Long-Awaited Performance Audit on City’s Effort to Address Homelessness Shows Progress Made, but More Work Needed
San Diego – Today, the Audit Committee chaired by Councilmember Scott Sherman heard the City Auditor’s performance audit on the City’s efforts to address homelessness. The Audit evaluated the City’s strategic planning efforts to address homelessness, including its organizational structure, outreach efforts, and use of alternative or interim housing solutions and short-term measures.
The Office of the City Auditor listed three findings:
- Finding 1: The City Has Significantly Increased Its Efforts to Address Homelessness, But Several Additional Steps are Needed to Successfully Implement the Recently Adopted Strategic Plan on Homelessness
- Finding 2: Homeless Outreach Efforts Can Be Improved Using a Comprehensive Strategy that Includes Additional Outreach Workers, Improved Coordination, and Data Utilization
- Finding 3: The City Is Not Maximizing the Effectiveness of Its Outreach Practices to Connect Individuals with Shelter and Services During Encampment Abatements.
Councilmember Sherman reiterated the need for a region-wide approach for more outreach and called on the County, which receives health and human service funding from the state, to invest more in outreach.
“The homeless crisis is a region-wide problem and the County needs to take the lead in outreach efforts,” said Councilmember Sherman. “The City is responsible for public safety; the County oversees health and human services and must invest accordingly.”
In addition, the performance audit noted the important step of building additional subsidized and market-rate housing in the region. The audit called on the city to create additional opportunities for temporary shelter while at the same time, continuing efforts to increase the supply of permanent housing in the city.
“The cost of housing in our region is one of the root causes of homelessness,” said Sherman. “47 percent of the cost of housing is attributed to government regulations. The city must cut costs and streamline the permitting process to encourage more housing construction in our region.”
The City Auditor made 12 recommendations for improvement. Management agreed to seven recommendations and partially agreed to 5 recommendations. To review a fact-sheet of the findings, click here.