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VOSD Podcast: City Council Odd Couple in the House

Hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts sat down with Councilmen David Alvarez and Scott Sherman to talk about the odd couple’s new housing plan.

San Diego is in the middle of a housing crisis, and an unlikely pair has emerged to do something about it.

Democratic Councilman David Alvarez and Republican Councilman Scott Sherman disagree on many issues. But when it comes to housing – and San Diego’s need for a boatload more of it – the two said they’re batting for the same team.

Hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts sat down with Alvarez and Sherman to talk about the odd couple’s new housing plan. The two hosted a summit this week to kick off a major housing push, but Lewis and Keatts wanted to know how they plan to take the issue beyond a conversation and create actual solutions, especially since some of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s actions haven’t moved the needle much when it comes to new housing in San Diego.

Citing a 2015 study by researchers at  Point Loma Nazarene University that found 40 percent of housing costs in the region are driven by government regulations, Sherman said one way to get more housing built is to remove red tape.

“We’re going to move to streamline some of those processes,” he said. “We’re going to start trying to allow certain things to be done and be permitted by right … and reform different obstacles that get in the way a lot of times of these types of development happening.”

Both Sherman and Alvarez said they are committed to push as hard as they can on housing in the next few years.

“The willingness is there now,” Alvarez said. “There’s never been a moment like this while I’ve been on the Council where it just feels like it’s the right time to do it.”

Also on the podcast, Keatts and Lewis get all anti-science about growing human organs in animals. They talk about the two executive orders signed by President Donald Trump this week that could impact the San Diego region bigly. And, of course, they touch on the new idea floated for the Qualcomm Stadium site, and discuss what it means now that the city has cleared a huge hurdle in its push toward a waterfront expansion of the Convention Center.

Oh, and the Chargers are definitely not coming back to San Diego, so Lewis and Keatts said it’s time to stop pretending they might.

Hero of the Week

Sherman and Alvarez get the honor this week for taking leadership roles in the housing crisis.

Goat of the Week

San Diego Unified School District gets the goat for continuing to fail the students of Lincoln High School. A course designed to earn students there college credit is in shambles.

Subscribe to the VOSD Podcast on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Download it here.

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