Written by Josh Imes
Given the opportunity, the San Diego City council voted to waste more money on a program ill-prepared to deal with the Housing Crisis. On Tuesday, in a 6-3 vote, the City Council approved a resolution allowing for staff to create a ballot measure authorizing a $900 million bond program that would fund an additional 7,500 affordable housing units.
A massive increase in property taxes would fund the $900 million. Rather than stopping the bleeding, the City Councils’ six “yes” votes decided it’s much better to just slap a $900 million band-aid on it and call it good.
While it’s believed among all members of the City Council that the City must address the housing crisis, that is where the agreement ends. The six members that voted in favor of this resolution firmly believe that it should take up the burden of funding this program, and they also believe that these policies will have a positive effect citing that local funds will be matched by the state.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen how well these policies have played out in recent years, with the homeless population relentlessly growing in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, both of which have put similar programs in effect to no avail. Much like San Diego, you’ll find that there are low-income housing and high-income luxury housing with little to no middle ground. The regulations, policies, and programs, such as the $900 million affordable housing bond program, don’t incentivize developers to build the median income housing that would help reduce the ever-increasing housing prices.
Councilmen Mark Kersey, Chris Cate, and Scott Sherman each cast dissenting votes, arguing that it’s not the burden of the taxpayers to make up for issues caused by the decades of poor policy choices made by previous City Councils. Democratic policies are the reason why the housing crisis has gotten so much worse in San Diego and around the state. Kersey, Cate, and Sherman have the right idea in acknowledging that throwing money at a problem will not just magically make it go away—especially when the funds are extorted from taxpayers.
Only by addressing the root cause can you fix the issue rather than having to reapply a new band-aid policy every few years. There are many different ways to address the issue, but for decades we’ve tried the liberal approach, and for decades it’s only continued to get worse.
It’s time to voice your concern through voting when this measure appears on the ballot. We need to get behind the three Councilmen who said no, and inform the City Council that it’s time to try something other than continuing to rob the taxpayers of their hard-earned money to foot the bill for yet another ambitious policy that is destined to fail.