Complete Communities
Housing Solutions

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Housing Solutions includes incentives aimed at encouraging the building of homes near high-frequency transit. The focus is intended to create a variety of housing options for everyone, particularly those at low and middle-income levels. These incentives include investments in neighborhood amenities, such as pocket parks and plazas, as well as the preservation of existing affordable housing units.

Housing Solutions Skyline

Housing Solutions Goals

  • Focus housing construction in multi-family and mixed-use commercial areas served by transit in Transit Priority Areas (TPA).
  • Remove regulatory barriers to housing at all income levels, especially low, very low, median, and moderate-income households.
  • Invest in neighborhood amenities, such as recreational opportunities, linear parks, urban plazas, cultural amenities, and promenades, as well as the preservation of existing affordable housing units.

State Housing Mandates:

Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)

Beginning in 2021, the City’s new RHNA target is approximately 108,000 additional housing units over the next 8 years. This equates to an annual target of approximately 13,500 units per year.
Currently, housing production in the City has averaged approximately 4,000-5,000 units per year. This means that we need to triple our annual housing production.
The Complete Communities Housing Solutions program provides a tool that will help us close the gap and achieve that target and more importantly meet the housing needs of all San Diegans.

Proposed Strategies to Meet City Goals and State Mandates

  • Implement an affordable incentive program for housing construction centered around mixed-use and multi-family areas served by transit.
  • Require development to invest in neighborhood amenities, such as parks and urban plazas, in addition to preserving existing affordable housing.
  • Incentivize housing that is more affordable for all income levels especially low moderate income levels through a restructured Development Impact Fee (DIF) and streamlined processing.
  • Continue to implement current incentive programs that have helped spark housing projects that work for all income levels, especially low and median-income, and meet RHNA goals to meet the demand of job growth in the region.

Begin by Understanding the Problem

Progress Towards RHNG Goals by Income Level

Housing Inventory Annual Report 2020 cover

View the 2020 Housing Inventory Annual Report

San Diego Skyline at Sunset

Regional Housing Needs Assessment

The City of San Diego’s share of the RHNA target for the 2021-2029 Housing Element period is 108,036 housing units. 

To meet this target, approximately 13,500 units will need to be produced annually. 

With a current average of approximately 4,100 units produced in a year, annual housing production will need to triple to meet this RHNA target.

Where the Program Applies

What the Program Requires
and What it Provides

Housing Solutions Components

Provide 15% of base units at 50% area mean income (AMI) and 10% at 60% AMI and 15% of at 120% AMI

Apartment Building

Apartment Building

Aging NOAH units must be replaced with new deed-restricted units


50 percent of new funds will be reserved for affordable housing preservation

Apartment Playground

Building Patio

New deed-restricted units must be provided on-site

Equity and Preservation

  • Relocation and replacement housing benefits
  • Right-to-return granted to existing tenants
  • Priority Preference within Communities of Concern reserves 75% of affordable units for surrounding residents
  • Existing naturally affordable housing rented by a lower-income household (in the past seven years) must be included in project.

Neighborhood Enhancement and Pedestrian Design


  • Option 1: Pay $9.00 per square foot of lot area to the new Neighborhood Enhancement Fund
Option 2: Build a public promenade with recreation and mobility amenities
Incentive 5
The Californian

All Projects

  • Design a pedestrian-friendly project

Share your thoughts

The Housing Solutions survey closed June 15, 2020.