Housing vouchers are a critical tool for housing low-income individuals and families. But in San Diego, where the housing market is becoming increasingly competitive for people of all income levels, people offering vouchers instead of cash are struggling to compete. People who spent years on a waiting list now have a housing voucher that would cover all or most of their rent, if only they could find someplace that would take it.
A slate of November ballot measures would give local residents in cities across the state the power to veto or stop development projects. Meanwhile, Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to wrestle some control over building decisions away from locals. The conflict between cities and the state has ramped up in recent years, and it’s coming to a head.
Members of the public need to exercise their voices when it comes to shaping San Diego’s built environment.
Encinitas has placed itself in a tough legal position. Local voters could reject the city’s plan to accommodate new housing – a plan required by state law. Encinitas is the only city in the county, and one of a few in the state, without a legal housing plan.
On one side is developers who want to see the area just north of the Mexican border used for new homes to address a regional housing shortage; on the other, business groups that believe it should be industrial land to create jobs.
Civic San Diego is one step closer to completing an important development project in southeastern San Diego, but some in the community aren’t pleased with the process that led the organization to choose a developer. The complaints are stirring up the same issues that have kept Civic San Diego from expanding its authority outside of downtown for years. Namely, many in the community just don’t trust the organization.
One of Ed Harris’ first acts as a city councilman in 2014 was to stage a protest against a city plan to add density near a planned trolley stop in Bay Park. Now, Harris is running for mayor and talking up the need to build new housing near transit – just what the proposal he opposed intended to do. In an interview, he said he’s changed his perspective.
If ever a housing development was ripe to cut down on parking spaces, it would be National City’s Paradise Creek. Yet a push from the city to reduce parking spaces for the development never got off the ground. The struggle reveals one of the region’s biggest challenges when it comes to providing affordable housing and encouraging the use of public transit.
Barbara Bry, who’s running for City Council, recently wrote that Save San Diego Neighborhoods, a group trying to enforce tighter controls on vacation rentals, found more than 6,000 homes had been converted to mini-hotels citywide. Bry, who’s endorsed by the group, said those rentals were “directly contributing to the housing shortage” by removing them from the long-term renter or buyer market.
Critics of density bonus use the false argument that because production under the program has failed to solve the affordability problem in its entirety, the program must not work.