By Miriam Raftery
Photo: California Attorney General Rob Bonta
September 27, 2022 (El Cajon) – California Attorney General Rob Bonta sent a warning letter to El Cajon’s Mayor and City Council on Sept. 23 demanding that the city rescind warning notices sent to hotels housing homeless individuals under the County of San Diego’s voucher program. Bonta letters calls the County’s program “unquestionably legal” and claims the city’s notices constitute unlawful discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which prohibits housing discrimination based on income source.
Last week, the city of El Cajon sent warning notices to seven of the eight hotels/motels participating in the County of San Diego’s voucher program to temporarily house homeless people. The city warned that the motels were violating a city law that limits hotels to a maximum 25% of capacity for homeless people in the voucher program. The city notified the hotels that they would be fined up to $1,000 a day if they did not comply.
The city noticed an increase in drug dealing and drug use around the motels, then learned that the County had placed homeless people from across the region into the motels through the voucher program.