San Diego

Annual Housing Production Must Triple to Meet Need in San Diego: Report

To achieve this goal, the city would need to build about 17,000 to 24,000 additional housing units per year in the next decade

In order to keep up with housing demand in San Diego, the city must roughly triple its annual housing production, revealed a new report.

By 2028, the city needs an additional 150,000 to 220,000 housing units, including apartments, condos and family homes, according to the San Diego Housing Commission's report released Thursday.

To achieve this goal, the city would need to build about 17,000 to 24,000 additional housing units per year in the next decade.

But in the last five years, the city only built 6,400 housing units per year at most. They would need to produce about three times as many houses to meet the new production goal.

The city will fall behind its housing goals by up to 50,000 units if no changes are made, said the report.

Nearly half of San Diegans can't find rental housing they can afford, and 60 percent cannot afford to buy houses, according to the report. Middle-class families are also struggling, with 70 percent unable to afford home ownership and 30 percent unable to make rent.

As of now, income is increasing at approximately half the rate of housing price increases.

The lack of housing is negatively impacting San Diego's business health and economy, argued the report. The loss of excess disposable income spent on housing costs is about $2.4 billion annually.

The city has missed out on approximately 275,000 direct construction jobs that would have been fulfilled if there were more housing units available, according to the report.

Moreover, the housing shortage is reducing San Diegans' quality of life and damaging the environment. Residents are forced into longer commutes because there are no housing options near their jobs.

The report states more than half of our residents' greenhouse gas emissions are connected to transportation.

However, the report does argue that the city is capable of creating sufficient housing production to meet 10-year housing needs in San Diego.

A Housing Goals Review Group was proposed to accelerate housing production in the city. The report suggested a variety of steps based on data from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and San Diego Geographic Information Source’s Regional Data Warehouse.

The five main recommendations are rezoning to increase density around transit hubs, redeveloping underutilized parcels of land, adapting disused industrial zones, infilling vacant lots and utilizing companion units.

San Diego City Councilmembers Scott Sherman and David Alvarez collaborated with the report, along with members of the city's Smart Growth and Land Use Committee.

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