CITY HALL: Council votes for $10M homeless grant

(CNS) – The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to
commit more than $10 million in anticipated federal grant money to fund
homeless programs, along with public service, capital improvement and community
economic development projects in the upcoming fiscal year.

City officials expected annual funding from the U.S. Department of
Housing and Development through the Community Block Development Grant Program
would be 5 percent less than the amount allocated during the 2013 fiscal year
because of sequestration-related cuts, although the amount of actual funding
will not be known until early April.

Council President Todd Gloria said he believed the reductions to the
program designed to help alleviate the needs in low- and moderate-income areas
were not the last to come, and the council through its committees should come
up with ways to handle future potential cuts.

“We have to do a far better job of advocating with our representatives
back in Washington, D.C. — our president and our Congress — to explain to
them why this program should not be subject to meat cutter, sort of across-the-
board not surgical cuts, because it's really harming people,” Gloria said.

Amy Gowan of the city's Economic Development Department said including
the 5 percent reduction, the amount city officials expected would be about
$10.1 million, and to that would be added funds from the former redevelopment
agencies' repayments. About $14.6 million would be available for programs and
services in fiscal year 2014, she said.

About $2.1 million of those funds would go toward public services, with
$1.3 million set aside to fund the city's homeless programs run by the San
Diego Housing Commission, including the Veterans Winter Shelter and Cortez Hill
Family Shelter. The remainder would be split between seven public service
projects, with a program to provide legal services to immigrant victims of
domestic violence at the top of the list.

The other $9.3 million was allotted for 26 capital improvement and
economic development projects, including upgrading the Villa Montezuma museum
and renovating the Joan Kroc Center.

Gowan said two ad hoc committees scored 69 of the 78 applications for
funding the city received, and all but one of the others were withdrawn.

Councilwoman Marti Emerald said the city's priorities in allocating the
funds were addressing homelessness, working to create jobs and feeding the

The city plans to release a draft annual action plan, required to be
approved for funding, next week for a 30-day public comment period. The council
is scheduled to give final approval of the plan in late April or early May,
city officials said.

Categories: KUSI