Homes

Homes

ECO-FRIENDLY WAYS TO INCREASE HOME VALUE

By Sam Bowman, EarthTalk

February 7, 2021 (San Diego) - The housing market has never been in a greater state of flux. The pandemic has lowered interest rates and increased home values in never-seen-before ways. In addition, in spite of the coronavirus — and at times because of it — many have made moves for both professional and personal reasons.


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GET A HEAD START ON SPRING GARDENING AT MASTER GARDENER VIRTUAL SEMINAR MARCH 20

East County News Service

February 4, 2021 (San Diego) -- Wondering what plants make the most sense for San Diego gardens this year? Want to grow magnificent roses and stunning succulents in the same backyard? Tired of losing your fruits and vegetables to bugs and hungry wildlife? Then master the art of gardening San Diego style with the UCCE Master Gardener Program of San Diego County at a virtual Spring Seminar “Learn, Plant, Grow!” on Saturday, March 20, 2021 starting online at 9:00 a.m. 


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SANTEE PLANS FOR 1,219 NEW HOUSES OVER NEXT EIGHT YEARS

By Mike Allen
 
January 29, 2021 (Santee) -- It’s called a housing element, a document that every city in California must update every eight years. It outlines how a city plans to expand its housing inventory, especially its low income housing numbers.

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SEEDS OF CHANGE: LA MESA RECEIVES $30,000 GRANT FOR COMMUNITY GARDEN

By Alexa Oslowski

 

Photo: raised bed garden, Creative Commons by SRL

 

January 28, 2021 (La Mesa) -- La Mesa's first community garden will soon be sprouting up in MacArthur Park, near the community center and the city's downtown village.

 

The San Diego Foundation has granted $30,000 in seed money to build the garden, according to a press release issued by the city.


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SUPERVISORS APPROVE HOUSING FOR MENTALLY ILL HOMELESS AND THOSE AT RISK

Supervisor Anderson plans pilot programs for more homeless help in the future

By Miriam Raftery

January 16, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to apply for $12 million in additional state funding for the No Place Like Home program.  No Place Like Home provides funding for the creation of affordable housing units for those with serious mental illness who are experiencing or are at-risk of homelessness.

Tuesday’s authorization also provides County behavioral health supportive services for tenants in No Place Like Home units for a period of 20 years.

So far, the County has approved six developments through the No Place Like Home program in in San Diego, the South Bay, and North County – but not East County, even though East County has a large homeless population in places like El Cajon, Spring Valley and Lakeside.The County has previously received some funding through the program and could ultimately qualify for up to $117 million through 2024.


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SANTEE COUNCIL SETS FANITA RANCH ELECTION FOR NOV. 2022, ALSO APPROVES DIVERSITY PROGRAM

By Mike Allen

January 15, 2021 (Santee) -- Santee residents will get a chance to vote on the Fanita Ranch project, but will have to wait until November 2022 to do so.

At its Jan. 13 meeting, the Santee City Council voted 4-0, with Mayor John Minto absent, to place the controversial 3,000-unit residential development on the next regularly scheduled city election rather than rescinding its earlier approval vote for the project or setting a special election. According to the county Registrar of Voters, a special election would cost the city about $850,000.

This wasn’t what the Council originally intended. In September the board approved a slew of amendments to the Fanita Ranch Specific Plan and approved the project in a 4-1 vote, with former Councilman Stephen Houlahan opposed.


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FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: SHAKE THAT TREE – AS IN PROMPTLY REMOVE CHRISTMAS TREES TO PREVENT FIRES

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December 27, 2020 (San Diego) -- If you’re having trouble parting with your Christmas tree, here’s a fact to motivate you: One-third (33 percent) of U.S. home fires that begin with Christmas trees occur in January. With this potential fire hazard in mind, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly encourages everyone to remove Christmas trees from their homes promptly after the holiday season.


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REGISTRAR OF VOTERS CERTIFIES CHALLENGE TO FANITA RANCH

By Mike Allen
 
December 17, 2020 (Santee) -- The county Registrar of Voters certified that a challenge to the largest housing project in Santee’s history is successful, verifying that enough valid signatures needed to qualify for a public vote were collected.

