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The San Diego City Council (City Council) unanimously approved funding for The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative, a collaborative effort of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and the City of San Diego (City) to provide a path off the streets for up to a thousand homeless military Veterans in the city of San Diego within a year (Read the news release).
The City Council voted on Tuesday, March 1, to authorize SDHC to direct up to $4 million in City funds resulting from the ground lease of San Diego Square apartments in Downtown San Diego and up to $3 million from SDHC’s pending sale of Hotel Metro in the East Village neighborhood toward The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative (Read the board report).
The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative will invest close to $12.5 million over two years in Federal, City, and SDHC resources to provide housing opportunities for homeless Veterans in the city who are living on the streets or in shelters.
The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative's four program components are:
A 26-year Navy Veteran who rents apartments to formerly homeless Veterans urged his fellow landlords in the city of San Diego to “do the patriotic thing” through similar rentals, as part of The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative, a collaborative effort of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) and the City of San Diego, which will provide housing opportunities for up to a thousand homeless military Veterans in the city over the next year (Watch the video).
Standing in front of the 20-unit apartment complex in Sherman Heights that he owns and rents to homeless Veterans, Chris Blatt (pictured above) joined city leaders, including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Councilmember Todd Gloria, and SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry, at a news conference on February 3, 2016, to kick off the initiative’s landlord-outreach campaign, “Housing Our Heroes” (Read the news release).
The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s landmark three-year Homelessness Action Plan, uses the Housing First model – to provide homeless individuals with housing as quickly as possible, with supportive services as needed.
Homeless Veterans Assisted: All homeless Veterans
Landlords who rent their units to homeless Veterans are important partners in The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative. A low rental vacancy rate (currently 2.8 percent in the city, according to the San Diego County Apartment Association) and tight competition for affordable and market-rate apartments make it difficult for homeless Veterans to obtain rental housing.
There are a number of incentives for landlords with rental properties in the city of San Diego (ZIP code 92037 and ZIP codes that begin with 921, excluding 92118) who wish to rent to homeless Veterans under the “Housing our Heroes” campaign:
The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative of SDHC's HOUSING FIRST - SAN DIEGO Homelessness Action Plan follows the Housing First model - to provide housing as quickly as possible, with supportive services as needed.
In addition to Landlord Outreach – “Housing Our Heroes,” the other three critical program components of The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative are:
Homeless Veterans Assisted: Up to 600 homeless Veterans will be provided housing opportunities with supportive services. Veterans need not have honorable discharge to be eligible.
Program provides: Rental payments to Veterans and their families who become homeless because of an unexpected life experience, such as a job loss, domestic violence, or medical crisis. The program will cover up-front move-in costs, such as security deposits and utility deposits. The funds will also be used to provide supportive services, such as case management and client outreach. Rapid Re-housing funds are awarded to nonprofit or for-profit organizations who apply for these funds through a competitive Notice of Funding Availability. These funds are paid directly to the landlord. Budget: $1,967,250
Homeless Veterans Assisted: 300 chronically homeless Veterans with an honorable discharge and a disabling condition who need supportive services and who qualify for the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) voucher program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Program provides: Rental housing vouchers from the HUD VASH voucher program, which provides rental assistance administered by SDHC and supportive services through the VA San Diego Healthcare System. To help homeless Veterans find an apartment, SDHC obtained a waiver from HUD that allows for a 20 percent higher rent payment amount for a VASH Voucher, effective February 1, 2016. Budget: $2,685,600
Homeless Veterans Assisted: 100 homeless Veterans who are not eligible for the Federal VASH Vouchers.
Program provides: Housing for homeless Veterans with supportive services, such as mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment programs, job training skills and health services. SDHC will award Federal HUD Sponsor-Based Housing Vouchers to nonprofit or for-profit organizations – chosen through a competitive process – to provide rental assistance to homeless Veterans to help pay for their housing. SDHC will also help pay for the supportive services. Budget: $3,410,800
All participants of The 1,000 Homeless Veterans Initiative must be referred by SDHC partner agencies or organizations that provide supportive services to homeless San Diegans.
It is important that homeless Veterans add their names to a database that assesses their housing needs and vulnerability, which will help identify those who are most in need. Agencies that will be able to add homeless Veterans to this Coordinated Assessment database, and are located in the downtown area, are Neil Good Day Center and The Joan Kroc Center at Father Joe's Villages.
Funding Sources: A grant from the City of San Diego resulting from the ground lease of San Diego Square; proceeds from the pending sale of Hotel Metro; HUD VASH Voucher Administration Fees; HUD Extraordinary Administrative Fees for VASH Vouchers; HUD VASH Rental Assistance; and HUD Sponsor-Based Housing Voucher Rental Assistance.
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) - Release Date: March 2, 2016(To View on Onvia DemandStar, click here)
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