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San Diego City Council Declares Affordable Housing Emergency For 12th Year In A Row

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The San Diego City Council declared an affordable housing emergency for the 12th year in a row on Monday. San Diego is tens of thousands of units short of the goal for affordable homes.

According to the San Diego Housing Commission, 60,700 San Diegans are currently on the waiting list for Section 8 housing. The wait time is 10 to 12 years.

Murtaza Baxamusa, director of planning and development for the San Diego Building Trades Family Housing Corporation, said little has changed since the city first declared a housing emergency in 2002.

"It's been 12 years since then and it appears like we are stuck where we were or a little bit behind," Baxamusa told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. "In terms of the region as a whole, we're not doing enough to address the housing emergency."

Baxamusa said in 2002, experts estimated that San Diego would need to produce 40,000 more units to address the crisis. That number is unchanged.

"If you don't have minimum requirements for developers to build affordable housing then we will not see the stock we need," Baxamusa said.

Chanelle Hawken, executive director of public policy for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the housing crisis is a concern for all stakeholders — not just the homeless or the low-income.

"If we can't provide a market where they can purchase a home then Phoenix will," Hawken said.

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