Apartments near the Oceanside Pier on Oct. 18, 2022.
Apartments near the Oceanside Pier on Oct. 18, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

A decision by Oceanside’s housing department to suspend a program for low-income families is raising eyebrows.

Oceanside city staff revealed at a recent Housing Commission meeting that they suspended the city’s Family Self-Sufficiency program. Commissioners and City Council members are now asking why they weren’t part of that discussion.

How it works: Family Self-Sufficiency is a savings incentive program for families that are already receiving rental assistance like Section 8 vouchers.

When families opt into the program, they enter a five-year contract with Oceanside’s housing authority where they receive case management and help to achieve a higher income.

Normally, as their income increases, so would their portion of the rent. With Family Self-Sufficiency, the difference of the rent the family pays when entering the program and the increased rent that would be charged as the family’s income increases is put into a savings account that the family can access after the contract ends.

The program is underutilized nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, but is widely considered a successful program, leading the Oceanside Housing Commission to ask why it was suspended.

Read the full story here. 

Border Report: Advocates Want Greater Access to Friendship Park. Not Less.  

People praying at Friendship Park in February 2023. / Photo by Sandra Dibble for Voice of San Diego

Longtime supporters of Friendship Park remain adamantly opposed to the government’s proposal to replace a barrier along the border out of concern that it would limit access to the location. 

Voice of San Diego contributor Sandra Dibble writes that advocates have stepped up protest efforts in recent weeks.

Advocates want the park to offer more access, she writes, “members say the new fencing would only further devastate a unique spot at the U.S.-Mexico border — one they argue should be preserved as an important meeting place for people on both sides, and a symbol of friendship between the United States and Mexico.” 

U.S. Border Patrol announced last month that it had modified an original proposal to accommodate demands from the community. They said the new plan will allow for the reopening of the park. But advocates are still opposed to the design. 

Read the full Border Report here.                                                                               

In Other News 

  • A formerly homeless San Diegan opened up about his journey with homelessness in a new commentary for Voice. As Anthony Bielek writes, his journey started in 1990 and it took several attempts and organizations to help him get to where he is today. Read his commentary here. 
  • The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego says it may have to file for bankruptcy because of  hundreds of lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by the clergy over the past 75 years. Representatives of the 400 plaintiffs who filed the lawsuits say the diocese has enough assets to pay the settlements, and that this is a tactic by the clergy to try to lessen its liability. (Union-Tribune)
  • More Mexicans are dying along the U.S.-Mexico border in their attempt to reach San Diego from Tijuana than previous years, according to new data from the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. Inewsource reports that 46 Mexican Nationals died crossing the border from October 2021 to September 2022 – that’s up from 34 the previous year and 11 in the year before that. (Inewsource)                                                      
  • Cold temperatures, high winds and rain is expected for San Diego County this week, with a storm coming in early Valentine’s Day followed by cold temperatures Wednesday and Thursday. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Tigist Layne and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña.

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