The San Diego City Council approved a package of housing reform measures to tackle the local housing crisis Monday--a day the city had declared as Housing Action Day.
According to the city, the average rent in San Diego is now more than $1,700 a month and the average price of a home is more than $500,000. Families also spend approximately 30 percent of their income on housing.
Monday, the City Council approved the first phase of Mayor Kevin Faulconer's "Housing SD" plan to tackle low- and middle-income San Diegans. The approved measures will make it easier to build granny flats and speed up the permit process for the construction of new homes.
"The changes we made today are the first of many steps we’re taking this year to lower housing costs and increase housing options for folks struggling during this affordability crisis," Faulconer said in a statement. "San Diegans can’t afford for us to wait, and today shows that City Hall is listening and taking action."
Earlier in the day, Faulconer and Sen. Toni Atkins (D-39th) began the day by opening Cypress, a brand new 62-unit complex to provide housing for some in the homeless community as part of Housing Action Day.
South Bay resident Alex Teymoori told NBC 7, as a lifelong San Diegan, he's never seen the homeless problem as bad as it is now.
"Only 62 units? And there's more than what, 5,000 homeless on the street? I think they're going to have to do more than just a 62-unit building. The math just doesn't work with the numbers," Teymoori said.
Faulconer acknowledged the units weren't enough to house all in the homeless community but said he believes it will help.
"Sixty-two is going to make a big difference. But we need a lot more and that's the message," he said.