Housing Affordability - Income Allocation Toward Housing
photo: San Diego Housing Federation
How are we doing?
About half of all renters and homeowners in San Diego County are spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing. The numbers have improved slightly (by 3.3 percent for homeowners and 4 percent for renters) from the previous year. However, compared to other regions and the State of California average, more San Diego residents spend more of their income on housing. San Diego County experienced a net increase in the number of affordable housing units (3,377), with the largest increase relative to households at or below median income occurring in El Cajon. Though some of the indicators look better this year than last, we note that the number of homeless in the region increased by 8.6 percent from 2011 to 2012. Budget cuts at the state level and the loss of redevelopment agencies will affect the region’s ability to add more affordable housing in the region going forward.
Why is it important?
- According to Federal standards, households paying over 30 percent of annual income on housing are at higher financial risk. They also have less discretionary income to purchase other goods and services that support local economic growth.
- Housing costs influence our region’s competitiveness against other metropolitan regions in attracting or retaining businesses and a talented workforce.
- When housing in core areas is not affordable, people move to less expensive areas, usually farther away from jobs and services. This increases traffic congestion and transportation costs in addition to negatively impacting air quality.
What is the measure?
The percent of residents in the San Diego region who spend more than 30 percent of gross income on housing.
Ideas for Change
red tape for developments that qualify as affordable, through fee waivers,
and/or flexible municipal code and development permit processes that allow for
parking, density, setback and height concessions for very low-income rental
setting aside funding to purchase land near planned transit for
development of affordable housing or to preserve existing affordable housing
before transit projects drive up land and property values, as was successfully
done by the Transit-Oriented Development
Acquisition Fund in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Consider development of “shared equity” approaches such as a Regional Land Trust like the one in Silicon Valley that makes loans and grants to increase the supply of affordable housing, assist first-time homebuyers, prevent homelessness and stabilize neighborhoods.
- [See also: Land Use - Residential Development Indicator and policy options]
- Revitalizing Barrio Logan While Providing Affordable Housing Options -- The Mercado del Barrio Project in Barrio Logan is a 6.8 acre mixed-use residential and commercial district that provides affordable housing to 92 families while eliminating blight in a local enterprise zone. The project utilizes Smart Growth and LEED design principles and is located near public transportation, downtown jobs, and Chicano Park.