Affordable housing at the Del Mar Fairgrounds?

Posted at 8:06 AM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 11:06:57-04

DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) - Plenty of people live across the street from the Del Mar Fairgrounds, but what about across from the actual venue? There's now an idea to bring some much-needed affordable housing to where the turf meets the surf.

The affordable housing units would be placed near the dorms where seasonal workers stay during the Del Mar races, just south of Via de la Valle.

It would be a major step for Del Mar, which has zero affordable housing units. The state says the city should have 42.

Meanwhile, the average rent is higher than $2,100 a month.

The fairgrounds isn't the only place in Del Mar where affordable units could pop up. A proposed complex called Watermark Del Mar would add six units.

Escondido resident Heather Johnson said it's getting even harder to pay the bills in San Diego, so any affordable housing would help.

"If you're a two-family income, you can't afford to buy, much less rent in San Diego County, and coastal, it's pretty much off the radar," said Johnson.

Del Mar City Councilman Dwight Worden said he met with the venue's CEO Tim Fennell on the proposal.

A fairgrounds spokeswoman said having the homes on the venue would be a challenge, especially during the fair and races, but she added the venue's management understands Del Mar's need for affordable housing and will listen.

The San Diego Housing Commission maintains a list of current affordable units, as well as a waiting list.