Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Injustice

Affordable Housing Bond Measure Moves Closer To Reality

A crane stands at a housing construction site in downtown San Diego in this u...

Photo by KPBS

Above: A crane stands at a housing construction site in downtown San Diego in this undated photo.

San Diego City Council members Wednesday voted to keep alive a $900 million affordable housing bond proposed for the November ballot, as city leaders run out of other options for dealing with the city's homelessness crisis.

The council's rules committee voted 4-1 to direct the City Attorney's Office to finalize the measure's language and conduct legal analysis. The full council has until August to officially place the measure on the November ballot.

Listen to this story by Andrew Bowen.

"Homes are the solution to homelessness, we know that," said Stephen Russell, executive director of the nonprofit San Diego Housing Federation, the measure's chief backer. "And the funding in the measure before you is commensurate with the scale of homelessness in San Diego."

The bonds would be paid back with a property tax increase amounting to $19 per year for every $100,000 of a property's assessed value.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has not taken a position on the bond measure, opting instead to focus his advocacy on Measure C, which would raise the city's hotel room tax to fund an expansion of the Convention Center as well as affordable housing and homeless services.

But as votes from last week's primary election continue to be tallied, Measure C appears to be falling short of the two-thirds majority it needs to pass. That would leave the city exactly where it is today — billions of dollars short of what's needed to make a dent in homelessness.

"We know that San Diego lags behind almost all major cities in the per capita availability of supportive housing," said City Councilman Chris Ward. "And so this is the kind of measure that actually gets us to correct that inequity and gets us to have the kind of housing we need."

Election 2020 news coverage


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Andrew Bowen

Andrew Bowen
Metro Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover local government — a broad beat that includes housing, homelessness and infrastructure. I'm especially interested in the intersections of land use, transportation and climate change.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.