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Housing Action Package

Homes for All of UsOn July 19, 2021, the City of San Diego announced a new citywide initiative called Homes for All of Us. The initiative includes three components: a new community plan update framework called Blueprint San Diego to help meet the City’s housing and climate action goals, the creation of a Middle-Income Housing Working Group and the Housing Action Package. The Housing Action Package aims to implement new state law related to housing development, align the state law with existing city housing programs, and incentivize and promote new housing opportunities throughout the city that San Diegans of all income levels can afford.

Barrio Logan Housing
Commercial property housing
Affordable housing project

Take the Homes For All of Us SurveyTake the Homes For All of Us Survey

Housing Action Package Hearing Schedule

Image showing project schedule with review by the City Council scheduled for February 8, 2022.

Housing Action Package Public Hearings

  • Planning Commison: The Housing Action Package was reviewed by the Planning Commission on December 16, 2021. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend adoption of the Housing Action Package as presented, with one modification to increase the number of onsite trees required from one to two per 5,000 square feet of lot area and to reduce the threshold for the requirement from three ADUs to two.
  •  Land Use & Housing Committee: The Housing Action Package was reviewed by the Land Use & Housing (LU&H) Committee of the City Council on January 13, 2022. LU&H voted unanimously to recommend adoption of the Housing Action Package as presented, without modification.
    • Agenda (To view supporting materials, including the staff report, click on the item name in the agenda and a list of supporting documents will be provided on the right-hand side of the screen.)
    • Video Recording (Presentation Starts at 25:05 Mark)
  • City Council: The Housing Action Package is scheduled for review by the City Council on February 8, 2022. Links to all hearing documents will be provided here once posted.  

Housing Action Package

Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) Implementation

Senate Bill 9 was passed by the state legislature in 2021 and took effect on Jan. 1, 2022. It requires a city to approve the following: 

     -Up to two new homes on a single-family zoned lot and/or; 

     -Splitting a single-family zoned lot into two lots about the same size.  

Senate Bill 9 also allows for the city to tailor some decisions regarding setbacks, parking, landscaping and development impact fee (DIF) requirements.  The City’s Municipal Code will be amended with an additional section that focuses on multi-dwelling units and lot splitting in single-family zones. 

PDF icon Obtenga más información sobre la implementación del Proyecto de Ley del Senado 9 (SB 9 por sus siglas en ingles) y las regulaciones para unidades de vivienda accesoria.

Learn more in this presentation:

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Amendments to the City’s ADU regulations provide consistency with SB9 related to setbacks, parking, landscaping and DIF fees.  

     -Require 4-foot setback for multi-story ADUs next to residential lots.

     -Tree regulations for all ADU’s and additional requirements on sites with two or more ADUs.

     -Increasing development impact fee for each ADU in excess of the first two larger than 750 square feet. 

PDF icon Obtenga más información sobre la implementación del Proyecto de Ley del Senado 9 (SB 9 por sus siglas en ingles) y las regulaciones para unidades de vivienda accesoria.

Learn more in this presentation:

Affordable Housing in All Communities

Affordable housing is not available in all communities in San Diego. In fact, many communities have little to no housing reserved for low-income residents.

The Housing Action Package encourages more affordable housing construction throughout the City by allowing affordable units built through the City’s density bonus program and 100% affordable housing developments to be built in these communities. To meet the City’s climate and equity goals, the homes must be built near transit and in areas deemed “high resource” by the State of California. “High resource” communities generally have access to high-paying jobs, high-performing schools and better air quality. This proposal is a key component of the City’s efforts to further fair housing and make all communities in San Diego more accessible to live in.

Employee Housing Incentive Program

Currently, new office buildings, retail stores, industrial facilities and other non-residential projects do not have an opportunity to provide housing for the new employees the development brings to the City.

The Housing Action Package allows non-residential development in Transit Priority Areas to pay into the Affordable Housing Trust fund or build affordable housing in exchange for incentives. This proposal is intended to assist in the promotion of job growth in the City while also addressing the housing crisis.

Live/Work Flexibility

Currently, the City allows for the development of Live/Work units that function as both a home and place of business. Over the past several years, the workforce needs have changed and more Live/Work units are needed to accommodate people who work from home.