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HOMEOWNERS, SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS MAY QUALIFY FOR PROPERTY TAX PENALTY RELIEF

East County News Service

December 17, 2020 (San Diego) -- San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister announced his office is accepting penalty cancellation requests for homeowners and small business owners who were impacted by COVID-19 and missed the Dec. 10 property tax deadline.

“COVID-19 has affected many in San Diego – especially our small businesses, so we want to do what we can to help those who did not have the funds to pay their taxes on time,” said McAllister. “We want to be as lenient as we can and show compassion for those who need it.” 

Property taxes that were unpaid after Dec. 10 have incurred a 10% penalty. To qualify for penalty cancellation, the property must either be:


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TIME RUNNING OUT FOR VALLEY FIRE SURVIVORS TO APPLY FOR FEMA ASSISTANCE

By Donnie Ryan, County of San Diego Communications Office

Photo: Valley Fire, by Ron Kasper Dronesystems

December 9, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -There is only one week left for San Diego County homeowners and renters affected by the Valley Fire in September to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant, as the assistance program is scheduled to end Dec. 15.

The FEMA grant program is designed to help with serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance such as rent, home repair or replacement, medical or dental costs, transportation or other personal property losses.


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PREVENT CHIMNEY FIRES

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons image via Bing

December 9, 2020 (Sacramento) – Home heating fires caused over 48,000 fires last year, killing 500 people and causing $1.1 billion in damages. Most of those tragedies resulted from chimney fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. With power outages in winter weather, many residents in East County’s mountain and rural areas are relying on fireplaces to stay warm. Many others enjoy fireside family time during the holiday season.  But before you light the Yule log or hang stockings with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there, you should take some simple safety precautions.

The California Office of Emergency Services has provided these tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on how to prevent chimney fires.


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LAWMAKERS WEIGH MORATORIUM EXTENSION AS EVICTION CLIFF LOOMS

By Matt Levin, CalMatters

CalMatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  CC-By-ND via Bing

December 8, 2020 (Sacramento) - With California’s eviction moratorium set to expire in less than 60 days and 2 million people at risk of losing their rental homes, a group of tenant-friendly lawmakers want to forestall evictions for another year. 


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GENERATORS POSE FIRE AND SAFETY HAZARDS DURING OUTAGES: OSHA PROVIDES SAFETY TIPS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via Fire District 1, Edmonds, Wash.  Home destroyed by a portable generator fire

December 6, 2020 (San Diego)—Generators have sparked several wildfires in California, ironically during power outages planned by utility companies to prevent fires. While generators are vital for many homeowners to operate electric well pumps, lights, refrigerators, computers, medical equipment and other necessities during prolonged outages, generators can pose hazards if not not used or maintained properly. Explosions, electric shocks, electrocution, hearing loss from noise, vibration hazards, and carbon monoxide poisoning from exhaust are all potential risks from generators.

Last year, three fires caused by generators during power shut-offs by  PG&E were reported in Nevada County, CA, Wildfire Today reported.  This week, the Bond Fire that has scored over 7,300 acres in Orange County may have been triggered by a faulty domestic generator, according to Reuters. Neighbors have said that a generator exploded when a homeowner without power tried to start up the generator, though fire authorities have not yet confirmed the wildfire’s cause.

The Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) have published guidelines on how to use portable generators safely. Below are highlights from the OSHA advice:


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RACIAL DISPARITIES IN BLACK OWNERSHIP WORKSHOP DISCUSSES REDLINING, TIPS FOR BLACK HOMEOWNERS AND YOUNG HOMEOWNER HOPEFULS

 

By Briana Gomez

 

December 3, 2020 (San Diego) -- A workshop on Racial Disparities in Black Ownership took place over Zoom on December 1.

 

“When someone buys a home and they preserve that home and they stay in that home, what is the ultimate ownership?” asked Reverend Shane Harris of the People’s Alliance for Justice, who moderated and hosted the forum in collaboration with the San Diego Union Tribune. 

