Morning report: Housing Commission under pressure to explain conditions in city hotels

Hotel Kearny Vista / Photo by Megan Wood

Almost a year after the city rushed to buy two Residence Inn hotels to house a particularly vulnerable group of San Diego homeless people, city leaders are examining the challenges the two projects have faced since hundreds people have moved in.

Our Lisa Halverstadt and Andrew Keatts reveal in a new story that Mayor Todd Gloria, City Council members and Housing Commissioners have raised questions after learning of a series of deaths at the Kearny Mesa and Mission Valley hotels.

A housing commissioner said he was also taken aback by the news that Father Joe’s Villages, the supplier who oversaw the Kearny Mesa hotel, was preparing to abandon the hotel contract in the weeks to come. to come for reasons which, according to him, are not related to the challenges of the site.

Meanwhile, several hotel residents who spoke with VOSD gave mixed reviews, with some describing their experience in glowing terms while others described struggling to get the support they expected.

Providers find it difficult to hire people and get them to work on sites: Concerns emerge as negotiations continue in a now county-led process with People Assisting the Homeless, the provider now serving residents of the Mission Valley hotel, and another is expected to take over the Kearny Mesa contract over the course of his second year.

Several experts told Voice of San Diego that the deaths, while tragic, are to be expected as the population grapples with so many health issues. These are permanent supervised housing projects, apartments with services and amenities intended to support people who previously lived on the streets for years.

Happening today: Housing commissioners are expected to get an update on hotels in a 9 a.m. meeting.

Non-profit urges action on winter shelter beds

The non-profit Lucky Duck Foundation, backed by nearly 20 local businesses, on Thursday urged regional leaders to quickly plan to add winter shelter beds as homelessness becomes more visible across the county.

“The question we always ask is, are we really going to San Diego County to let people die on the streets for lack of action? Dan Shea of ​​the Lucky Duck Foundation said at a press conference Thursday.

Shea said the foundation would consider letting the city or county of San Diego use the structure to serve the homeless in San Diego during the winter.

Last week, Halverstadt announced that the city of Chula Vista will not use the spring structure the association lent the town of South Bay free of charge last year, which means it is now available for other uses.

The foundation also announced that it will donate at least 2,000 winter coats that can also be used as sleeping bags for homeless homeless people in San Diego.

Hygiene measures: On Thursday, Nathan Fletcher, Chairman of the County Oversight Board, and Mayor Todd Gloria announcement the city and county are temporarily deploying handwashing stations and portable toilets in areas where many homeless people in San Diegan are staying, among others, in an attempt to stem an epidemic of shigellosis that has affected the population of sans – shelter from the city. Fletcher’s office said seven homeless residents have been hospitalized with a highly contagious intestinal infection that can be spread through contaminated food and water and sometimes person-to-person.

The tease that’s the Midway District re-revision

Render of the Midway neighborhood from the Midway village
Redevelopment rendering of the Midway district of Midway Village

One developer, in his bid to win city council over the redevelopment of San Diego’s rough and tumble Midway neighborhood, has been told and hasn’t shown up since he ttalked about his plans with the Union Tribune earlier this week. Brookfield Properties. had to return to the drawing board after an earlier version of their offer was turned down for lack of affordable housing. No flashy and idealistic models of the region yet.

Now another is all show and no tell as evidenced by one tweet of a new rendering of Midway Village, the rebranded Midway Sports & Entertainment District, Thursday. This image is a teaser for a Sunday event where Midway Village intends to ditch the dress, so to speak, and check out the rest. It’s the first glimpse of a revised future for the Midway neighborhood which hasn’t seen much love from redevelopment in its many years of history.

Developers have a 60-day window to submit their proposals to the city, which closes in early December, said Dike Anyiwo, vice president of the Midway Pacific Highway Community Planning Group. This is followed by an additional three months of negotiation with city development staff before city council decides on the final plan.

The neighborhood group cannot take an official position on any developer, he said. Individual members can give their opinion. But Anyiwo will be looking for plans that take into account that the Midway District is expected to experience constant flooding over the next decades, especially during storm surges, whether estimates of sea level rise caused by climate change hold true.

“I think we need to be aware of the fact… that the entire Midway District is expected to be under the sea for the next 50 years or so, assuming there is no mitigation,” Anyiwo said. “It’s important to treat stormwater (in these plans). ”

In other news

  • The infamous “Footnote 15,” a relic of the doomed 101 Ash Street deal we devoured in an old political report, resurfaced in a full version of the memo published by La Prensa San Diego and described in a new Union-Tribune story. City attorney Mara Elliott responded to Glomar’s “response to quasi-development”, neither confirming nor denying the authenticity of that memo to the Union Tribune.
  • Leaders of a panel of citizen volunteers overseeing the San Diego County Sheriff and the Probation Department are calling for a number of changes that would enhance transparency. The Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board wants the sheriff to authorize one of its members at the scene of death and in pre-sealed autopsy reports for deaths in custody, for example. If passed with the board of supervisors and the sheriff’s agreement, the panel’s reforms are among the biggest changes in citizen oversight in the department in three decades. (Union Tribune)
      • While we have you here, current Sheriff Bill Gore has announced that he will not be running for a third term. We will be holding a debate between the two candidates for Gore’s succession during Polifest which begins on Monday. You can register here for Thursday’s Sheriff’s Debate hosted by Voice of San Diego editor-in-chief Scott Lewis, and more.
  • The editor of the San Diego Official Journal, in light of recent declines in daily circulation of the physical product, said he envision a future where the newspaper only prints a Sunday newspaper, putting all its news online. But he wouldn’t say when. (San Diego time)
  • The new company selected to provide ambulance service to San Diego thensured a smooth transition due to a recent hiring surge who apparently provided sufficient paramedics and emergency medical technicians. The city’s fire chief feared Falck USA would run out of dozens of positions before the supplier took over on November 27. (Union Tribune)
  • The winds of Santa Ana provide high heat and low humidity this could create “near critical” wildfire conditions for San Diego on Thursday. (Union Tribune)

This morning report was written by Andrew Keatts, MacKenzie Elmer and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Scott Lewis.

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Kevin T. McElroy

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