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Lori Holt Pfeiler and Dan Silver on Jan 30, 2017 — San Diego is in the middle of a major housing crisis, but so far we’ve failed to address it. Voice of San Diego has covered some of the big housing failures: Poway’s rejection of affordable homes for veterans, Encinitas’ unwillingness to do its fair share in meeting state housing goals and development proposals that promote urban sprawl. Commentary - in-story logoBut one of the biggest factors holding San Diego up is its inability to first come to terms with the region’s housing need. Post-recession, San Diego County now faces a deficit of 60,000 units, with low- and middle-income housing hardest hit. We should be building 14,000 units every year to meet demand and even more to make up the deficit.
The rejection of Measure T in Encinitas and Measure B countywide sent a message that many county residents simply aren’t open to new development – whether it happens in established metro areas, or in rural spaces. The failure of two measures in November tells us a lot about why the county isn’t making headway in dealing with the region’s housing crisis. The rejection of Measure T in Encinitas and Measure B countywide sent a message that many county residents simply aren’t open to new development – whether it happens in established metro areas, or in rural spaces. The fact that the proposals even went to the ballot drives home the paralysis elected officials face when it comes to building more housing.
The fight for more housing has a new war room in San Diego. Increasingly, even well-off professionals are finding they can no longer afford to live in the San Diego area. In October, the county’s median home price was the highest in a decade — $507,500 — according to CoreLogic, a data analysis company. Part of the problem, housing experts say, is simply a shortage of units that is driving demand. As the number of San Diegans has risen, new housing construction has failed to keep pace. And one reason for the lack of construction? The residents of San Diego. In many cases, housing proposals fail because residents pressure officials to reject them on the grounds that they would spoil neighborhood character.
In this week’s podcast, Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis talk about the vote-wrangling between Councilman David Alvarez and Councilwoman Myrtle Cole to become the next Council president. Also: A determined new coalition says it wants to solve the region’s affordable housing crisis. Three new San Diego City Council members will be inaugurated next week. The new Council’s first big decision will be a tense one: Who will be the next City Council president? In this week’s podcast, hosts Andrew Keatts and Scott Lewis talk about the behind-the-scenes vote wrangling between Councilman David Alvarez and Councilwoman Myrtle Cole to become the next leader and the interesting split it’s caused among two of the city’s most powerful progressive institutions.
A new coalition of builders, employers, environmentalists and community planners has launched a campaign to solve San Diego’s affordable-housing problem once and for all. Called “Housing You Matters,” the organization has raised tens of thousands of dollars to hire a staff and map out an ambitious agenda for 2017. “I would say it’s the year of reckoning,” said Borre Winckel, president and CEO of the Building Industry Association of San Diego County. “We can’t go on like this anymore.” The most recent evidence demonstrates the crisis that some observers believe San Diego is experiencing.
San Diego's housing crisis can be measured in many different ways: rising rents and home prices, low vacancy rates or the soaring number of people living on the streets. Few dispute that the reason behind the crisis is a restricted housing supply. Production of new housing hasn't come close to keeping up with the region's growing population.
Homeowners in San Diego County may not feel it, but a housing crisis is underway in the region, and the middle class is especially hard squeezed. Longtime Escondido resident Guy Chandler faced a situation that may be all too familiar to many San Diego families. He described what happened at a recent San Diego County Board of Supervisors' meeting. “Probably the worst day of my life was in June 2015,” Chandler said. “My daughter, Jenelle, 37 years old, came to me and told me, 'Dad, sit down. There's something you’re not going to like. We have to move out of San Diego County.'”
Uptown, where a new community plan is in the works, should carve out 11.6 acres in its Hillcrest core for special treatment, says a coalition of 14 property owners. They want to build residential towers as tall as 25 stories in exchange for creating a new central gathering space at Sixth Avenueand Robinson Street. “We [...]
HIGHER DENSITY, SMARTER DESIGN New North Park community plan promises more density, but better design that is concentrated in three main transportation corridors BY ROGER SHOWLEY North Park, one of San Diego’s earliest suburbs for the city’s burgeoning population a century ago, is the epicenter of another development trend: infill. With most “greenfield” development sites [...]