A home under construction in California. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Housing First San Diego has exceeded its three-year goal of creating 3,000 housing opportunities for homeless residents in 18 months, the San Diego Housing Commission announced Thursday.

The city launched the program’s current phase on July 1, 2017, in an effort to connect homeless residents with permanent housing accommodations. The city and the housing commission directed $79.7 million in resources to the program from fiscal year 2018 to FY 2020.

The most successful facet of Housing First, the Landlord Engagement and Assistance Program, has created 1,855 housing opportunities for local homeless residents, according to the commission, the most of any Housing First program. The LEAP program offers incentives, like covered expenses and financial bonuses, to renters and landlords who lease housing units to homeless residents.

“Saying `yes’ to creative approaches to housing people is the key to addressing many of the issues our region faces,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “The housing commission’s Housing First initiative is a great model for how we can continue to say `yes’ to helping people get off the streets and into a permanent home.”

Housing First San Diego launched on Nov. 12, 2014, and has since created nearly 6,000 housing opportunities throughout the county through programs like LEAP and the Housing Our Heroes Initiative, which offered rental housing assistance to 1,000 of the county’s homeless military veterans.

“This is a tremendous step forward in our partnership efforts to address homelessness, and I look forward to the additional housing opportunities that will be created in the next 18 months and beyond,” said Housing Commission President & CEO Richard Gentry.

–City News Service

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