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Could tiny homes help solve San Diego's affordable housing crisis?

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Posted at 11:33 AM, Oct 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-26 14:33:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Could the placement of tiny homes on San Diegans' properties help solve the area's affordable housing crisis?

Citing reports, city officials say "over one million new residents will move to the region by 2050. To account for this, roughly 350,000 new living units, or about 11,000 units per year between now and 2050 will need to be built."

Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the city's District 7, said building new homes on new land is no longer the answer. He suggested that the building of tiny homes on existing lots could be a way to ease the housing crunch.

Sherman said zoning changes and the permitting process are already in the works -- with fees reduced -- to allow tiny homes to be placed in the backyards of homes with lots of at least 5,000 square feet.

"We have a whole bunch of housing on the luxury side of things. We have subsided housing, but we're missing that middle. This could deal with both of those problems," Sherman said Thursday.

Sherman believes tiny homes would help provide much-needed affordable housing and, at the same time, give property owners extra income through rentals.

Sherman told 10News he thinks the tiny home program for San Diego could be in place before the end of the year.

In Oregon, one tiny home program allows homeowners to agree to have a tiny home that houses a person in a mental health program placed on their property. After five years, the homeowner would own the tiny home and be allowed to rent it to whoever they want.