San Diego

Affordable Housing Residents Not Immune to Rising Rent Costs

The housing crisis has taken its toll on thousands of San Diegans as rent prices rise at a higher rate than most of the country.

It's even getting worse for people who already get a break on rent.

Robin and her family have lived in Fairbanks Commons, an affordable housing complex right across the street from Del Norte High School in 4S Ranch, for five years.

“I love the area, we love the schools,” Robin said, but “affordable” is becoming not affordable enough.

Her reduced rent hovered around $1,200 for most of the time she’s lived at Fairbanks Commons until it was raised by more than $100 last year. She was recently notified that starting in July, her rent would increase another $80.

For someone like Robin, a mother of three with limited income, the increase hurts.

“I just think it's ridiculous,” Robin said. “Living wage is supposed to be $15 an hour and there's no way you can even afford affordable housing, low-income housing at $15 an hour.”

She’s even thought about moving out of the state.

"If we couldn’t live here, we’d have to move to another state and not have our family for our children to grow up with," Robin said.

She said they were warned the rent would go up. A letter told them rent is based on the median income for the area.

Homes in 4S Ranch are huge and neighborhoods are pristine. The San Diego housing commission tracks the rent there and makes sure it follows the letter of the law.

A spokesman for the commission said Fairbanks Commons meets its requirements. It just doesn't meet the requirements for Robin and some of her neighbors.

The owners of Fairbanks Commons told NBC 7 they've raised rent by an average 3 percent per year for the past five years, but that does not cover the increases in their own operating expenses.

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