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San Diego’s Housing Crisis Affects Middle-Class And Poor Communities

One new apartment building, and one under construction on Lindo Paseo, are an...

Photo by Tom Fudge

Above: One new apartment building, and one under construction on Lindo Paseo, are an example of the increase in rental housing, aimed at San Diego State students.

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Market-rate housing is essentially housing that people who are in the market can afford to buy.

Gary London, the president of The London Group, said on KPBS Midday Edition Wednesday that the lack of affordable market-rate housing in the San Diego region has reached crisis proportions in his opinion.

"We don't have a chance ... to come near meeting the supply which is actually demanded in San Diego County, so the result is that bids up the price of all housing," London said.

At the 20th Annual Real Estate Conference at the University of San Diego this week, guest speakers will examine emerging trends. And the trend that is emerging in San Diego County — a lack of both market-rate housing for the middle class and affordable housing for the poor and working class — is sounding alarm bells.

In a recent white paper, London notes that incorporated cities in San Diego County will be hard-pressed to accommodate their share of future housing demand.

According to London, the lack of available land will force cities to meet the demand through infill and density, an idea which often meets community resistance. The proposed One Paseo development in Carmel Valley was downsized when residents objected to its density and size.

A forecast by the San Diego Association of Governments projects cities will need 3,574 single-family and 7,138 multi-family units each year between 2012 and 2020. San Diego County has historically desired and built single-family homes, but SANDAG forecasts a shift; 82 percent of housing units built between 2010 and 2050 will be multi-family.

London said the region is concentrating on density housing or multi-family units and not accommodating the market for a smaller type of single-family housing.

"We are going to grow no matter what, we have to figure out ways to accommodate this inevitable growth in our market," London said.


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