A multifamily housing project in North Park on Nov. 17, 2023.
A multifamily housing project in North Park on Nov. 17, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

A new study found that San Diego County needs 134,537 more affordable rental homes to meet regional demand – and that the majority of the region’s low-income renters are spending more than half their income on housing in its absence.

As The Union-Tribune reports, the analysis released Thursday by the California Housing Partnership and the San Diego Housing Federation also found renters need to earn $47.67 an hour to afford the region’s monthly average rent of $2,479, an estimate that assumes a tenant should spend less than 30 percent of their income on rent.

Stephen Russell of the Housing Federation, which advocates for affordable housing developers, argued at a Thursday press conference that local and state budget tightening could imperil already insufficient efforts to address the housing crisis. The report noted that the region has already seen a 13 percent year-over-year drop in state and federal funding for affordable housing.

A local lens: Russell and other advocates called for the county, which initially budgeted $10.6 million for a key affordable housing financing fund in the upcoming fiscal year, to increase the allocation to $25 million. Russell also urged the city not to raid its affordable housing fund, an option that has been floated as the city and its housing agency discuss how to maintain homelessness programs amid a significant city budget deficit.

More on city budget talks: Housing Commission CEO Lisa Jones, who has engaged in talks with the city following a dispute over funding for city homeless programs her agency oversees, attended Thursday’s press conference. Jones wouldn’t comment on whether her agency will recommend that the City Council vote to pull funding that affordable housing developers are rallying to maintain but told Planetcob the city and the housing agency have recently had “positive conversations” about the budget.

“We’re very much looking forward to seeing the result of the May revise,” said Jones, referencing the mayor’s updated budget that will be released next Tuesday.

Looking ahead: The city last year issued a record number of permits for affordable housing units but Axios reports that city officials don’t expect that trend to continue – and even with last year’s uptick, the city isn’t on track to meet its state-mandated housing targets.

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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1 Comment

  1. Get rid of Midway rising and build 100% affordable housing. Dump SB9 & 10. Move the arena to mission valley. Reinstate the 30ft height limit that Todd's political crony bought.

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