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Politics

Gloria focuses on housing, homelessness in 2023 State of City Address

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Jacob Aere
/
KPBS
A sign at the San Diego Civic Theater says that Mayor Todd Gloria will be delivering his 2023 state of the city address, Jan. 11, 2023.

Wednesday night’s speech at the San Diego Civic Theatre marked Mayor Todd Gloria’s first in-person State of the City address since taking office in late 2020.

He said his top priorities for 2023 and beyond are infrastructure, public safety, and, most importantly — housing affordability and homelessness.

“We all know where our failure to build more homes has gotten us: sky-high rents, homelessness, families moving out-of-state, bright people leaving us for lower-cost cities,” he said. “It causes many of our residents to not see a future for themselves here.”

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Gloria said right before the speech, he signed an executive order to expedite City approval of affordable housing projects.

Right now, the process takes upwards of six months. His order would cut that time to 30 days.

He said the housing affordability crisis directly ties into the city's struggles with a growing homeless population.

“The reality is, there are San Diegans who simply are not able to keep up with the rising cost of living.  It's clear that we must focus more attention on the upstream causes of homelessness to give people a better shot at remaining housed through tough times,” Gloria said.

In a written statement after the address, San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera said, “The Mayor and City Council are aligned in preventing homelessness.”

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Elo-Rivera praised Gloria’s initiative on expediting affordable housing centered around transit, and said he looks forward to working with Gloria on improving renter protections “to avoid unnecessary eviction.”

Elo-Rivera added, “By preventing homelessness we can build upon the significant work that’s been done to shelter and house those on the streets and begin to see meaningful progress on the City’s most pressing issue.”

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