Close Icon

October 13, 2020

Hotel Purchases Unanimously Approved to Provide Housing for Hundreds of San Diegans Experiencing Homelessness

City Council Also Approves Contracts for On-Site Supportive Services to Help Residents Remain Stable

SAN DIEGO, CA – The purchase of two hotels to provide more than 330 affordable rental housing units that can accommodate as many as 400 people experiencing homelessness received unanimous approval today from the San Diego City Council.

“The San Diego region – our City, our County, the Housing Commission, the Regional Task Force on the Homeless, and so many others – have worked strategically and in lockstep throughout this entire pandemic to help house San Diegans experiencing homelessness,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “By converting these hotels into housing and continuing to navigate folks into other types of long-term housing, San Diego will continue to be a statewide model as we focus on proven solutions that have reduced homelessness in our community.”

The San Diego Housing Commission’s (SDHC) purchase of Residence Inn on Hotel Circle and Residence Inn in Kearny Mesa advance the goal of providing permanent housing with supportive services for hundreds of San Diegans experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Allowing people to live unsafely on the streets is not OK. Today, the Council took a huge leap forward by creating 332 new apartments with supportive services for more than 400 of our unsheltered neighbors. Everyone has a right to live in their own home with dignity and hope for the future. There is much more work to do, but we are on the right path,” said City Council President Georgette Gómez.

“I applaud Council’s decision to approve the purchase of two hotel properties, and around 330 affordable rental units, as part of the state’s Project Homekey program,” said Councilmember Chris Ward, the immediate past Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. “This action is a testament to San Diego’s commitment to best practices and the safety of our most vulnerable neighbors. Also, the procurement of these two properties is another step forward in developing a homelessness system that is person-centered and focused on creating housing opportunities that are affordable for all San Diegans.”

These two hotels were identified after a process that the City of San Diego and SDHC began in March, which involved the review of 29 properties. Combined, the two Residence Inns will provide 332 affordable rental housing units. SDHC has committed federal rental housing vouchers to help the residents of these units pay their rent.

“With the purchase of these hotels, we are creating permanent affordable homes to provide a path out of shelters and off the streets for San Diegans experiencing homelessness,” said Richard C. Gentry, SDHC President & CEO. “I commend the Mayor, City Council and San Diego Housing Commission Board for their actions to make this game-changing opportunity a reality.”

Included in today’s approvals were agreements to provide residents at these properties on-site supportive services from experienced service providers, Father Joe’s Villages for the Kearny Mesa property and People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) for the Hotel Circle property. Services include mental and behavioral health services, healthcare services, substance use services, case management, life skills training, education services, employment assistance and more.

SDHC’s agreements with Father Joe’s Villages and PATH require 24-hour site control, including appropriate levels of security and monitoring to ensure a safe environment, as well as a “good neighbor” plan that includes community engagement with strategies to build positive relationships with the surrounding community.

The units at these hotels will require minimal work to be made available for move-in. The Hotel Circle property was built in 2003; the Kearny Mesa property was built in 1990 and underwent a renovation in 2013. The furnishings at the properties are in good condition and are included with the purchase. The units are expected to be available by Dec. 31, 2020.

Funding for the purchase of these hotels includes $37.7 million from the State of California’s Project Homekey program. The State awarded these funds in response to San Diego’s application in a competitive, first come, first served process. The Homekey program requires that funds be expended by Dec. 30, 2020.

City of San Diego Emergency Solutions Grant and Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP) funds will cover the cost of supportive services in the first year. Funding from the County of San Diego for essential on-site supportive services approved by the County Board of Supervisors at the request of Supervisor Nathan Fletcher in August is expected to apply in future years.

Residents of the properties would include individuals currently staying at Operation Shelter to Home at the San Diego Convention Center, which opened on April 1 as a temporary shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic and serves about 1,000 individuals per day. Operation Shelter to Home is a collaborative effort between the City, SDHC, County, Regional Task Force on the Homeless (RTFH), San Diego Convention Center and homeless service providers.

Operation Shelter to Home has helped more than 700 individuals obtain permanent and longer-term housing, with hundreds more matched to housing resources like vouchers or other rental subsidies.

SDHC’s purchase of the properties supports the goals of the City of San Diego Community Action Plan on Homelessness, which the City Council adopted in October 2019. The plan identifies near-term and 10-year goals, including the critical need to increase permanent supportive housing by 2,659 units for individuals experiencing homelessness within a decade, with 60 percent of those units (1,595) to be developed within the first four years.


Media Contacts:

Ashley Bailey, Deputy Director of Communications & Director of Digital Media

Office of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer



Scott Marshall, Vice President of Communications

San Diego Housing Commission


Let's get you there…

I am looking for…