Negotiations To Buy 10 Motels To House San Diego’s Homeless End
The San Diego Housing Commission voted unanimously Friday to end talks to buy 10 motels that would have permanently housed homeless people now sheltered at the convention center in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
City officials will continue exploring options to lease or purchase other motels for homeless people, a Housing Commission spokesman told inewsource after the vote. Mayor Kevin Faulconer proposed the idea of acquiring motels last month.
10 motels city considered buying
- Vantaggio Suites, 819 University Ave., Hillcrest
- Ramada Inn, 828-830 6th Ave., Downtown
- Days Inn, 5343 Adobe Falls Road, Grantville
- Quality Inn, 3878 Dalbergia Court, Southcrest
- E-Z 8 Motel, 4747 Pacific Highway, Old Town
- Wyndham Garden, 3737 Midway Drive, Midway District
- Days Inn & Suites, 3350 Rosecrans St., Midway District
- No name provided, 3330 Gaines St., Mission Valley
- Rodeway Inn, 5399 Adobe Falls Road, Grantville
- The Consulate Hotel, 2901 Nimitz Blvd., Point Loma
The commission’s action comes more than three weeks after inewsource found that six of the 10 motels being considered had a history of code enforcement complaints about bedbugs, cockroaches and mold. Four of the motels also had logged more than 100 calls to San Diego police since January 2018, including the E-Z 8 Motel on Pacific Highway with over 500.
Because the commission was considering real estate purchases, the board was allowed to meet behind closed doors on the negotiations. Housing Commission spokesman Scott Marshall said part of the board’s vote came down to due diligence.
The commission, he said in an email, “makes its decisions based on whether or not the potential acquisition of a property benefits the individuals the property will serve and is a prudent investment of taxpayer dollars.”
It has decided to end negotiations with these 10 properties, Marshall said, but “continues to explore opportunities to lease and/or purchase hotels in the City of San Diego to provide housing for San Diegans experiencing homelessness.”
While Faulconer has not said publicly how much he wants the city to spend buying and renovating motels for what the city calls “Operation Shelter to Home,” the Housing Commission has proposed in next year’s budget spending $19 million to acquire hotels for homeless San Diegans.
The mayor and other elected officials have pledged to secure permanent housing for every homeless person who has been moved into the convention center, which was converted in April to a homeless shelter.
The initial goal was to keep the coronavirus from spreading to those living in the city’s tent shelters and on the streets. Officials now see an opportunity to find permanent housing for some of San Diego’s estimated 4,887 homeless people.