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City Of San Diego Leverages Its Affordable Housing To Create More

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Aired 2/3/10

The city of San Diego created almost 700 new affordable housing units last year, and plans to buy or build another thousand in the next five years.

The city of San Diego created almost 700 new affordable housing units last year, and plans to buy or build another thousand in the next five years.

City Councilman Todd Gloria, chair of San Diego's Land Use and Housing Committee, outlines the increase in affordable housing units owned by the Housing Commission on February 3, 2010.
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Above: City Councilman Todd Gloria, chair of San Diego's Land Use and Housing Committee, outlines the increase in affordable housing units owned by the Housing Commission on February 3, 2010.

Councilman Todd Gloria, chair of the city’s Land Use and Housing Committee, introduced a new report on the city’s efforts to increase affordable housing.

Gloria said the increase in units is the result of a deal with the federal government. The city agreed to forgo federal housing subsidies, in exchange for taking ownership of public housing. Now the city’s Housing Commission is leveraging loans on the value of that housing stock to build more.

"The approach is much more entrepreneurial," Gloria said. "Rather than asking for more public housing units, we’re going to take our local assets, leverage them and create more housing, and no one else is doing that anywhere else in the country."

Gloria says 14,000 low income families received rental assistance from the city last year. However 35,000 people remain on the city’s waiting list for Section 8 rental assistance. That's more than last year.

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