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Thank you for your coverage of San Diego’s short-term vacation rental issues. Your articles have brought to light many important facts, and yes, I agree the policy-making process has been dysfunctional. I see that changing.
Now, the mayor and the City Council agree there is a housing crisis. Low vacancy rates and the resulting higher rents have forced seniors and important members of our workforce out of San Diego. Companion units just might curb this unfortunate trend!
“Granny flats,” “accessory dwelling units,” “companion units” – no matter what you call them, they share the same goal of providing affordable housing for residents. State Sen. Bob Wieckowski opined that they “enable people of all ages to stay in the community they like without having to move away from their family, friends, work or school.”
I applaud Councilwoman Georgette Gomez’s amendment, and the support it received by seven additional Council members. These units MUST be used for residents who wish to continue working and living in our city. In the coming months, as elected officials bring forward policies to tackle the housing crisis, it is important that we recognize the intent of these policies. Council members made it clear that they wish to increase the housing stock by allowing for new streamlined policies that give incentives for those wishing to build accessory dwelling units. Using these new incentives to commercialize units goes directly against the intent and purpose of the new policies.
Congratulations to all for getting this right – and for bringing together Republicans, Democrats, business and environment groups, community advocates and home-builders. This broad coalition is not dysfunctional, at last.
Denise Willett Friedman is a resident, homeowner, community advocate and San Diego native.