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Quality of Life

Proposed Ballot Measure Could Add 7,500 New Housing Units For Homeless, Veterans

New housing under construction in downtown San Diego on May 28, 2020.
Matthew Bowler
New housing under construction in downtown San Diego on May 28, 2020.

This November, San Diegans could be voting on a ballot measure that would approve 900-million dollars in spending on affordable housing.

The ballot measure would approve a bond that would pay for the construction of roughly 7,500 new affordable housing units. 2,800 of those units would be for the formerly homeless, while the rest would be for veterans and senior citizens.

Proposed Ballot Measure Could Add 7,500 New Housing Units For Homeless, Veterans
Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.

City Councilmember Chris Ward has been spearheading the effort in City Council to get the bond on November’s ballot. He said the pandemic has exposed the urgent need for the bond, despite the recent economic downturn.

“At a time when physical distancing and staying at home is required, to ensure public health, hundreds of San Diegans experiencing homelessness remain unsheltered, due to the high cost of living, stemming from our ongoing housing deficit,” Ward said during a virtual press conference on Thursday morning.

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Jo Barrett, a formerly homeless person and housing advocate, also spoke at today’s press conference. She works with the Homeless-Experienced Advocacy & Leadership Network.

“We know people are suffering. Through no-fault evictions, from huge rent increases, and from having to make impossible choices of having to pay for housing, healthcare, or even food,” Barrett said.

New statistics released by the California Housing Partnership show that over 142,000 low-income households in San Diego County don’t have access to affordable housing.

Advocates say the average homeowner in San Diego would pay $115 per year to fund the bond.

City Council is set to vote on whether to include the measure on November’s ballot, this Tuesday.