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San Diego City Council votes to add tiny homes as affordable housing option

Could tiny homes help solve San Diego's affordable housing crisis?
Posted at 8:30 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 16:00:04-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego City Council Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of adding movable tiny homes to the list of options on how to offer more affordable housing to citizens.

Tiny houses are similar to granny flats, but smaller. Tiny houses come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are equipped with the basics for living, sleeping, and cooking. They range in size from 150 square feet to 400 square feet and cost between $40,000 and $100,000.

Tiny homes can help create an affordable option for low-income residents that doesn’t require a taxpayer subsidy.

City officials said, “A significant portion of households in San Diego can afford a movable tiny house as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). The average cost of rent for a tiny home is $900 a month. A property owner would recover their initial investment in eight years. After that, the rent from the tiny house could help cover their mortgage and other expenses.”

Currently, the city allows homeowners to build accessory dwelling units on their properties. With Tuesday’s approval, homeowners can add tiny homes to their properties.

“Moveable tiny homes are a great option that naturally increases affordable housing at no cost to taxpayers. It’s a win for the homeowner, it’s a win for the renter, and it’s a win for the taxpayer,” said San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman. “I appreciate my colleagues support for this important housing reform. We must continue pushing for common sense solutions that result in naturally occurring affordable housing.”

Sherman has been working to approve the ordinance since 2018, the city said.