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From the Mayor's Desk

Launch of “Complete Communities Now” to Help Build More Housing that All San Diegans Can Afford  

state of the city 2024

At my State of the City address in January, I signed a new executive order requiring permit applications that fall under our Complete Communities program to be reviewed and permitted within 30 days. 

What has typically taken up to 12 months to review, I ordered to be done in just one.  

Complete Communities incentivizes housing near transit, and last year it accounted for 1,000 of the new homes permitted, with 15% of those set aside for low- and moderate-income San Diegans. 

This new, faster timeline will likely increase those numbers, creating even more homes San Diegans can afford. 

Last week, we officially launched this new Complete Communities Now program.  

The new fast-tracked permitting program will build on the extraordinary success of our Affordable Housing Permit Now program, which we created last year. 

Affordable Housing Permit Now required all 100% deed-restricted affordable housing projects to be reviewed in 30 days or fewer. 

During its first year of implementation, Affordable Housing Permit Now has led to 21 projects permitted – with review and approval occurring within an average of nine days! Those projects total more than 2,300 homes with nearly 500 more in the pipeline; 1,300 of these apartments are already under construction. 

These are projects that used to take several months to review. By getting shovels in the ground faster, we help builders reduce their costs and ensure certainty of the timeline, which helps greatly with project financing. Homebuilders have been reaching out with plaudits for the program and our Development Services Department’s efficient implementation. 

This program helped make 2023 a banner year for housing. I’m thrilled to announce that we just got the final number of homes permitted in 2023. At nearly 9,700 new homes, it was an 82% increase over the prior year and the highest number of permits since at least 2005, if not longer  

Getting homes built faster is a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to addressing our housing crisis, but it’s far from the only piece. In order for builders to create more housing, the City has to help clear the path with our land-use planning and policies as well. 

One of the ways we do that is through updates to our community plans. These community plans serve as the blueprint for where future housing and employment job growth can occur in each of our neighborhoods. 

We just released new final drafts of two community plan updates – one for Hillcrest and one for University City – that will create more opportunities to build housing in those neighborhoods. 

Along with recent completed plans for Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa and Barrio Logan -- as well as soon-to-be-updated plans for the College Area, Clairemont and our Mid-City communities, -- these plans will dramatically increase San Diego’s overall capacity for housing and job growth. 

These are just a few of the latest policies and programs our pro-housing city is putting into place to help build more homes that all San Diegans can afford.   


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