Opinion: Why not use San Diego’s NAVWAR military property for affordable housing?
The Navy wants to redevelop its Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, or NAVWAR, a sprawling 70.3-acre complex in San Diego’s Midway District. According to the Navy, the site can accommodate up to 10,000 housing units, but, no surprise, there is no requirement in its request for qualifications/proposals that any of the units be affordable housing.
This is unfortunate because San Diego is experiencing an affordable housing crisis that has become a homeless crisis.
Last week, the San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness reported that in December, 994 people in San Diego County had become homeless for the first time while 759 homeless people found some type of housing, an increase of 235 new homeless individuals.
One thing’s for sure: Things don’t seem to be getting any better. Not for the homeless population, and not for those of us who see pockets of our city becoming unsafe and unsanitary temporary dwellings for San Diegans who have hit on hard times.
With the number of homeless people growing at an alarming rate, most San Diegans are rightly frustrated with local government’s lack of progress on reducing homelessness. That frustration is now boiling over into anger.
What’s most frustrating to me as the head of a nonprofit community development corporation is that our elected leaders and government officials do not seem to be communicating with each other on the future of NAVWAR.
Here’s a suggestion: Why not set aside a sizable portion of NAVWAR property for more affordable housing?
I’ve not heard anyone in a position of authority propose that as a practical, if only partial, solution to our city’s growing homeless problem.
Sure, some positive efforts are being made, such as county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s recent campaign that aims to reduce homelessness in our veterans’ community.
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