Board of Education in University Heights on Oct. 24, 2022.
San Diego Unified offices in University Heights on Oct. 24, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Spurred by California’s high cost of housing, a number of statewide laws have passed in recent years to enable local education agencies – which can be either districts or county offices of education – to build employee housing on their land. Though Chula Vista recently passed a bond measure with funding to build employee housing, no district currently has any. But with Measure U, San Diego Unified’s latest bond proposal, the district aims to take the leap. It hopes doing so will help its efforts to recruit and retain workers. 

The plans in Measure U are far from concrete, but the district aims to build up to 500 units on land that currently houses its central office in University Heights once that office is relocated to a building in Kearny Mesa. And that’s not the only reshuffling project the district has in store. Once a planned rebuild of City Heights’ Central Elementary school takes place, which will also move the school adjacent to Wilson Middle, SDUSD plans to build housing on the vacated site.

Advocates, like Troy Flint, chief information officer of the California School Boards Association, say because of the scale of the program they expect the number of districts developing housing to only increase in the coming years.

“San Diego, Long Beach, LA, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose … I expect that most districts of that profile will either have developed or be in the fairly advanced stages of opening education workforce housing projects within the next decade.”

Read more about SDUSD’s housing push, and the forces animating it.

The Latest on City Homeless Shelter Offerings

Lucius Reeves, 70, outside the Salvation Army on Eighth Avenue in downtown on Sept. 2, 2022. / Photo by Peggy Peattie for Voice of San Diego

San Diego doesn’t have enough shelter beds to serve all the homeless San Diegans seeking them and there’s recently been an influx of asylum seekers flowing into some of the city’s shelters. Meanwhile, it’s getting colder – and that typically increases demand for shelter beds.

The city has said it plans to add nearly 250 more year-round beds this fall and a spokesman for Mayor Todd Gloria’s office said the city also expects to set up 26 seasonal beds in the old Central Library downtown next month.

Gloria spokesman Dave Rolland wrote in an email that the plan is to make the beds available at the old Central Library throughout the winter season. He said it’s unclear exactly when the long-vacant old library will become a shelter as the city’s still working to finalize a contract with a nonprofit to operate the temporary shelter.

Starting Nov. 1, the San Diego Housing Commission will also have about 85 shelter beds to make available under certain conditions, including when temperatures drop and rain is forecasted. 

The Housing Commission reports it has contracted with Father Joe’s Villages to provide roughly 55 beds and with the Living Water Church of the Nazarene in East Village to provide about 30 beds when those conditions are met. The San Diego Rescue Mission doesn’t have a formal contract with the city, but typically makes 10 beds available too.

A Housing Commission spokesman said the city and the housing agency are continuing to seek options to add more inclement weather beds.

The Latest on Migrants Staying in Shelters: Halverstadt appeared on KPBS’s Midday Edition to share the latest on what the city and shelter providers are doing to aid asylum seekers who have recently ended up in city homeless shelters.

What County Leaders Did On Tuesday

  • Supervisors also unanimously approved a framework to spend an expected $100 million in opioid settlement funds. The Union-Tribune previously broke down the county’s plan to address skyrocketing opioid overdoses.

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Jakob McWhinney, Lisa Halverstadt and Will Huntsberry. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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