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Mission Hills: Proposed housing at the old library site met with resistance

The permanent supportive housing project, which would include 28 units, is being opposed by the Mission Hills Business Improvement District.

Dozens of Mission Hills community members on Tuesday gathered at the new Mission Hills library to discuss Mayor Faulconer’s proposal to create eight permanent supportive housing complexes that would provide 200 units in total for homeless in transition.

There are eight proposed permanent supportive housing properties all over San Diego expect in Council District 1 – which covers La Jolla, District 4 – which covers the Encanto area and District 6 – which covers the Mira Mesa area.

One of the proposed sites is the former Mission Hills library, but the Mission Hills Business Improvement District is opposing the project because it would be located at the western entrance to Mission Hills, which they consider the commercial core of the community.

Parents are also opposing the Permanent Supporting Housing (PSH). 

"I can't tell you how many people are passed out. I have an offender, Billy Ray Anders, masturbating in public [and] kids walk right passed him every day," said a resident opposing the project.  

Those in favor of the project said the type of housing being proposed by Mayor Faulconer and Councilmember Chris Ward are necessary to address the humanitarian crisis facing the city. 

The City of San Diego reported 1,400 homeless.

The mayor's proposed 28 units at the site of the former Mission Hills library would mirror the Alpha Lofts housing in Normal Heights, which also addresses homelessness. 

"It is the intensive housing model that has county or other social services onsite to help people that have very serious and systemic needs," said Councilman Chris Ward. 

Ellis Rose was homeless but currently lives in PSH. 

"We get to be normal and we get to be neighbors. I thought people would be acting out, but they are good neighbors," she said about her experience. 

Those who are opposed to the project said they rather see the former library space turned into shops and parking for firefighters. 

A mayor's representative did not attend the meeting, but the community's concerns will be shared with his office before he sends a request for proposal. 

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