SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego region needs to develop new housing units at a pace not seen since before the housing bubble burst to meet the demand.
A new report from the San Diego Association of Governments says the region needs to add about 171,000 new houses, condos and apartments by 2029, based on a state projection of population growth. That pace, of about 17,000 homes a year, hasn't been reached since 2003.
And in 2017, the county only authorized 10,000 new units.
"Statewide there's a recognition of the housing crisis and maybe we haven't been planning for enough housing," said Colleen Clementson, SANDAG's regional planner. "A lot of new development is going to be in existing communities."
Clementson pointed to successes in North Park and Little Italy, and said a lot of opportunities exist near stations along the Mid Coast Trolley Extension to UC San Diego. She said the agency is working with municipalities and developers to plan for the development.
But the goal is ambitious, and Borre Winkel of the Building Industry Association said he's skeptical it can be done.
"Unless we have a radical mind shift in every City Hall in the region to actually approving housing, we will never get to those housing totals, and people will continue to pay the higher rent," he said.
SANDAG's board will vote Friday to send the plan to the state's Housing and Community Development Department, which could help unlock grant money for affordable housing and other projects.