R.I.P. Affordable Housing
Mayor Gloria's Affordable House of Cards
January 8th, 2024
The Housing Action Package 2.0, which was passed on a 7-1 vote on December 12, will get a second and final reading as part of the consent agenda at next Tuesday’s (January 9th, 10 AM) City Council meeting.
While Neighbors For A Better San Diego supported most of the initiatives in HAP 2.0, we continue to oppose the changes to Complete Communities Housing Solutions (CCHS).
Not only are the proposed changes ambiguous, contradictory, and incomplete, but they undermine San Diego’s commitment to housing affordability and starve the city of development fees to pay for needed infrastructure in older communities that will be disproportionately targeted by the new regulations.
Public comment on consent agenda items is limited, so we have submitted a list of 18 unresolved questions to the Councilmembers and the Planning Department that were not addressed at previous Planning Commission and City Council meetings. We have asked the Council to get answers to these questions before they make a final and fateful decision on January 9.
Older posts on HAP 2.0...
December 12, 2023
City Council votes 7-1 to allow off-siting of Affordable housing
Jen Campbell was the only No vote at the December 12th City Council meeting, rightfully noting that the amendments Mayor Gloria and Council President Elo-Rivera put forth did nothing to fix the flaws in the Complete Communities section of the Housing Action Package 2.0
Here's the link to the video archive of the meeting.
NFABSD speakers are at the following timestamps:
Paul Krueger: 3:19:00 mark
Danna Givot: 3:33:00 mark
Geoff Hueter: 3:45:00 mark
David Moty: 3:54:00 mark
Thank you to everyone who made time to come to the City Council meeting to support our speakers, as well as everyone who sent in written comments and called City Council members.
December 6th, 2023
The Mayor and the Council President put out a press release saying that the Housing Action Package 2.0 (HAP 2.0) would be coming back to the City Council in December.
Despite the grandstanding from Council President Elo-Rivera about the lack of transparency and input in the city planning process, his office did not disclose any details of the agreement he made with the mayor until the Agenda was published on December 6th — three working days before the meeting. This left little to no opportunity for the public to thoroughly review the proposal or provide valuable feedback to their council members.
It is our position that the entire Complete Communities section must be removed from the Housing Action Package 2.0
In 2020, our City Council agreed to allow developers to build disproportionately dense projects that could bust past zoning height limitations under the premise that those projects would include a small number of Affordable units.
This is how the concept of "Complete Communities" was packaged and sold.
However, our City Council will vote on December 12th whether they will now allow developers to move those required affordable units to another location, or "off-site".
It would be considerably more expensive to build new affordable housing, but developers are not required to build those units from scratch. Instead, they can rehab an existing naturally occurring affordable apartment building using tax-payer funding that would have otherwise been earmarked for the addition of new affordable housing.
Instead, they can rehab an existing "affordable" apartment building using tax-payer funding that would have otherwise been earmarked for the addition of new affordable housing.
This shell game creates a net-zero increase in the actual inventory of Affordable housing and moves San Diego further away from the state Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) goals that are being used to justify targeting single-family neighborhoods.
To add insult to injury, these off-site units are not required to have amenities that are on par with the primary Complete Communities building. Also, there are no design standards that Developers have to meet, they just need to show they “created” the required affordable units.
What would this mean for San Diego? For starters, neighborhoods like La Jolla could end up with out-of-scale and dense, luxury high-rise apartment towers that are completely disproportionate to the surrounding neighborhood, while another moderate-opportunity neighborhood such as Linda Vista will warehouse those Affordable units. In addition, developers are not required to include parking.
Besides the obvious segregation, this ruse hands developers more power while the working class reaps none of the benefits behind the selling of Complete Communities. Not only does this proposed plan further diminish the public's trust, it has the potential to create net zero affordable housing.
This proposal hasn't been thought through and the Planning Department has not provided the City Council with enough information to make an informed decision.