San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer's big and bold plan to attack homelessness in the city is raising questions about its similarities with a plan put forth by the San Diego Housing Commission months ago.
“Over the next three years, the commission will spend roughly $80 million on several vital programs all aimed at reducing homeless in our city and our region,” Faulconer announced on July 5.
That was three months after a proposal from the housing commission.
Dubbed the Housing First Initiative, the plan has six key points: give landlord incentives to assist in housing homeless, build new permanent supportive housing, assist homeless households to get and keep permanent housing, provide rental assistance, reduce the inflow of newly homeless, and expand support and coordination of existing street outreach efforts.
A spokesperson for the San Diego Housing Commission told NBC7 it's the exact same plan they put forth months ago, except for the Homeless Prevention and Diversion Services. The City Council kicked in an extra $1 million in this latest version.
Instead of helping more than 1,000 people, they'll be able to assist more than 1,400.
In the last three months, the mayor has been criticized for his handling of the homelessness crisis in San Diego. Even outside proposals have trickled in from the business community.
“Everybody says it's about the money to a degree, but it's about things more important than the money," Dan Shea said on June 29. "It's about leadership and it's about the organization of those resources.”
So if many stake holders are calling these plans pretty much the same, then why was this initiative announced this July, after so much criticism?
The Mayor's office told NBC 7 in a statement that "The 'HOUSING FIRST SAN DIEGO' plan ... was unanimously approved by the City Council in May and went into effect July 1.”
The Mayor’s office also says July 5 was the first time it publicized the plan, even though there are some write-ups on the Housing Commission’s original proposal in March.
The Housing commission told NBC7 its fiscal budget did not start until July 1, which is why it made sense to make the announcement July 5.