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So-Called “Compromise” Will Increase Cost of Housing

San Diego – Today, a Council majority approved an inclusionary housing amendment that will increase the cost of housing on struggling San Diego families. In the recent past, the City Council took steps forward by approving several measures that streamlined the housing permitting process. Unfortunately, this so-called compromise takes two steps back in the city’s fight against the housing crisis.

“A bad policy with small improvements is still bad policy,” said Councilmember Sherman.

While rent continues to increase, housing production in San Diego has been on a sharp decline since 2016. In fact, in 2017, production decreased by 2,300 units. In 2018, the city produced only half of what was constructed in 2016. Now is not the time to add burdensome mandates that further reduces construction of new units.

The measure passed today will only add a miniscule number of affordable housing units that will do nothing to ease the multi-year waiting list for these units. The only answer to solve the housing crisis is for supply to catch up with demand.

“My colleagues passed this measure with good intentions, however, they are hurting the very people they are trying to help by increasing the cost of housing production,” said Councilmember Sherman. “Unfortunately, the majority on the Council did not look to cautionary tales in Portland, LA, and Seattle where similar measures have failed.”

A better solution? Look to Grantville. A few years ago, the city approved the Grantville Focused Plan, which will eventually add as many as 8,275 housing units to the area. Instead of setting up costly roadblocks and regulations, the city streamlined the approval process for housing construction. As a result, 30% of new units in Grantville are considered affordable without any mandates or fee increases.

“Up to 47 percent of the cost of housing is due to regulation,” said Councilmember Sherman. “Adding additional costly mandates will only result in less housing and higher rent.”