HUD opens public comment period on changing homeless funding

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The lack of federal dollars for San Diego’s homeless population has been a huge issued for a long time.

San Diego has one of the largest concentrations of homeless people, but why is it so hard to get funding?

The latest figures to address the inequity are from 2014. San Diego ranked fifth in the country for our homeless population.

Yet, we were 23rd in terms of federal funding to address the issue.

As we reported last October, when House Secretary Julian Castro toured an old San Diego Hotel that was being transformed into affordable housing for homeless veterans and at-risk youth, the Housing and Urban Development Department’s formula for what cities get in federal dollars is terrible antiquated.

And that has echoed Wednesday when Congressman Scott Peters and the region’s leaders gathered at Father Joe’s Villages.

The reason for the gathering, put together by Congressman Peters, was positive, to point out that Secretary Castro has finally fulfilled the commitment he made here last year to open a public comment period on the formula, the first step in getting it changed.

What’s more Secretary Castro has put forth four options involving a change. The leaders, while emphasizing the public can certainly weigh in, are in the process of putting together a coordinated effort to see that the San Diego region finally gets its fair share, because after missing out on millions of dollars, they say ending at least a good portion of our homeless problem is still a realistic goal.

City Councilmember Todd Gloria chairs the local Continuum of Care.

"I’m actually hopeful they will consider our success. We do have programs that work and that needs to be a reminder, as opposed to programs that don’t work or that don’t share their results with the government," Councilmember Gloria said.

The comment period ends September 23. Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess when a change would kick in. 

But here, the emphasis was on that it’s being considered and needs to be addressed.

Categories: Local San Diego News