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530 households affected by the January flooding are still in hotels

As of Monday, San Diego County said its Emergency Temporary Lodging program was housing 1,686 people in one of 65 hotels throughout the county. The program, created in response to the Jan. 22 flooding, has housed nearly 900 households since it began operating on Feb. 12. It is set to end on June 21.

Michael Rios is staying at a Best Western in National City. He works as a janitor for UC San Diego. He said he lost everything when his apartment flooded. He has lived in a shelter, on a friend's couch and at five different hotels in the last four months. He said the stress of just not knowing where he is going has taken a toll.

His renters insurance claim was denied, he said and his apartment has still not been repaired.


The owner of the property, J & J National LLC told KPBS they planed to renovate and allow previous tenants to move back in, but they do not have a timeline.

Jeff Toney, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Services, said the county is working with the San Diego Housing Commission and the National City Housing Authority to get the remaining flood victims into more permanent housing before the program is set to end on June 21.

Rios said he’s been searching for rooms to rent but doesn’t have a place to go yet. He said the housing commission told him the waitlist for a federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher is 12 to 15 years.