SD Housing Federation Recommends Yes on Props 1 and 2
By Mario A. Cortez
Worsened by a shortfall of approximately 143,000 affordable homes, increasing rent prices, and a lack of resources to handle its causes, San Diego’s homelessness situation is said by some to have gotten out of control.
With two items in the midterm ballot, Proposition 1 and Proposition 2, addressing some of the underlying causes of homelessness and issues affecting individuals experiencing a lack of permanent housing, local nonprofits and government agencies have expressed their support for these items.
Laura Nunn of the San Diego Housing Federation spoke with La Prensa San Diego about these two propositions and how they can synergize with local efforts to treat and handle homelessness.
“So Proposition 1 is the Veterans and Affordable Housing Act and it would provide $4 billion statewide for veteran home ownership and to existing affordable ownership program that have a record of success,” Nunn explained. “And Proposition 2 would repurpose existing taxes under the mental health services act to allow for $2 billion dollars to be used for permanent and support housing for folks living with mental illness so they can have a place to live and get the wraparound services they need to address their mental health services.”
More specifically, Proposition 1 would allocate $1 billion for the CalVet Home Loan Program so veterans can afford homes, $1.5 billion for the Multifamily Housing Program to provide loans for maintenance of rental homes, $600 million for transit-oriented development, loans for low income families, and infrastructure infill for housing developments, among other projects.
“So should Prop 1 pass, that would provide the revenue necessary to make those developers able to pursue developments which would increase the supply of affordable homes and chip away at the needed 143k needed affordable homes in SD, as well as provide assistance to families,” Nunn detailed.
If approved, Proposition 2 would allow for funds taken from Proposition 63 — which taxes incomes above $1 million at a 1 percent rate — on $2 billion in bonds to provide housing for individuals facing a risk of homelessness due to mental health afflictions.
“The housing-first model has been generally accepted as the solution for people who are living with mental illnesses on the street because you can’t really treat your mental illness successfully if you do not have a home and a stable place to take your meds and rest or to sleep, so Prop 2 is really about getting people to address the needs of the homeless population and getting people off the street,” Nunn highlighted.