By Scott Sherman | District 7 Dispatch
San Diego is facing a severe housing crisis. Unless we begin working together to help fix this problem, working families will continue to struggle to make ends meet.
In fact, the cost of housing has reached unimaginable numbers. The average cost of rent in our region has reached $1,743 a month and the median cost of buying a home has surpassed half a million dollars. It has gotten so bad that San Diegans now spend more of their annual income on housing than San Franciscans!
This high cost of housing has grave negative implications on our future local economy. Current conditions are forcing families to make the painful decision to relocate and seek more affordable areas to live.
All of these statistics mean that the status quo is no longer acceptable. We need widespread reform to housing policy to turn this situation around.
To begin the work, I teamed with Councilmember David Alvarez and others to hold a Housing Summit where the public offered input and presented solutions to our housing crisis. We took the ideas offered from the participants at the summit and are developing a comprehensive work plan to respond to the housing crisis in our city this year.
There is no one solution to combat the housing crisis. We need a multifaceted approach to increase the number and affordability of homes. The city must incentivize developers and property owners to increase housing stock.
Over the course of the year, we will also explore streamlining requirements and processes within our city departments to promote housing affordability. Creating strategic master plans, restructuring fees, and utilizing new technologies will help lower the cost of housing.
As a native San Diegan, this issue is personal to me. This is why I am excited to take this challenge on. There has never been a better time to improve housing affordability. The future of the middle class in San Diego is on the line.
—Councilmember Scott Sherman represents the District 7 neighborhoods of Mission Valley, Allied Gardens, Grantville, Del Cerro and San Carlos on the San Diego City Council.