 

Speakers included Bishop Craig Worsham, NAREB National Director of Faith and Community Partnerships; Rod Watson of Watson Group-Keller Williams, Beverly Hills; Justin Flisher of Keller Williams, La Jolla; Sheri Jones of SAKK Realty; and Lora Washington, NAREB Civic Engagement Chair.


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GROW FRILLY, BOLD AND UNIQUE AMARYLLIS INDOORS THIS WINTER

By Melinda Myers
 
Photo: Sweet Nymph double amaryllis has layers of creamy white petals decorated with coral pink stripes.
 
Photo credit: Courtesy of Longfield-Gardens.com
 
November 29, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- When squirrels are busy storing nuts for winter, it’s time for gardeners to start gathering amaryllis bulbs to sustain them through the dreary months ahead. Ordering now will ensure you have lots of choices, so you can select an assortment of different flowers styles, colors, and bloom times.
 
The flowers of double amaryllis are packed full of petals and sure to brighten any day. Double King lives up to its name with three or more layers of brilliant red, velvety petals. Each bulb produces multiple flower stems, so you’ll enjoy weeks of blossoms.
 
Sweet Nymph is another double and its softer coloring is equally beautiful. The flowers feature layers of creamy white petals with coral pink stripes and are sure to add a bit of romantic charm to your winter.

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COUNTY RENTAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO ADDITIONAL 10,000 HOUSEHOLDS

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

 

November 25, 2020 (San Diego) - San Diego County residents who are economically impacted by COVID-19 could qualify for assistance of up to $3,000 to pay for past-due or upcoming rent.


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LA MESA HISTORICAL HOME TOUR GOES VIRTUAL WITH HOMES THROUGH THE AGES OVER THE PAST CENTURY

By Miriam Raftery

November 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – On November 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., La Mesa Historical Society invites you to join President Jim Newland for a look back at the first 14 years of the La Mesa Home Tour.  This free event celebrates the city’s architectural gems from the Gilded Age to the Space Age.  It will be streamed live on the Society's Facebook page. RSVP to receive a reminder notice.


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FIRST COLD RAINS ON THE WAY, FREE SANDBAGS FOR UNINCORPORATED RESIDENTS

November 6, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - San Diego County is expected to see its first widespread rains in months this weekend and the County of San Diego and CAL FIRE have free sandbags to help residents in unincorporated communities protect their homes and properties.

The National Weather Service is forecasting rain and winds around San Diego County this weekend, meaning this could be a good time to pick up some free sand and bags.


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LA MESA RENTAL ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM ACCEPTING SECOND ROUND OF APPLICATIONS NOV. 2 THRU NOV. 4

East County News Service

October 23, 2020 (La Mesa) -- In an effort to further assist renters during the coronavirus pandemic, Home Start will be accepting a second round of applications for the La Mesa Rental Assistance Program starting Monday, November 2, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. through Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Beginning on November 2nd, applications can be completed online at https://home-start.org/city-of-la-mesa-rental-assistance or submitted at the office of Home Start located at 333 E. Main Street in El Cajon.


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CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN SAFELY AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC


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GOVERNMENT GUARANTEED HOME LOANS FOR EAST COUNTY, SAN DIEGO

By Noel Yap, VA Home Loan Centers

East County San Diego is home to a beautiful landscape that makes up most of the landmass for San Diego County. Most of the east county is rural, with several communities located in backcountry areas known as the Mountain Empire.

The eastern part of San Diego County is perfect for people living in nature and taking part in outside activities like hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, all within a beautiful mountainous wilderness. The county is also home to fun Native American Casinos, which offer a thrilling experience for people looking to enjoy some Vegas-style fun.


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EL CAJON HOSTS COMMUNITY MEETING TO PLAN FOR HOUSING, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND SAFETY IN GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2020 (El Cajon) – The city of El Cajon is embarking on updates to the Housing and Safety Elements of the General Plan and developing a new Environmental Justice Element. Residents are invited to join in a virtual community meeting on September 29 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss housing needs and the future of housing and community issues.


