“Affordable Housing” Initiative in San Diego Destined for Failure

Written by Michael Palomba

Democrats are at it again. Attempting to raise your taxes so that they can continue issuing government handouts. This time, it’s for “affordable housing.”

The City Council Rules Committee voted 3-2 to declare that San Diego is facing a shortage of affordable housing, warranting a $900 million housing bond. That $900 million bond would be funded through a property tax surcharge within the city.

The vote paves the way for placing the bond measure on the ballot. It’s expected to be considered by the full City Council next June for the November 2020 ballot. A 6-3 supermajority would be required, since tax increases require a two-thirds majority vote.

Councilman Chris Ward said, “At the end of the day, we’re not going to end homelessness unless we successfully house people.” 

Councilman Mark Kersey, on the other hand, said, “You’re now asking San Diegans to subsidize the construction of units that are nicer and more expensive than the ones they themselves live in,” he said. “I think this is going to be a tough sell.”

He voted against the measure. 

At the end of the day, this is another attempt by local Democrats to redistribute wealth in the way they see fit. 

We have seen in the past how government subsidized housing plays out, and it never goes well (see Section 8 housing).

Photo by Damian Gadal via Flickr

This proposed tax increase comes as the future of Prop 13 protections remains uncertain. Prop 13 protects California residents from property tax increases by basing the tax base on the purchase price of the house, rather than the market value.

What California needs to do to provide affordable housing is to allow private industry to take it over, and to provide incentive for housing suppliers to do so.

As we all know, especially in California, the government is known for inefficiency. So why would anyone think that allowing them to handle the situation would lead to it being solved?

If the High Speed Rail project is anything to go by, it’s easy to see that the affordable housing projects may be horribly mismanaged, and may take far more time and money than current figures estimate. 

So when you see this measure on the ballot next year, just remember government intervention usually doesn’t lead to the most effective, efficient solutions. Instead, those are almost exclusively created through private industry. Do you really want your hard earned money going towards this government experiment?