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New bill seeks to end segregation of affordable housing from market rate units

Lorena Gonzalez announces new housing bill
Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 21:25:17-05

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez announced she will introduce two new housing bills in the state assembly this week.

One of them aims to prohibit developers from separating affordable housing units from market rate units in the same building.

The bill came in response to a fight last summer between Canadian developer, Pinnacle and Civic San Diego, the city agency that was responsible for overseeing design approval.

Pinnacle had submitted plans for a building on 11th Avenue between A & B Streets. The main tower was 32 stories tall and would be available at market rates. The tower was attached to an eight-story building that would house 58 affordable units, in order to satisfy the density bonus granted to Pinnacle for this and two other projects in the area.

But Civic San Diego rejected the plan on the grounds that the affordable housing units had a separate entrance and restricted access to amenities in the 32-story tower, including the pool.

“We can’t create a system that allows developers to separate out folks,” said Gonzalez at a press conference on Monday.

A draft summary of the bill, AB 2344, stated it will “prohibit the owner or agent of an owner from isolation the affordable housing units within that structure to a specific floor or area within the structure.”

After Civic San Diego rejected the proposal from Pinnacle, the developer came back with a new plan that eliminated the eight-story affordable housing section entirely. That plan was also rejected by Civic San Diego.

10News reached out to Pinnacle for a comment, but a lawyer said they could not say anything because the project “remains a subject of potential litigation.”