FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 19, 2021
SAN DIEGO – As part of his commitment to tackle the housing crisis and create housing opportunities for all San Diegans, Mayor Todd Gloria today announced “Homes For All of Us,” a major package of initiatives aimed at producing more homes across the City that residents of all income levels can afford.
“A roof over your head at a price you can afford is the goal of this housing package,” Mayor Gloria said. “Whether you’re a senior who has lived in San Diego for decades or you’re a student getting an education from one of our world-class universities, I want to make sure that there is a future for you here. To do so, we need to build a lot more homes that are affordable at varying income levels. This series of initiatives will help do that.”
To continue the momentum toward reaching the City’s housing goals, Mayor Gloria outlined these new proposed initiatives the City’s Planning Department is working on to expedite the creation of housing options throughout the city for everyone, regardless of age, income or neighborhood.
- Blueprint San Diego: This initiative places the City’s housing, mobility and climate goals at the forefront of the community planning process. It streamlines the Community Plan Update process, shortening plan completion dates from four to five years to two to three years. These changes will lead to more local housing opportunities, faster infrastructure improvements and the City meeting its climate and transportation mode-share goals sooner by aligning housing production with transit. Members of the public can learn more and sign up for updates at www.sandiego.gov/blueprintsd.
- Middle Income Housing Working Group: A new group of resident volunteers who will formulate and evaluate ways to incentivize building more housing for families earning 80% to 120% of the Area Median Income.
- Housing at City Facilities: Creation of new policies and plans to use existing and new publicly owned sites to allow the building of affordable and middle-income housing more quickly.
- Housing on Underused Commercial Sites: Allow housing on vacant or underused commercial sites to increase housing supply, including mixed-use sites with business and housing options.
- Affordable Housing in All Communities: Update City codes to allow for more affordable homes in communities with little to no affordable housing that are close to job centers, quality schools, transit and parks.
- Housing Accessibility Program: Provides incentives to create more ADA-accessible housing for individuals with disabilities and older San Diego residents.
- Affordable Housing Toolkit: This online toolkit is available for homeowners, property owners and developers to help easily understand existing City programs to build affordable housing.
- Incentivize Climate-Friendly Housing Development Near Transit: Achieve the City’s climate goals by incentivizing housing construction on existing auto-oriented locations, such as car washes or repair shops, in areas near busses or trolleys.
- Live/Work Flexibility: Creating more live/work units to promote working from home and telework opportunities.
- Affordable Housing Protection for Communities: Permanently require new projects on residential sites to replace any affordable units and provide affected residents enhanced protections and affordable housing options. Require development within certain communities to prioritize new affordable housing units to current members of the community.
- Entry-Level Housing: Create additional programs to construct new single-room occupancy (SRO) units and rehabilitate and preserve existing SROs to provide more entry-level living options for the unhoused population.
- Housing for Families: Provide additional density bonuses in housing developments with units that have three or more bedrooms. Even more units can be built on a site if the units are affordable.
The City also released its 2021 Annual Housing Report today, which shows that the City is continuing to see progress in housing production thanks to the implementation of existing programs. For example, during the past five years, San Diego has seen the largest increase ever in the construction of affordable housing.
While it is estimated that the City needs to nearly triple annual housing production to meet the needs of its residents during the next decade, the City is making significant progress to provide more affordable and equitable housing options by approving more accessory dwelling units near transit and offering incentives to developers for affordable housing construction.
What Others Are Saying:
Stephen Whitburn, City Council President Pro Tem, District 3:
“San Diego is home to a diverse citizenry of lifelong San Diegans, students who attend our top-notch universities, seniors, working families and more — all of whom should be able to afford safe, clean, comfortable housing in our City. As chair of the City’s Land Use & Housing Committee, I am committed to working with my Council colleagues and Mayor Gloria to champion policies, initiatives and projects that ensure every San Diegan can afford to live here.”
Mike Hansen, City of San Diego Planning Director:
“The initiatives we’re unveiling today will help us build more affordable homes faster, and create neighborhoods where San Diegans have choices to get around the City in more sustainable ways. Our City staff are focused on finding creative options that will increase access to housing that families, students, seniors, and current and future San Diegans can afford.”
Stephen Russell, Executive Director, San Diego Housing Federation:
“It’s not just that we need more housing at all income levels – we need it everywhere in the City. The only way we will meet our climate action and economic equity goals is if housing is accessible to our working families and seniors in every community in San Diego, near the jobs, transit, retail, and social opportunities that our region offers.”
Stefanie Benvenuto, Vice President of Public Affairs, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce:
“The Chamber has long prioritized the need to build enough housing to support our vibrant economy. Mayor Todd Gloria’s plan today represents transformative ideas that put equity and the market realities of building housing at the forefront. We look forward to being an active participant in the passage of policies that address our housing deficit and applaud the work of his leadership team in the drafting of this program.”
Betsy Brennan, President and CEO, Downtown San Diego Partnership:
“Downtown welcomes Mayor Gloria’s proposed policy updates because they directly translate to more housing, faster and all throughout San Diego. With a handful of these recommendations generating from our Downtown community like the removal of the employment overlay zone in City Center, we’re excited to see the new development and investment they will spur for all San Diegans.”
Chris Clark, District Director, Urban Land Institute, San Diego-Tijuana:
“Creating attainable housing is key to building sustaining and thriving communities, and the work underway at the City of San Diego signals a sincere commitment to this goal. The hundreds of land use experts who serve as leaders of ULI San Diego-Tijuana stand ready to support the City as collaborators in setting a new proactive approach to housing production in our region.”
Lori Holt Pfeiler, President and CEO, Building Industry Association of San Diego County:
“On behalf of the Building Industry Association, I thank the Mayor for putting forward these initiatives. Housing is a personal issue, everyone needs safe housing and we don’t have enough. Our communities suffer when families have to double up and pay more than half their incomes on housing. Our middle wage earners are the backbone of our economy and suffer the most with housing shortages. These initiatives will help produce the housing we all know we need.”
Colin Parent, Executive Director and General Counsel, Circulate San Diego:
“Mayor Gloria's comprehensive set of city-wide housing policies are exactly what the City of San Diego needs to become more affordable for people at all income levels.”
Marissa Tucker-Borquez, President of YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County:
“Our failure to plan realistically for our housing needs over the past two decades has created a severe housing shortage, and continuing on this path is unsustainable for San Diego’s economy and our quality of life. We support these bold measures to encourage the creation of more homes to ensure people of all generations and income levels can afford a roof over their head.”