With a new Governor, California’s next legislative session with likely look for a different approach to addressing the incessant affordable housing crisis in the state. The carrots-and-sticks approach in the last couple of years has yielded new statewide revenues for homeless and affordable housing and has made local cities more accountable in their housing production. [Read more…] about How the state can address California’s housing crisis
Achieving Housing Choice and Mobility in the Voucher Program: Recommendations for the Administration is in the latest edition of the American Bar Association Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law (Vol. 27-1).
The article recognizes the Housing Choice Voucher Program as vital to helping homeless individuals and low-income families’ overcome barriers to housing stability, and a powerful tool to deconcentrate poverty and decrease racial segregation in our nation’s communities. While acknowledging the program’s potential to improve individual lives, families, and communities, the article discusses the program’s failure to meet its housing and community goals: [Read more…] about San Diego in National Spotlight: City’s Failure to Prohibit Section 8 Discrimination Hurts Homeless Veterans
Politics are the Ultimate Porn
The Art of Political Science is about a distilled and formulaic perversion of The People’s ideals: Politicians and bureaucrats do not provide what we want; they teach us how to desire it. Public officials’ speeches and a charismatic delivery do not guide my direction in assembling a business and housing plan for San Diego because they do not offer clarity in describing the steps to achieve its presentation and success. [Read more…] about Op-Ed: A Tiny Home Update: “The New American Dream” in Progress
Today, San Diego is failing to accommodate our growth demands. Due to NIMBY (people who oppose any new building with a “Not In My Backyard” attitude) pressure and fear, only downtown towers and greenfield sprawl sites are far enough away from them to secure any development permits. And these aren’t our best places to allow for enough attainable or affordable housing. Big, heavy downtown towers are very expensive. But so are sprawling subdivision roads, fire stations, community centers, parks, and new housing construction costs. Those subdivisions are far away from jobs, necessitate a car for every daily need. Suburbia encumbers agriculture lands and are at great wildfire risk. But, that’s mostly what we have available to us to build the housing we need to accommodate for the next 1.3 million people by 2050 (SANDAG). [Read more…] about It’s Time to Take the Keys Away from Granddad
San Diego does not have a homeless problem, it has a housing bed inventory problem in comparison to other large cities. The region’s homeless as a percentage of the total population is 12th in the nation, and the five-year trend is relatively flat when including both sheltered and unsheltered homeless. Yet, despite the public outcry, there are still about five thousand unsheltered homeless sleeping on our streets, sidewalks, canyons, riverbeds, parks and open spaces. [Read more…] about ‘America’s Finest City’ is Worst in Nation in Housing the Homeless
Building Industry Association (BIA) CEO Borre Winckel and Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3, a non-profit that advocates sustainable urban planning in San Diego) President Kathleen Ferrier recently debated the Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside (SOS) ballot initiative. The initiative was described by East County Magazine as follows:
If passed, the measure would require voter approval of amendments to the San Diego County General Plan that significantly increase density on parcels in the unincorporated county now designated for farming, open space, and wildlife uses.
The email exchange contained a passionate and informative conversation with directly conflicting ideas about how the measure might impact development, housing, and the environment in San Diego County.
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
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
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