IBA looks at how to improve affordable housing in San Diego

It’s no secret that San Diego and all of California has an affordable housing crisis. Rents in the region are near all-time highs and inflation is affecting the cost of daily necessities.

ACCE San Diego Director Jose Lopez said this is pushing many San Diegans over the edge.

“Currently it is extremely difficult to be a renter. Most people pay more than half of their income in rent,” said Lopez. “There are very few protections against eviction, so if a tenant is evicted from their current unit, it is even more difficult to find a new place to live.”

But there are ongoing efforts to combat this problem.

That includes a new report from the city’s Independent Budget Analyst (IBA). It’s a 26-page analysis on how to improve housing affordability in San Diego.

He suggests several ways to overcome certain obstacles, such as permits and funding, height limits and lack of funding.

“The magnitude of the problem is so great that not just one thing is going to solve the problem,” said Jillian Kissee of the IBA. “The more the city can simplify, look at its own processes and make them better, the better we can have an impact on housing affordability.”

City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera was one of three council members who requested the analysis.

He said it is a first step that could eventually lead to changes and investments to get more houses built in San Diego.

“Through the simplification of permit processing, through changes to the rules and regulations about what can be built where, and about the programs we can put in place to make housing more affordable – we need to put every option on the table,” the city council president. he said.

Kissee said the next step is for the city council to digest the report while the IBA office waits for a response. That could include presentations to the council for more guidance on housing struggles in the region.

Meanwhile, ACCE San Diego’s Lopez said there are urgent needs for renters throughout the region.

“I think what needs to happen is more of a focus on protecting tenants and preserving the affordable housing that we currently have. The dominant narrative now has been building more housing, but we’ll never be able to build it ourselves themselves out of this crisis,” said Lopez.