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PRICE GOUGING A CRIME AFTER VALLEY FIRE

 
By Yvette Urrea Moe, County of San Diego Communications Office
 
September 18, 2020 (Eastern San Diego County) - San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan is warning businesses and scammers not to take advantage of consumers by price gouging during a state of an emergency – doing so can end in prosecution.
 
As a result of the devastating Valley fire in the eastern part of San Diego County, Governor Gavin Newsom and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency in San Diego County on September 6. During a declared state of emergency, it is illegal for a business to increase its prices for essential goods or services by more than 10 percent, unless they can show their own costs have been increased.
 
“Wildfires leave a devastating effect on many of our neighbors and we want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate any unlawful activity by a greedy businesses, contractors or scammers who would seek to financially exploit victims of wildfires,” Stephan said. “Price gouging and unlicensed contracting during a state of emergency is not only a crime, it also can further victimize someone who may have lost everything in a wildfire.”

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HOMELESS HOUSING PROPOSED AT HOLIDAY INN: LA MESA HOLDS SPECIAL MEETING MONDAY, SUPERVISORS REVOTE TUESDAY ON PROJECT PUSHED THROUGH WITHOUT NOTICE TO CITY OR RESIDENTS

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

File photo: cart at a homeless camp in Spring Valley

Updated with information on additional actions La Mesa has taken in the past week and will consider this week to help its homeless residents.

View background report provided to council members

September 17, 2020 (La Mesa) – The state and county want to convert a Holiday Inn in La Mesa to provide 139 units of transitional housing for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless due to COVID-19.  Supervisors initially approved an application to the state for the “Homekey” project on Sept. 15 with no prior notification to the city of La Mesa, residents or businesses nearby. 


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HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CALIFORNIA'S EVICTION PROTECTIONS

By Laurence Du Sault | CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  California State House. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

September 5, 2020 (San Diego) - Just days before courts resumed processing eviction filings after a five-month freeze, California this week enacted statewide protections through next year for tenants struggling to pay rent amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.


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LA MESA RENTAL ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM APPLICATIONS CLOSED

Source: City of La Mesa

September 2, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Due to high demand for La Mesa's Rental Assistance Program, Home Start has closed their application form as of 6:00 p.m. on Monday, August 31.

Residents whose applications are currently under review will be contacted by a Home Start representative within the next two weeks for follow up.


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GOVERNOR SIGNS BILL PROTECTING BOTH TENANTS AND LANDLORDS AS PANDEMIC CONTINUES

By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  An apartment building in downtown San Diego’s East Village. Photo by Chris Stone

September 1, 2020 (San Diego) - Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Monday to protect millions of tenants from eviction and property owners from foreclosure due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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CONSTRUCTION TO START SOON ON NEW RESIDENTIAL AND RETAIL IN DOWNTOWN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 31, 2020 (El Cajon) – Construction is set to begin in September on a new housing and retail building at 101 Main Street on the corner of Main and Magnolia in downtown El Cajon.  

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HOMEFED YANKS FANITA RANCH PLAN BEFORE COUNCIL VOTE

 

By Mike Allen

 

Cancelling Magnolia extension, as proposed, would remove key evacuation route for wildfires, critic says

August 30, 2020 (Santee) -- Fanita Ranch, the 3,000 unit residential project planned for Santee’s northwest quadrant, is being delayed by developer HomeFed Corp. to make some significant changes, including removing an extension of a key arterial serving the project.

In a letter posted on the Fanita Ranch Facebook page last week, Jeff O’Connor, the company’s vice president, said HomeFed requested the delay “to remove the extension of Magnolia Avenue from the project in order to direct those funds towards the improvements to SR-52.”


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WHAT TO PLANT IN YOUR SOCAL GARDEN IN LATE SUMMER

By Amy Okafor

Photo:  Showy Penstemon via Tom Hilton on Flickr 

August 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- The dead of summer doesn't mean you have to put up with a wilted, drab landscape – even in Southern California where summers are warm and dry. Thanks to SoCal's mild winters, you can have a great yard almost year-round – if you know what to plant in your SoCal garden in late summer.


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