A homeless man sleeps below the entrance to the Ocean Beach Pier. Photo by Chris Stone
A homeless man sleeps below the entrance to the Ocean Beach Pier. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to receive almost $12 million from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development department to help homeless people, or those at risk of being homeless.

The money comes from the American Rescue Plan Act, which Congress passed in March 2021 to help Americans struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to board Chairman Nathan Fletcher’s office, the money will help develop around 100 permanent housing units by working with existing projects to make more units within them affordable-rate housing.

“Today, we took another step in the right direction when it comes to tackling the housing and homelessness crises,” Fletcher said in a statement.

Fletcher said the county is “leveraging every resource available to keep people in their homes, and get people who are already on the street off of them.”

HUD allocated the money to local governments as part of its HOME Investment Partnership program.

On April 8, 2021, HUD awarded the county $11.8 million in HOME-ARP funds. In turn, the county had to identify its needs and funding priorities, and then submit those to HUD as an amendment to its fiscal year 2021-22 plan, Fletcher’s office said.

David Estrella, the county’s Housing and Development Services director, said the proposal “supports the county framework for ending homelessness.”

During Tuesday’s board meeting, Supervisor Joel Anderson asked if the money could also go toward helping homeless shelter projects already in progress, and Estrella said that was possible.

City News Service contributed to this article.