The new point-in-time count numbers are in. The annual homeless census showed a record surge in homelessness, reaching its highest point in 12 years.
On the podcast this week, hosts Scott Lewis, Andrew Keatts and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña reviewed the new data and particularly distressing increases among the senior population and in chronic homelessness.
We also have a story this week about the old data: According to a report by our Will Huntsberry, before the 2023 figures came out, the regional census (while an imperfect system of measure) actually showed a 10-year decline. Meanwhile homelessness has become more visible, and tragic, than ever.
These stories all come ahead of a highly-anticipated vote next week that aims to transform homelessness in the city of San Diego, further enforcing San Diego’s ban on street camping while pushing residents toward shelters and safe camping sites.
Our Lisa Halverstadt has done extensive reporting on that proposed ordinance — who it could affect, where it would pinch residents and what it could mean. Read all about it here.
Water Politics Is Boiling
Two north county communities want to leave the San Diego County Water Authority. It’s a controversial decision that would have wide-reaching effects.
This is happening as a bill in the state Assembly (AB 530 by Rep Tasha Boerner Horvath) would make it harder for local water districts to leave.
The water districts — Rainbow Municipal Water District and Fallbrook Public Utility District — are trying to ditch the San Diego County Water Authority for cheaper water from Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County.
Decision went to political boundary referees at the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). But it’s been stalled by a Los Angeles water bigwig.
On the pod, Lewis breaks down how we got here — starting all the way back when civilizations gathered ’round wells and split our most precious resource — to now, when musty conference rooms are where water’s fate is sealed.
P.S. I’ll miss you, Andy.