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City leaders, San Diego Housing Commission push to transform hotels into housing for homeless

The city said the transformation would allow for 332 units to become housing for people experiencing homelessness.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — City leaders and the San Diego Housing Commission are looking for approval to purchase both the Residence Inn on Kearny Mesa Road and the one on Hotel Circle in Mission Valley to increase housing for people experiencing homelessness in San Diego county, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Council President Georgette Gómez, Councilmember Chris Ward and San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) President and CEO Richard C. Gentry held a media conference to reiterate the need and benefits of a switch that they said would require minimal work to be move-in ready and would provide housing for more than 400 people in total.

“Once inside we will connect homeless individuals to services and case managers that can help them stabilize their lives and will pair them with a housing navigator to find them a permanent home,” Faulconer said.

The city said the transformation would allow for 332 units to become housing for people experiencing homelessness. Many of the residents would be those currently housed at the San Diego Convention Center which was opened as a temporary shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The council will also be asked to approve agreements between the housing commission and Father Joe's Villages and PATH San Diego. Those organizations would provide on-site support services.

Both the president of the housing commission and the mayor said there is a critical need for action to quickly help people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The proposed purchase of both hotels will also be presented to the San Diego City Council for consideration Tuesday, Oct. 13. The public is allowed to attend.