Input on Fiscal Year 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan Expenditures

DATE: February 1, 2019

TO: Lydia Moreno, Interim Director, Economic Department

FOM: Council President Georgette Gomez, District 9
Council member Monica Montgomery
District 4 Council member Vivian Moreno, District 8

SUBJECT: Input on Fiscal Year 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan Expenditures (Print Memo)

We are submitting this joint memo to provide input regarding proposed expenditures for the Fiscal Year 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan in line with the goals that were adopted by the Council last year.

The process to develop the Con.solidated Plan is conducted only once every five years, so it is imperative for our offices, along with critical stakeholders, to provide direct input on how the City of San Diego prioritizes and deploys the estimated $125 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) resources in low-to-moderate-income (LMI) communities.

The adopted goals in the Fiscal Year 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan (located in Attachment 1) aim to tackle some of the most pressing issues impacting our LMI communities in San Diego. However, we can be more targeted with these goals as we enter the new Consolidated Plan, and aim to make a more equitable impact on the most disadvantaged families in our neighborhoods. We offer the following three categories of expenditures for your consideration over the next five years of the new Consolidated Plan:

  1. Develop a Transit-Oriented Development Fund to support the creation of affordable and workforce housing in LMI census tracts

Applicable Consolidated Plan Goal:

GOAL #1: Increase and preserve affordable rental and homeowner housing to improve access to housing opportunities that reflect community needs.

Expenditure Proposal:
The housing crisis in San Diego falls especially hard upon our low-income and working families, who are increasingly at risk of becoming homeless. We must develop more housing that is affordable to low income San Diegans in the LMI areas of our City.

We propose using the additional CDBG program income currently funding the Reinvestment Initiative to create a transit-oriented development fund that will support the creation of affordable housing in LMI census tracts, along with the public infrastructure and business development necessary to support increased residential populations.

Nearly $215 million in additional CDBG funding is coming back into the City over the next ten to fifteen years as repayment of CDBG program income from San Diego’s redevelopment successor agency. The plan to expend this repayment of CDBG Program Income has been named the Reinvestment Initiative by staff. On April 25, 2017 the Council approved a Substantial Amendment to the FY 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan for the City’s HUD Programs (Plan). Expenditures planned for the Reinvestment Initiative in FY2018 total $17 million. Given that the City is in the final year of its existing consolidated plan, it is critical to reconsider how best to target this additional CDBG program income as soon as possible.

Given the urgency of the crisis, it is imperative that we expend this funding quickly and efficiently. The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) is best positioned to manage this new fund. SDHC could use existing staff to administer this fund and look to leverage it to receive more funding from public and private sources. We look forward to hearing input regarding this proposal from both the Economic Development Department and SDHC at an upcoming meeting of the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee.

  1. Invest in streetlights, sidewalks, and bike facilities to uplift the quality of life for our neighborhoods.

Applicable Consolidated Plan Goal:
GOAL #4: Support the development of vibrant, equitable, and adaptable neighborhoods by investing in public facilities and critical infrastructure.

Expenditure Proposal:
While there has been significant progress in expanding the City’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP) with record investments over the past few years, we propose that a portion of CDBG funds be used to install infrastructure that would help uplift the quality of life in our highly urbanized neighborhoods.

According to the FY 2020-2024 Five-Year Capital Infrastructure Planning Outlook (CIP Outlook), there are several asset classes that provide a basic level of service to our communities, yet remain underfunded and have significant need over the next five years. In Attachment 2 to this memo, we’ve summarized information from the CIP Outlook into a table that shows that streetlights, bike facilities, storm water, parks, and sidewalks all have the greatest identified need over the next five years.

Due to community feedback in a series of Consolidated Plan forums that were conducted last summer, we recommend that the City deploy CDBG dollars to invest in streetlights (only 3.4% of need funded over next 5 years), bike facilities (3.9%), and sidewalks (18.6%) in our communities due to their historic underfunding and identified need.

We are suggesting specific street light locations in our districts in Attachment 3 to this memo.

  1. Support equitable investments in quality public services for the most vulnerable populations in LMI census tracts

Applicable Consolidated Plan Goal:

GOAL #3: Foster individual and household resiliency by investing in employment and workforce development programs and improving access to job opportunities.

