to lobby for a change in the funding:

"When the statistics are so clear as these, there's something wrong," Filner said.

In their letter, Cox and Roberts acknowledge Filner's push. "Working jointly, the city and county may be more effective in bringing more housing dollars to the region," the supervisors write.

I'm Kelly Bennett, reporter for Voice of San Diego. You can reach me directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531.

Follow @kellyrbennett

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