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Incentives For Affordable Housing

 June 17, 2021 at 5:18 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Thursday June 17th. >>>> A testing ground for affordable housing incentives But first... let’s do the headlines…. ###### Health officials are now calling the Delta Strain of the Coronavirus that’s been devastating India a “variant of concern.” It’s now the dominant strain in the UK, and some experts think it will soon be in the US. Variants of covid-19 may be more contagious, deadly and less susceptible to the current vaccines. Rebecca Fielding-Miller is an epidemiologist and professor at UC San Diego “every infection is an opportunity for a new variant that could potentially escape the vaccines which would just be terrible to set back all of our hard work that far (:10)” Fielding-miller says 75 percent of San Diegans getting at least their first dose of vaccine is a huge achievement, but she says there’s a big difference between reaching herd immunity and eradicating the virus. ###### In the face of ongoing triple digit heat in the region, San Diego county has issued a flex alert for today between 5 and 10 pm. "a flex alert would be a further call asking the public to voluntarily reduce their demand especially during those 4 to 9 p.m. hours." The California independent system operator, or CAL ISO, says it should have enough electricity to meet the upcoming demands. But, they say, there may not be much electricity to borrow from neighboring states. Mark Rothleder is the agency's chief operating officer. "in this heat wave, the entire west is actually hot, and especially in the southwest, so they too are also experiencing high demand and using all the resources they can." The current heat wave is expected to continue through tomorrow and in the meantime, San Diego county officials have opened nine “cool zones” at community centers and libraries for the hottest parts of the day. Masks are required at the zones. To find one near you, go to coolzones dot o-r-g. ######### From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. Last year the San Diego City Council approved new incentives for developers to build more affordable and market rate housing. KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen says the first project to use the program, called Complete Communities, could be a preview of what's to come. Construction sounds AB: Construction is well underway at Secoya, a 100-unit apartment building on 5th Avenue in San Diego’s Bankers Hill. The lot, one block from Balboa Park, is zoned for only 25 apartments. But local development firms Murfey Company and Bishop Ventures saw the potential for more. GB: Seven of the units out of the 100 are affordable to very low income. And another four units are affordable, rent restricted, to moderate income. AB: Developer Gilman Bishop says those 11 affordable homes are what made this project eligible for the city's Complete Communities program approved last November. GB: What it allows you to do is have unlimited residential density within a specific building envelope. And it incentivizes developers to build smaller units so they get more units within that same envelope. AB: Smaller homes with cheaper rents is exactly what Complete Communities was meant to encourage. It was also meant to encourage a car-free lifestyle. None of the apartments comes with off-street parking. But they'll be right next to new protected bike lanes leading to downtown and Hillcrest. Andrew Bowen, KPBS news. ########## As businesses struggle to fill job openings, a new survey suggests workers now have the upper hand in the job market. KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne tells us about what some are calling “The Great Resignation.” Job fairs... help wanted signs... and signing bonuses... are being seen throughout San Diego as businesses rush to hire staff. And all these signs scream “new opportunities” to all... including people who already have jobs. A new survey says more than 1 in 4 San Diego workers plan to look for a new job in the next couple of months. John Asdell /Robert Half, “This really should be on employers' minds, how do we reduce turnovers, the great resignation right. 1 in 3 people nationwide are probably going to voluntarily quit.” John Asdell is the San Diego Vice President of Robert Half, a global professional staffing firm that conducted the nationwide survey. San Diegans surveyed said they are looking for a salary boost, career advancement and flexibility. They also want to work for organizations that align with their personal values. Asdell says employers need to assess what they are offering... because people have options now more than ever. “In taking very intentional steps to make sure people are paid at or above market, they're given the flexibility to do their work when, and how, and where they want to, if at all possible and that they have a plan to get to the next part of their role.” Eric Bruvold is the CEO of the San Diego North Economic Development Council. He says several companies in North County are hiring. ‘It's a tight labor market so workers have options. And I think that you’ll see workers look around for things that provide them opportunities.” One opportunity that could persuade people to make a job change... shorter commutes. “They're Great companies that align the 78 corridor, you don't need to drive 30, 40, 50 minutes and fight your way through the merge.” As people explore their options, Bruvold says we will see more changes in the Fall as schools and child care facilities open to full capacities. TT KPBS News ########## A Pacific Beach doctor is facing charges before the state medical board that could revoke his license. He was a key figure in a 2018 investigation by our partners at inewsource. Inewsource investigative reporter Mary Plummer has more. The board’s executive director is accusing Dr. James Novak of repeated negligent acts involving two diabetes patients. As well as failure to maintain accurate records and unprofessional conduct. Novak ran a Trina Health clinic that offered a questionable diabetes treatment -- physicians we interviewed called the insulin infusion procedure worrisome and unproven. Novak declined to comment. A state investigator interviewed him early last year. Since then, Novak appears to have continued seeing patients. Recent Yelp reviews range from one to five stars. For KPBS, I’m inewsource investigative reporter Mary Plummer. And that was Inewsource investigative reporter Mary Plummer. inewsource is an independently funded, nonprofit partner of KPBS. ########## Coming up.... How will our pets adjust to no more working or schooling at home? That story next, just after the break. There was a cartoon early on in the pandemic that showed dogs calling each other on the phone saying, how could life have gotten this good? Meanwhile cats were calling each other and saying, how could things have become this terrible? The joke has truth to it--with many of us working from home for the past year and a half, our pets have gotten used to having us around. But now, as people begin to return to the office, those pets will have to adjust to us being away. Amanda Kowalski is the Director of Behavior Programs at the San Diego Humane Society, she spoke to Claire Trageser on KPBS Midday Edition. That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or check out the Midday podcast. You can also watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television, and as always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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A new housing development going up near Balboa Park is a preview of the city’s "Complete Communities" program, meant to incentivize the construction of affordable housing. Meanwhile, as San Diego employers struggle to fill jobs, it seems employees have gained the upper hand in this post-pandemic job market. Plus, how will our beloved pets adjust to us returning to the office?