The county’s Housing Authority approved the use of $100,000 of its Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Fee Reserve revenue to provide temporary housing for homeless individuals and families in the unincorporated county during weather events, which can be life threatening to unsheltered citizens.
The board of the San Diego County Housing Authority consists of the five members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and two tenants.
The Housing Authority voted 7-0 January 27 to provide the funding the county intends to use for a hotel/motel voucher program.
“We want to come up with creative ideas,” Supervisor Dave Roberts said.
“I think this is a step in the right direction,” he added.
The area’s Regional Task Force on the Homeless conducts periodic point-in-time counts on an early morning to determine the total number of homeless in the region.
The 2015 point-in-time count determined 4,156 unsheltered men, women, and children throughout the region including 214 individuals in the unincorporated area of the county.
“These men and women are especially vulnerable to the weather and natural disasters, so we pledged $100,000 in Federal housing funds towards vouchers that will allow the homeless of North and East County to find temporary shelter during especially dangerous weather,” Supervisor Bill Horn said.
The El Niño weather predictions may expose unsheltered individuals and families to hypothermia, frostbite, or other life-threatening conditions caused by weather.
The county and other partner agencies have been developing a regional coordinated response to provide temporary housing for the unsheltered during dangerous weather.
The county and each of the 18 incorporated cities in San Diego County will have opportunities to provide resources within their respective jurisdictions.
The county’s Department of Housing and Community Development plans to create a hotel/motel voucher program to provide temporary shelter on an as-needed basis and work with a non-profit service provider, which would administer the program.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Fee funding to local governments.
Although the Federal Fiscal Year 2004 Appropriations Act restricted that funding to the Housing Choice Voucher program, more commonly known as Section 8, Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Fee funding provided prior to that legislation can be used for any legal housing purpose.
So the use of pre-2004 reserves for a temporary shelter program for the homeless is in compliance with the Federal conditions.