The Housing Action Package amends the requirements for Live/Work units to allow for more working from home and telework opportunities.

Housing at City Facilities

In addition to the opportunities for new housing mentioned above, the City of San Diego recognizes it has its own role to play in meeting the needs of residents.

The Housing Action Package allows by-right affordable and middle-income housing developments on existing and new publicly-owned sites. For example, when the City constructs a library or other public facility, it could include housing units in the development. The City could also build housing on parking lots or other City-owned existing built spaces.

Housing Accessibility Program

Residents with disabilities need more opportunities to live in accessible homes with adequate space in kitchens and bathrooms and accessible routes throughout the building. As San Diego’s population ages, creating accessible homes is an important way to ensure more residents can remain in San Diego.

The Housing Action Package provides incentives for housing developments to include more accessible housing than required by the California Building Code.

Housing for Families

Housing for families can be difficult to find. Residents with multiple children or intergenerational families may not be able to find opportunities to live in places within walking distance of transit, schools and parks.

The Housing Action Package provides incentives for housing developments with units that have three or more bedrooms. Additional incentives are awarded if the three or more bedroom units are reserved for middle-income families.

Minor Revisions

The Housing Action Package also makes minor revisions to the existing policy that facilitates the production of new housing. These minor revisions include:

  • Timeline adjustments: These amendments would extend the building permit expiration to streamline the phased development of residential master plan projects.
  • Affordable Housing Permit Requirements: These amendments would remove the requirement for additional discretionary permits for increases in density for development that complies with the affordable housing regulations.

For more information on the Housing Action Package, please see this PDF icon fact sheet.

Future Package

The following items were also introduced in the July 2021 Homes for All of Us announcement and will be included in a second Housing Action Package in 2022. To provide comments and feedback on these proposals, please take the survey.

Affordable Housing Protection for Communities

New homes built in existing neighborhoods have the potential to permanently change the community and negatively impact residents with low incomes.

A future package will permanently require that when existing affordable housing is redeveloped into new market-rate housing, an equal amount of affordable housing is built in the development. Additionally, the proposal would require newly constructed affordable homes in underserved communities to be offered to members of the existing community. These protections will assist existing low-income residents when new homes are developed.

Housing on Underutilized Commercial Sites

Vacant or struggling retail and commercial sites may be appropriate locations for new housing.

A future package will allow affordable housing on vacant or underused commercial sites to increase housing supply, including encouraging mixed-use sites with business and housing options.

Housing on Non-Profit Sites

Many non-profit organizations have land available to build housing, like unused parking lots or other existing built spaces.

A future package will allow for more affordable and middle-income development opportunities on underutilized sites owned by non-profit organizations. This means non-profit healthcare providers, religious organizations and numerous community-based groups would be able to play a role in meeting the City’s housing needs.

Entry-Level Housing

Single-room occupancy (SRO) homes are the first rung on the housing ladder. They provide shelter and safety to those at risk of homelessness.

A future package will include additional incentives to construct SRO homes and rehabilitate and preserve existing SRO homes to provide more entry-level living options for the unhoused population.

Climate-Friendly Housing Development Near Transit

Places with access to trolley stations and rapid buses are not always places that encourage more transit use. Drive-throughs and other auto-oriented uses that force residents to use a car can create congested roads and discourage walking and biking. The City has goals to address climate change by increasing walking, biking and transit use.

A future package will incentivize housing construction on existing auto-oriented locations within Transit Priority Areas. This would catalyze housing development in transit-supportive areas like El Cajon Boulevard.

Other items may be added to the Homes for All of Us housing packages, including the implementation of additional state legislation and potential recommendations from the Middle Income Housing Working Group. We encourage residents to participate in our survey and provide feedback on the proposed initiatives and new ideas for the City to consider as part of Homes for All of Us.

Homes for All of Us Workshops

On Aug. 4, 2021, Planning Department staff hosted a Homes For All of Us Implementation Proposal workshop to receive public feedback on ideas to provide more housing in San Diego. This was followed by a second workshop on Aug. 16, 2021, to discuss the proposed code amendment language. If you missed the workshops, you can view recordings of the meetings below.

Watch Workshop #1

Watch Workshop #2