Morning Report: Sizing Up the Affordable Housing Gap - Voice of San Diego

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Morning Report: Sizing Up the Affordable Housing Gap

Construction workers help build an affordable housing development in Barrio Logan. / Photo by Sam Hodgson

Last year, when the nonprofit Serving Seniors opened a new affordable housing development in Ramona, it had 62 units to fill. More than 3,000 people applied for a space.

That’s just one example of the chasm between the demand for affordable housing units and housing aid across San Diego, and what’s actually being produced. Lisa Halverstadt lays out just how wide the gap is in a new story.

“In the last three years, the San Diego Housing Commission reports more than 22,000 families have added their names to a roughly 10-year waiting list for Section 8 housing aid to subsidize their rents. County officials say they are getting about 500 new applicants a month,” Halverstadt writes.

So how much is actually getting built?

“From 2010 through 2018, the county and cities across the region permitted just 13 percent of affordable homes that the state had called for the region to produce by 2020 – and just 3,587 of the 36,450 units the state said were needed for San Diegans with very low incomes. The city of San Diego, which has the region’s largest share of affordable housing, permitted just 4,891 units reserved for low-income San Diegans during that same period – 13 percent of the state-set goal. Less than half of those units were reserved for San Diegans with very low incomes.”

Meanwhile …

The City Council is set to take up two items Tuesday to try to combat the housing crunch.

Council members must take a required second vote on City Council President Georgette Gómez’s inclusionary housing policy update that aims to deliver more affordable housing in the city. The City Council previously voted 7-2 to approve the policy change.

The City Council will also weigh in on a proposed resolution of necessity for a $900 million affordable housing bond that advocates believe could fund 7,500 affordable housing units in the city. City Council approval of the resolution would ease the path for the property-tax measure to appear on the November ballot.

Also on the cost-of-living front: A new report from the San Diego Workforce Partnership and San Diego Foundation highlights local families’ struggles to find quality, affordable child care. (KPBS) “We are losing parents from the workforce because they can’t find affordable child care or they’re settling for low quality care that isn’t good for the development of their children—our future workforce,” reads the new website they launched. 

Migrant Shelter Lands in Its Seventh Location

The San Diego Rapid Response Network migrant shelter has found a new location for the next two and a half years, the Union-Tribune reports. After spending nearly a year in the old downtown family courthouse, the shelter is now in a state-owned facility in Linda Vista.

This is the shelter’s seventh location.

In October 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement changed its policies guiding how it releases asylum-seeking families into the country, resulting in thousands of families being released into San Diego without direction or assistance in reaching family or friends they already had elsewhere in the U.S. Service providers, including Jewish Family Service, the ACLU and the San Diego Organizing Project, stepped in care for the families and assist them in getting to where they needed to go elsewhere in the country.

But after a couple of months, it became impossible for the nonprofits to sustain the shelter on their own, and the county and state stepped in with money, public health assistance and a long-term location at the old courthouse. The contract to use the courthouse was up at the end of 2019, when the shelter operation moved to Linda Vista.

  •       In other border-related news: San Diego federal Judge Dana Sabraw issued a rare ruling in support of the Trump administration in the ongoing lawsuit over family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. The ACLU has said in court that the government has continued to “systematically” separate families at the border, but Sabraw found that “the evidence before the Court does not support that assertion,” according to Reuters’ Mica Rosenberg

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby and Maya Srikrishnan, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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