GOAL #6: Invest in community services that promote equity and serve vulnerable populations including, but not limited to, refugees and recent immigrants, previously incarcerated, veterans, youth, seniors and food insecure households.

Expenditure Proposal:

Investments in specific social service providers should be made to promote equity for the most vulnerable populations. These providers should provide services for, and not limited to, youth, seniors, refugees, immigrants, previously incarcerated, veterans and food insecure households. The investment in quality services for the community, will have lasting impacts in not only the improved quality of life for individuals, but will serve as foundations propelling an individual towards self-sufficiency. The following are critical services/programs that should be accessible in the City of San Diego.

  • Financial Empowerment Centers: The financial empowerment centers should provide low-income communities with free professional, one-on-one financial counseling to help residents acquire financial literacy and address their financial needs.
    • Financial literacy programs
    • Earned income tax credits
    • Small business development
    • Credit enhancements
    • Retirement planning
  • Office of New Americans: To assist new immigrants and refugees on their new journeys in the United States. Services must include skills development, English classes and access to other resources that would ease transition into a new life in the US as well as in the work force.
  • Youth Employment and Workforce Development: The City needs to analyze, develop and implement a means to monitor the progress and outcomes for youth. According to the San Diego Workforce Partnership, 9.4% of youth are disconnected from school and work. The following services should be provided to serve San Diego’s youth.
    • Employment preparation and assistance
    • Peer advising
    • Education and career coaching
  • Assistance for ex-offenders/previously incarcerated: Workforce reentry programs are critical for ex-offenders and previously incarcerated individuals. As members of the community their needs must be addressed in a manner that upholds their dignity while providing a path for their economic development.
    • Paid internships
    • Education and workforce development
    • One stop shop career centers
    • Union apprenticeship programs
    • Mental health and life skills training focusing on self-healing
    • Expungement clinics
    • Legal Clinics
  1. Initiate an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) or Tiny Home Loan Pilot Project for LMI communities and those experiencing homelessness.

Applicable Consolidated Plan Goal:

GOAL #1: Increase and preserve affordable rental and homeowner housing to improve access to housing opportunities that reflect community needs.

GOAL #5: Assist individuals and families to gain stable housing after experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis by providing appropriate housing and service solutions grounded in best practices.

Expenditure Proposal:

With the continued challenge of a growing homeless population in San Diego, it is essential that we find innovative solutions for both transitional and permanent housing. Cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland have developed programs through offering public land and funding to support temporary “Tiny Home Communities” for people experiencing homelessness. Tiny Homes are units smaller than 400 square feet that can be configured as either standalone or modular. By establishing Tiny Home bridge communities, we can help provide a safer environment for vulnerable populations in the neighborhoods we serve, improve access to services for those experiencing homelessness, and help individuals in our districts transition to permanent housing.

The relative affordability and scalability of Tiny Homes make them an attractive option for low-to-moderate income housing. According to the American Tiny House Association, who gave a presentation to the Select Committee on Homelessness on November 15, 2018, the average total investment for a Tiny Home unit is $85,000. With a rent of $900 per month, or an annual rent of $10,800, it serves as a great option to support our goal to keep housing affordable for all our communities.

Further, we propose that the City provide incentives to single-family property owners in San Diego that are willing to either construct a new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), or renovate an existing unit that will house individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness. Further, this incentive program, coupled with a trusted technical assistance provider, could help impacted homeowners throughout the financing, design, and construction process.

We propose that we utilize CDBG funds to support an ADU or Tiny Home loan pilot project. Both ADUs and Tiny Homes can provide San Diegans in LMI census tracts with a cost-effective solution to a pressing issue that often lends itself to costly remedies.


People who most often have the need for resources and intentional outreach are often overlooked when it comes to providing services based on income. We hope that through these suggestions we can capture some of the concerns of the most vulnerable residents in our districts – residents who need tools and resources to lift out of poverty. We hope that this memo encourages you to take a closer look at expenditures from the Fiscal Year 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan and how allocations for funding create real impacts for LMI residents in San Diego.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. If you would like to discuss further, please contact our offices.


Erik Caldwell, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Smart & Sustainable Communities Stephen Maduli-Williams, Program Manager, Economic Development
Michele Marano, Community Development Coordinator, Economic Development


See Attachment 1, Attachment 2 and Attachment 3 here.


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