San Diego

City Councilmember Proposes New Ballot Measure to Combat Homeless Crisis

With more than 5,500 people living on the streets in San Diego—the majority in downtown—there is a new push to find a solution to the crisis.

San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez wants to use money from hotel taxes for a permanent housing solution.

A memo has been sent to City Council President Myrtle Cole from Alvarez, proposing a ballot measure committing hotel taxes for the next 20 years to go to services and permanent housing for homeless.

Alvarez stated every proposal brought forward, from industrial tents to campgrounds, have been largely ineffective.

The memo also addressed the ongoing Hepatitis A outbreak in the county.

"They seem to be doing what they can to clean up as much as they can. I think the problem with the homeless is far more complicated than cleaning the street with bleach. I think it's going to take a much more concerted effort than what they're currently doing," said Margaret Harding, longtime San Diego resident.

The money under Alvarez' proposal would be used for a permanent supportive housing program, mental health treatment, health care, drug and alcohol treatment, education and job training.

The proposal is still very much in its early stages and will be discussed and debated in the Rules Committee in January 2018.

Alvarez’ office told NBC 7, specific amounts from the hotel tax cannot be provided at this time until the proposal is evaluated by the Independent Budget Analyst.

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