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San Diego Takes Steps To Alleviate Housing Crisis, Report Reveals

June 20, 2018 1:40 p.m.

San Diego Takes Steps To Alleviate Housing Crisis, Report Reveals


Jade Hindmon, reporter, KPBS News

Related Story: San Diego Takes Steps To Alleviate Housing Crisis, Report Reveals


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

>>> More than 70% of people who live in the city of San Diego cannot afford to buy a home. 30% of moderate income households cannot afford to rent. These are some of the shocking facts of the city of San Diego's housing inventory report. It confers what we know that our children cannot afford to live in the city where they grew up. Working couples are spending more of their income on housing. Seniors and those on fixed incomes are threatened with losing the roof over their heads as rent keeps increasing. Here is what the report tells us, KPBS reported Kate Hindman. This is the first city report of its kind. Who compiled it and why.
>> You have city departments and housing commission. Mayor falconer said he cannot fix which you do not know. This is Mayor Faulkner's housing plan and a way to measure the efforts being put forth to make housing more affordable. Testing promising results with an increase of building permits. But we will not see the effects of that for a number of years especially for low income people. The report says for low income renters it is depressing give us the news.
>> Rental rates are up 34%. The median home price is $635,000.

>>> You have done stories about this, in an earlier news feature about housing, you spoke to Judy Strickland to get her take on the housing market and how it affected her family here she is .
>> I have adult children. Only one of the four only home. The other three would love to own a home. The house prices are exorbitant. I think they might have to leave the city to achieve the goal.

>>> A lot of families can relate.
>> The interesting thing about that woman I spoke to is that the friend whom she was sitting across the table from was a San Diego resident, moved to Arizona because housing was more affordable for her. These are people who were once living here. I got married early in life and were able to buy a home. Now all of a sudden it is out of reach for them, their children, and they are concerned.

>>> You had experience yourself right ?
>> I just got here and I've been in the process of trying to fight -- find a place to rent and it is very expensive.

>>> It is affecting the whole economy of San Diego. Tell us about that.
>> Wages are not growing at the rate that housing is growing. I talked to someone who is a lecture about real estate. He is saying that we are moving towards an hourglass economy. Where you have really really wealthy people and you have low income people. And you don't have anything in the middle. You have not worked on the middle class. It is hard for any city to sustain itself with that type of an economy. You will find people fleeing. People will just leave San Diego and go somewhere else where their dollar is valued more.

>>> The report notes that the city is behind its regional housing needs goal. How far behind?
>> The goal is 88 thousand 96 new housing units and that was for 2010 and 2020. Only 30% was built so far.

>>> The city says they have been streamlining the process to get permits. That was one of the reasons it was difficult to new houses built. That resulted in three times the number of units approved each year from 2000 to nearly 6000. Even with that, is the city still behind on its goals?
>> They are still behind. The goal itself was a small number. It was a fraction of what is needed. While we double the number, it is still a small number.

>>> You spoke earlier about the kind of housing being built and how it is a hourglass economy. What kind of housing is the most common being built right now.
>> In every corner of downtown San Diego, you see apartments going up and being built. You would think that that would actually help the housing market. What we are finding is that those apartments are really the high-end luxury Apartments. They are not affordable housing at all. The only impact that that eventually has is years down the line as more of those high-end apartments are built, the value will come down and maybe at some point be affordable for someone.

>>> What does the mayor and city say that they are doing to increase affordability and housing. What reforms are they putting into place?
>> The city Council has adopted several proposals that expand the city's affordable housing density program. They change several coats the speed up the program and build companion unions -- units and streamline. There is an easier way to make a profit.

>>> Anything else they are talking about doing in the future ?
>> No. There is no hope.

>>> Thank you so much for filling us in. I sincerely hope you find a place to rent very soon.
>> Thank you very much.