Viewpoint: Why not use San Diego’s NAVWAR military residence for economical housing?

Flores is executive director of LISC, a nonprofit community progress economical establishment that supports community enhancement initiatives throughout the country. He life in Kensington.

The Navy desires to redevelop its Naval Information Warfare Techniques Command, or NAVWAR, a sprawling 70.3-acre complex in San Diego’s Midway District. In accordance to the Navy, the website can accommodate up to 10,000 housing models, but, no shock, there is no prerequisite in its request for qualifications/proposals that any of the units be very affordable housing.

This is unfortunate for the reason that San Diego is encountering an cost-effective housing disaster that has develop into a homeless crisis.

Final week, the San Diego Regional Undertaking Pressure on Homelessness noted that in December, 994 individuals in San Diego County had come to be homeless for the very first time though 759 homeless men and women observed some sort of housing, an boost of 235 new homeless men and women.

A single thing’s for sure: Points do not seem to be to be acquiring any superior. Not for the homeless inhabitants, and not for people of us who see pockets of our city starting to be unsafe and unsanitary temporary dwellings for San Diegans who have strike on tricky moments.

With the range of homeless folks growing at an alarming rate, most San Diegans are rightly frustrated with local government’s deficiency of progress on decreasing homelessness. That frustration is now boiling in excess of into anger.

What is most disheartening to me as the head of a nonprofit local community development corporation is that our elected leaders and government officials do not seem to be speaking with every other on the long run of NAVWAR.

Here’s a recommendation: Why not established aside a sizable part of NAVWAR home for extra cost-effective housing?

I’ve not read any individual in a posture of authority propose that as a simple, if only partial, resolution to our city’s increasing homeless difficulty.

Positive, some favourable efforts are getting made, these types of as county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s the latest campaign that aims to cut down homelessness in our veterans’ group.

The yearly Procedure Stand Down occasion, organized by Veterans Village of San Diego to enable homeless or near-homeless veterans and their households changeover to group residing, gives access to human company agencies which include advantages counseling, work and education help, eye exams, health and fitness treatment screenings, housing companies, authorized help, behavioral wellness remedy and substance abuse counseling. Attendees generally also have access to individual treatment companies, these as hair stylists.

Launched practically 35 many years back, the annual Stand Down has due to the fact grown to much more than 200 web sites close to the nation and has been identified by the Nationwide Coalition for Homeless Veterans as the “most precious outreach resource for homeless veterans.”

Not too long ago, President Joe Biden announced his aim to lessen nationwide homelessness 25 p.c by 2025.

But the point continues to be, the only way to finish homelessness is with a dwelling and the NAVWAR website — as public land — should really be part of that resolution.

I respectfully urge San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and San Diego Metropolis Council President Sean Elo-Rivera to kind a doing the job partnership with our congressional delegation — Reps. Scott Peters, Sara Jacobs, Juan Vargas, Mike Levin and Darrell Issa — and request that President Biden, in his role as commander in main, designate a part of NAVWAR as a prime web-site for inexpensive housing.

Some observers have described the NAVWAR redevelopment proposal as the major genuine estate competitors in the Navy’s happy historical past.

Rear Adm. Bradley Rosen, commander of Navy Region Southwest, hailed the undertaking last thirty day period as “a acquire-gain for the neighborhood and the Navy.”

But a genuine get-earn would assure that this historic serious estate possibility on federal assets in the coronary heart of San Diego has mandated cost-effective housing that could transform this web site into a community that is “walkable, transportation-oriented and thriving,” as Gloria envisions.

The Navy and San Diego have a lengthy and valued record of working alongside one another to strengthen our region and bolster the readiness of our national protection.

Earlier initiatives to use surplus Navy home to advantage San Diegans have resulted in magnificent tasks like Liberty Station and, most not long ago, the Navy Broadway Sophisticated.

The NAVWAR challenge marks the latest huge-scale partnership with the Navy, the metropolis of San Diego and the personal sector. Failure to force for the very best challenge feasible for inhabitants and the Navy would be a misuse of general public land.

Desperate men and women dwelling on the streets of one particular of the world’s wealthiest towns will in no way be acceptable. As a location, we should do greater.

Let us connect the dots of option and concentrate on providing much better final results, with the NAVWAR internet site as a repurposed beacon of hope for homeless veterans and non-veterans alike.

Our elected leaders should inspire President Biden to designate a portion of NAVWAR as a prime web site for cost-effective housing, and the president need to act.

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