As legislators from all over California put forth potential housing solutions – 130 bills, to be precise – the city of San Diego is weighing in, sponsoring its own housing bill with the help of local Democratic Assemblyman Todd Gloria.
The measure, AB 1637, would allow local housing authorities, like the San Diego Housing Commission, to get involved in mixed-income housing that contains some subsidized and some market-rate units.
Housing authorities traditionally deal exclusively with low-income housing, meaning they can only develop, fund and operate housing meant for people who earn 80 percent or less of the area median income. In San Diego, that means making $72,750 for a family of four.
If the bill passes, the Housing Commission would be able to use certain funds toward currently non-subsidized, market-rate housing, as long as at least 20 percent of the development was set aside for low-income housing. The market-rate housing would be for middle class residents or what the bill calls “workforce housing,” people who make between 81 percent and 150 percent of San Diego’s median income.
The bill originated from a report produced by the San Diego Housing Commission in 2015 that looked at San Diego’s housing affordability problem and posed potential solutions. This 80/20, mixed-income model was one of the solutions.
“We need to up supply,” said Debbie Ruane, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of the San Diego Housing Commission. “So we looked to create a new range of housing to serve the families that are earning up to 150 percent [area median income], but are being shut out of rent. The purpose of this bill for us is to provide housing for the nurses, the teachers, the first responders.”
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It is not government's role, Mr. Gloria, to determine "social good" . You took an oath to the constitution, not some amorphous something or other called a "social good", which is undefinable. However, if you want less costly housing, get government out of the way. A local San Diego college determined in a study of some two years ago or so that 40% of local housing costs were due to regulation. Government is the problem. Markets offering what people want to buy are the solution.
@Bill Stoops So government should "get out of the way", but we should keep the exclusionary zoning?
San Diego's zoning prevents us from building multi-family housing in vast parts of our neighborhoods. Where it can be built, zoning also restricts its height and density so it's unprofitable to build, based on land cost. This is what's preventing markets from offering what people want (and can afford) to buy - not government.
@paul jamason I agree regarding the zoning restricting the market, but is it not the government that sets the zoning?
Wait, the inclusionary fees now paid were designed to get a mix of housing with these same ideals. What happened? The affordable units weren't built. The money paid by developers was viewed as a tax or fee, and for others to use in their plans for lower income projects.
Build quality projects with modest amenities and get it done. The City can waive their hefty fees if they are serious about doing this.