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Higher property tax proposal would fund housing for the homeless

Homeowners would add $19 to every $100,000 of assessed value.   
Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

A proposed ballot that would provide $900 million for affordable housing was advanced by a San Diego City Council committee on Wednesday. This would mean an increase to homeowners in their property taxes.

City Attorney Mara Elliot was appointed to draw up the measure which would fund 5,000 to 10,000 housing units to include permanent supportive housing for the homeless, units for seniors and veterans at risk of becoming homeless, and homes for low-income families according to Fox 5 News.

San Diego Housing Federation wants the voters to decide. They claim the cost to homeowners would add $19 to every $100,000 of assessed value.   

The only vote against the proposal came from Councilman Mark Kersey.

Executive director of the Housing Federation, Stephen Russell says San Diego is behind the times because it lacks this type of program.

“This would be a very significant step toward addressing homelessness,” he said. “There’s a very strong appetite among voters out there to do something about this problem.”

Tom Theisen, former board president of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless said the homeless population in San Diego is its biggest difficulty. 

“I would go as far as to say we will never be able to address the homeless crisis in this community unless we find a way to create affordable housing (for) the 3,000 to 4,000 people living on our streets,” he said.

Elliot will work with the mayor’s office and city department heads to draft up a proposal which will head back to the Rules Committee for review. If they approve, the council may vote to put it on the November ballot.