Adobe Stock/Tomasz Zajda

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, People Assisting the Homeless (better known as PATH), Home Start, Inc. and the Salvation Army will be splitting $1.4 million earmarked for providing temporary homes for 120 homeless families per a ruling by the San Diego Housing Commission. The rapid re-housing method provides rental assistance for a limited time with the amount of assistance tapering off as residents become more self sufficient. The commission also authorized $24 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds to refurbish an eight-story apartment building that will house some of the families.

Paul Armstrong, social service director for the Salvation Army in San Diego, said the funds will double the capacity of the nonprofit’s existing rapid re-housing program, which generally helps people with rent subsidies for up to two years and follow-up services. “Each month we work with a family to see if they can take over more rent,” Armstrong said after Thursday’s meeting. “Our target for rental assistance is for 12 months or so, and then to be a cheerleader for the last part.”

The Salvation Army’s existing rapid re-housing program has been funded with an annual $385,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant money is used to assist about 30 families a year, Armstrong said. The new HEAP funding is part of one-time $500 million state grant created in 2018 to fund programs in cities with large homeless populations. The city of San Diego received $14.1 million in HEAP funds and the San Diego Regional Task Force on the Homeless received $18.8 million.

Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds allow developers to obtain below-market financing because interest income is exempt from state and federal taxes. Developers in return must set aside a certain percent of units for people earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. At Wesley Terrace, 159 units will remain affordable for 55 years under the bond agreement.

Read More