Legislative Advocacy FY 2020

Federal

HEROES Act Emergency Rental Assistance – May 14, 2020

SDHC sent a Letter sent to San Diego’s Congressional delegation and California’s U.S. Senators urging their support for provisions of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, that would provide emergency rental assistance and additional funds to address homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional Federal Funding for Public Housing – April 8, 2020

SDHC submitted a letter to San Diego’s Congressional delegation and California’s U.S. Senators urging the appropriation of additional federal funding for public housing authorities to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and thanking them for their previous allocation of funds through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Congressional Testimony – March 10, 2020

SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry was invited to testify at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, for a hearing on pending legislation related to the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Voucher program.

In written testimony submitted to the subcommittee, Mr. Gentry discussed VASH voucher utilization challenges and proposed a San Diego demonstration program to address those issues.

Due COVID-19, SDHC discontinued business travel in advance of the hearing, which prevented Mr. Gentry from testifying in person.

HUD Secretary Visits San Diego – February 12, 2020

On February 12, 2020, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson visited San Diego as part of his “Driving Affordable Housing Across America” bus tour.

SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry joined Secretary Carson, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, Affirmed Housing President & CEO Jim Silverwood, and additional local and housing industry leaders for a roundtable discussion at the SDHC partnership developments Bluewater and The Stella.

The conversation included ways to reduce regulatory barriers to affordable housing and to address homelessness.

State

AB 2345 density bonus incentives – May 13, 2020

SDHC submitted a letter to the California State Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development in support of Assembly Bill 2345, which would encourage development of affordable housing units throughout the state by providing development incentives, many of which are currently available to residential developments constructed in the City of San Diego. The bill’s co-author, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, held a February 17, 2020, news conference about the legislation, which SDHC Chair of the Board Stefanie Benvenuto and SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry attended to show support.

Assemblymember Gonzalez Legislative NC Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez – Legislative News Conference – February 17, 2020

Governor’s Housing Staff Meeting – January 30, 2020

SDHC President & CEO Gentry met with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Deputy Legislative Secretary, Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary, and the Chief of the Housing, Homelessness and Civil Rights branch of the California Department of Social Services.

The meeting included a discussion of HOUSING FIRST – SAN DIEGO, SDHC’s homelessness action plan.

City of San Diego

Proposed Changes to Single-Room Occupancy Hotel Regulations – July 20, 2020

SDHC presented to the San Diego City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee proposals to amend the City of San Diego’s Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) Hotel Regulations.

A webinar streamed live through SDHC’s website was held on September 15, 2020, to discuss proposed changes with interested stakeholders and to share details about how the public can comment on the proposals before they are presented to the San Diego City Council.

SDHC administers the City of San Diego’s SRO Hotel Regulations.

The proposed changes are intended to: enhance administration of SRO hotels; improve relocation assistance for tenants; and Incentivize preservation; and offer alternate methods of compliance with the regulations.

‘Preserving Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego’ Publication – May 28, 2020

The San Diego City Council unanimously approved a new SDHC report that that analyzes rental housing in the City of San Diego and recommends 10 strategies to help keep thousands of rental housing units affordable for low-income families.

The San Diego City Council unanimously accepted the report, “Preserving Affordable Housing in the City of San Diego,” on June 2, 2020, and referred it to the Land Use and Housing Committee for further action.

On June 24, 2020, the Land Use and Housing Committee directed SDHC staff to return to the Committee in September 2020 with a recommended implementation strategy that included detailed policy options and best practices for three recommendations in the report.

SDHC presented implementation strategies for several recommendations to the Land Use and Housing Committee on September 17, 2020, and received direction to present the items to the City Council.

SDHC’s preservation report emerged from City Council President Georgette Gómez’s leadership in prioritizing affordable housing preservation as Chair of the City Council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee in 2018.

Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Updates Approved – December 9, 2019

The City Council approved update to the City of San Diego’s Inclusionary Housing ordinance, which requires new residential and mixed-use developments to include 10 percent of the on-site rental units as affordable housing for individuals with income up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income.

SDHC worked with the office of City Council President Georgette Gómez to facilitate meetings to obtain input from stakeholders and analyze the impacts of potential updates to ordiance.

Alternative compliance measures include the ability to pay a fee of $25 per square foot to support the development of affordable rental housing, development of inclusionary units off-site, rehabilitation of existing units, and land dedication.

These provisions will be phased in over five years, beginning on July 1, 2020.

SDHC administers the Inclusionary Housing Fund on behalf of the City of San Diego and monitors rental housing units to ensure compliance with the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance.