With its current leasing notice, the McMillin Company has every intention of gutting the North Chapel at Liberty Station (San Diego) and replace it with a restaurant. As an artist in the (slowly-disappearing) NTC Foundation’s Arts District at Liberty Station, I am leading an effort among my fellow artists to stop this outrage from coming to fruition.
Articles and studies from newspapers to academic journals warn the public against the havoc and devastation caused by rent control ordinances. However, it is not tenants and community based organizations that are funding these articles and studies, it is real estate investors, developers, and corporate apartment owner associations. For decades, tenants and community based organizations across California have worked tirelessly to enact rent control ordinances to decrease displacement and protect the rights and dignity of working families, the elderly, and long-term tenants. Tenant advocates continue to direct their limited resources to local initiatives and ballot measures, not to fund studies, articles, and lawsuits. [Read more…] about Demystifying Rent Control
There is not enough affordable housing being built in the city of San Diego. Lenders and banks are not lending as much, apartment owners are not caring, and builders are not building as much, since it is not as remunerative to build for income-constrained households. This worsens the disconnect between the economics of the housing stock and the demographics of the families it is meant to serve, as shown by a recent Harvard University study on apartments. In San Diego, less than ten percent of the rental housing stock is affordable. With new federal tax policies, things could get worst. [Read more…] about How to make housing more affordable in San Diego
Almost half a century ago I was in a new high school and held in my hand a mimeographed sheet inviting all and sundry to apply to be exchange students with the American Field Service. I thought about it all night long, then applied with an essay about how I really wanted to go to Japan and learn Japanese, as I was so taken with Japanese culture. To my surprise, I was selected as the school’s exchange student, and sent to Denmark. [Read more…] about Cycling through the Danish Land of Enchantment
What is a Bridge Shelter Program?
It is defined by the concept that this shelter is a stop on the way to permanent or rapid re-housing. At the moment, staying here is indefinite. [Read more…] about Alpha Project Temporary Bridge Program: A Review
First, San Diego gave its public housing authority, San Diego Housing Commission, free reign to opt out of following federal laws aimed at protecting housing subsidy recipients. As a result, San Diego Housing Commission has and continues to create policies that adversely impact the low-income tenants for whom it receives federal funding to protect. One example – SDHC’s Community Choices program encourages low-income families to spend 50% of their income on rent. [Read more…] about What San Diego is Doing Wrong: Housing Law 101
The current leadership at San Diego’s regional transportation agency hates taxes, except that they love to spend it. This double-standard has become increasingly apparent in the recent months, as they are back-filling the shortfall in the local sales tax revenues and increase in project costs with $5 billion from a statewide gas tax that many on the agency’s board vehemently oppose. [Read more…] about How San Diego’s public transit went from first to worst
Due to today’s housing crisis, it seems west coast cities are taking on Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) opposition that has stymied new projects and developments via polarizing and protracted public processes. These ‘no-growth’ individuals group together out of an innate fear of change to stop planned development intended to benefit their larger community. In my hometown of San Diego, these polarizing projects range from bicycle lanes, stadiums, house rentals, and to building more homes to address our housing crisis. Their innate ‘fear of change’ response to anything new creates an ethical challenge for every major city trying to build housing or transit. [Read more…] about How to Program Social Equity into Planning Sustainable Communities
We think of “sustainability” as a new idea, a concept underlying our hoped-for environmental stewardship of the planet, but as Poor Richard first voiced a related concept at the beginning of our national existence, it really isn’t a new idea at all. I’m not going to use this opportunity to go tree-hugger on you (although it’s not a role foreign to me), but I do want to highlight how an unused asset of the City’s could be turned into a brilliant community treasure. Sadly, this is an asset the City was prepared to waste. [Read more…] about Innovative Community Bike Center coming to San Diego in . . .
A fresh pulpo (octopus) tostada is exotic enough to take anyone’s palette on a journey. I recently had the opportunity to join a group of 15 young land use professionals from San Diego for a day of discovery and delight in our sister city, Tijuana, Mexico, on a hot, dry August afternoon. It begins with the new pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro, which is as sterile and contrasting to the vibrant life beyond as it gets. The long walk down the crossing feels like a transformation, one that is deeply experiential. Once on ‘the other side’, it is clear that a revitalization is underway. There dust in the air from all the construction, as a new wave of entrepreneurs look to transform this young city through creative mixed-use projects, design and cuisine. [Read more…] about Three great things happening now in downtown Tijuana, Baja California