City Readies Vote on Plan to Convert Hotels for Homeless; 332 Residences to Cost $321,000 Each

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Two San Diego hotels could soon become permanent housing -- with support services -- for the homeless.

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, along with City Councilmembers Georgette Gomez and Chris Ward, announced a plan on Monday to transform the Residence Inn Hotel Circle and Residence Inn Kearny Mesa into permanent homes for people looking to transition to the housing.

The purchase price for the hotels would be $106.5 million. The Hotel Circle site would be $67 million, while Kearny Mesa would cost $39.5 million. Those figures do not include closing or renovation costs, a housing official said. That breaks down to about $321,000 per residence

Approximately 400 people would live in the 332 residences, officials said. Each home would have a kitchenette, bedroom, bathroom and living room area.

On-site support services would be provided by Father Joe’s Villages and People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) in an agreement already worked out with the San Diego Housing Commission. PATH's projected costs for the first year would be $2.8 million; Father Joe's Villages would by $2.1 million.

A San Diego woman and her four children, who resorted to couch surfing and crowding into a friend's living room for five months till she got on her feet in the area, got an unbelievable gift this week.

"If there has been any silver lining during this pandemic, it has been some of the fantastic work that is happening right inside this building, getting people back on their feet, matching them with resources and getting them a place of their own," Faulconer said at a press conference on Monday morning outside the convention center, where as many as a 1,000 homeless people per day were given places to sleep and support services.

Homeless people living in city shelters, including the downtown convention center, which opened on April 1, would be eligible to move into the two sites. The efforts downtown were, at least in part, put into place "to prevent the spread of COVID-19," officials said about the facility. More than 650 people have been transitioned to permanent housing via the convention center, according to officials.

Ashley Bailey, San Diego's deputy director of communications and director of social media, told NBC 7 on Friday that funding for the convention center shelter will cost, through December, a total of $51.6 million, most of which was provided through the federal CARES Act, with contributions from city and regional governments as well.

City officials are trying to sunset the convention center housing solution by December.

The City Council will officially hear the proposal in its capacity as San Diego's Housing Authority on Tuesday.

NBC 7 contacted city officials for this story, who are working on a breakdown of contributions for the hotel purchases and any additional costs involved in the purchases of the Residence Inns.

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