San Diego mayor addresses soaring housing prices

SD affordable housing is rare, hard to keep

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The situation for affordable housing in San Diego will grow even more dire by 2020, according to a report Thursday by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.

East Village resident Sharri Moore rents a two-bedroom affordable housing unit in the Pinnacle high rise for $1,000, or less than half the going rate. She says competition for the rare affordable housing units places stress on renters. 

"So you have maybe about 300 people for maybe 36 units," Moore said. "When you do get that lottery that you're qualified for [a unit[, then it's just like jumping over hurdles trying to keep the unit." 

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke at a special affordable housing panel this morning. 

"We need to build more housing in San Diego," Faulconer said. 

The panel experts agreed that the biggest driver of housing prices is economics 101 -- high demand and low supply. 

The groups' “Housing Scorecard” to show how the housing market is impacting San Diegans.

The report’s findings include:

  • The San Diego region will only produce half of the units needed to accommodate population growth at its current pace.
  • Only San Diegans with “above moderate” incomes are close to seeing enough available housing.
  • The City of San Diego is producing the most housing but is only on pace to produce 51 percent of new units by 2020.
  • Only four cities are building enough units to meet needs: Coronado, Lemon Grove, San Marcos, Vista.
  • Many cities have not built any units in the very low, low, or moderate income categories.

Faulconer also said that he is working to streamline the building approval process. 

The report also made two key claims about the impact of the housing situation:

  • Families and seniors are being pushed out of California.
  • California does not have the influx of Millenials that competitor states do.

 

Moore said there is another factor at work: more employers moving employees to part-time positions. 

"If I was able to work full time and make the money, they'll disqualify me," Moore said. 

She said it would be worth it to hold her own weight and get another place to live just to avoid walking on eggshells to keep her affordable housing unit. 

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