Written by Ainsley Jackman
A recent press release from San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman announced that the City Council had unanimously approved amending the Land Development Code to add “Moveable Tiny Houses” to the ordinance for Companion Units and Junior Units, an ordinance Sherman has been working for since 2018.
Tiny houses are exactly what they sound like—homes as small as 400 square feet with an average price around $85,000. By contrast, the median home price in San Diego is over $500,000. The tiny homes may not be for everyone, but provide a low-cost option for students, the elderly, minimalists, and low-income individuals who just want the basic necessities.
Councilman Sherman notes that although this may appear to be an odd time to be focusing on the housing crisis, it’s never been more important. With the pandemic costing many their jobs, paying rent is more difficult than ever before—even when landlords are offered financial relief.
This issue only compounds on the underlying problem: the massive development costs and bureaucratic roadblocks in the way of constructing affordable housing. It’s become so difficult that developers in San Diego are moving away from the area to construct in more manageable locations, and those that remain in San Diego can only afford to continue the trend of renting and selling for astronomical prices. The Tiny Houses initiative is just one way that the City Council is attempting to provide affordable housing in San Diego.
“Moveable tiny homes are a great option that naturally increases affordable housing at no cost to taxpayers. It’s a win for the homeowner, it’s a win for the renter, and it’s a win for the taxpayer,” said Councilman Sherman. “I appreciate my colleagues support for this important housing reform. We must continue pushing for common sense solutions that result in naturally occurring affordable housing.”
We’ll see soon whether tiny houses are a real solution as the market determines if such homes are in demand over the course of the next several months.