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'Using public land for public good' | County leaders announce plan to bring affordable housing to San Diego

The San Diego Foundation is pledging $10 million to help projects get started. They will also pursue raising another $90 million to support the initiative.

SAN DIEGO — On Friday morning, two county supervisors and the San Diego Foundation announced a plan to build 10,000 affordable homes in San Diego on government owned property.

Nathan Fletcher, Terra Lawson-Remer and the San Diego Foundation say they want to work with 18 unincorporated cities, and other government agencies to create a Government Land Action Strategy, to identify government-owned land to build 10,000 affordable homes over the next three to-five years. The San Diego Foundation is pledging $10 million to help projects built on government land get started. They will also pursue raising another $90 million to support the initiative.

“The Government Land Action Strategy will be a catalyst for more housing region wide that families can afford,” said Fletcher. He added, “Housing costs are out of reach for most, including hard working, middle income families. We want to create a package of properties that can be marketed to affordable housing developers, so we can have more housing built, and more built faster.”

According to Fletcher’s office, “The San Diego Foundation is a trusted leader in leveraging real estate assets to benefit our community because of its affiliation with the San Diego Charitable Real Estate Foundation (CREF). Last year they launched the San Diego Black Homebuyers Program in partnership with LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) to provide down payments and/or closing cost assistance for eligible Black first-time homebuyers. To date, 20 homeowners and their families have received assistance through the program that launched in August 2021.”

On Tuesday, June 14, Chair Fletcher and Supervisor Lawson-Remer will present their policy to formalize the partnership with The San Diego Foundation. If approved, the policy will ensure:

  • TSDF will work in partnership with the County to convene government agencies, synthesize the results of the parcel analysis, develop recommendations for policy changes and financing to meet our shared goal of 10,000 affordable homes on government-owned land.
  • Ensure programmatic and strategic alignment with existing regional equitable housing efforts.
  • Support TSDF’s creation of a Housing Impact Fund and other strategies, utilizing the $100 million TSDF is working to raise, which will include recommendations regarding financing opportunities to unlock government-owned parcels for affordable housing.

In early 2022, San Diego became the least affordable metro area in the state. The region has a current shortfall of 90,000 homes and needs to build another 90,000 homes by the end of the decade just to keep pace with population and job growth.

WATCH RELATED: Report: San Diego is moving in right direction when it comes to affordable housing

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