By Scott Sherman | District 7 Dispatch
In response to the crippling housing crisis the San Diego region currently faces, the City Council recently approved a package of housing reform measures that will cut red tape and streamline the housing approval pipeline. These reforms will allow the construction of housing to move faster, therefore reducing the cost to build.
Everyone agrees the San Diego region is facing a severe housing crisis. Cost of living is far outpacing income and San Diego families are consistently spending more than 30 percent of their incomes on housing. Average rent in San Diego now costs over $1,700 a month and the median price of a home in the county well exceeds half a million dollars. On average, San Diegans spend more of their annual income on housing than San Franciscans!
In an event labeled “Housing Action Day,” the City Council began addressing this crisis by approving three items. These items include:
- Streamlining companion unit construction.
- Process level reductions of qualifying housing projects.
- Reforming the appeals process.
While these measures will help streamline the housing approval process, there is still much more work to be done. We must continue the momentum and bipartisan efforts to lower the cost of housing for San Diego families.
We must ensure that future generations of San Diegans have the financial option to live in San Diego just as I did as a young man entering the work force. It is our moral imperative to ensure that San Diego families are able to live in the same region instead of being forced to relocate to cheaper regions such as Arizona, Nevada, or Texas.
Future actions being considered by the Smart Growth & Land Use Committee include park equivalencies, deferring fees, setting housing target goals, options for self-certification, and restructuring development fees. Additionally the committee will review opportunities to support funding affordable housing programs.
—Councilmember Scott Sherman represents the District 7 neighborhoods of Mission Valley, Allied Gardens, Grantville, Del Cerro and San Carlos.