Taking Stock Of San Diego's Housing Crisis

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
By Alison St John, Marissa Cabrera
Photo by Associated Press
Above: Construction workers build a new home in San Diego, July 13, 2006.

A Housing Commission report this year said the city of San Diego needs to build an additional 150,000 to 220,000 housing units over the next decade to keep up with demand.

But so far, the region has been falling short of that goal.

The number of residential building permits issued in the region in 2017 is on pace to be down by 20 percent from the previous year, according to the Building Industry Association of San Diego County. On top of that, most of the new houses built are for people at the upper end of the income scale.

"It is significant that we acknowledge this drop in building permits because that drives everything. We believe 2018 will be at best, as good as 2017 was, but probably we will have lower production rates because the cost to construct exceeds the pocket book of most people," said Borre Winckel, president and chief officer of the Building Industry Association of San Diego County. "The time for serious action is upon us, it is not someone else's problem anymore. It's a universal problem."

Winckel and Stephen Russell, executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation, discuss what is driving the housing shortage and how the new GOP tax bill may impact the housing market.