San Diego is tens of thousands of units short of the goal for affordable homes for sale, and the rental market is also soaring out of reach for low-income San Diegans.
A measure allowing the city to increase the number of housing units available for people with low incomes was on the ballot for San Diego voters in San Diego County, California, on November 8, 2016. It was approved.
A yes vote was a vote in favor of allowing the city to increase by 38,680 the number of housing units available for people with low incomes.
A no vote was a vote against this measure allowing the city to increase the number of housing units available for people with low incomes.
Text of measureBallot questionThe following question appeared on the ballot:
“AFFORDABLE HOUSING: INCREASING THE LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF UNITS THE CITY AND CERTAIN PUBLIC AGENCIES ARE ALLOWED TO HELP DEVELOP.
Shall the voters increase by 38,680 the maximum number of housing units the City and certain other public agencies are allowed to help develop, construct, or acquire for people with low incomes, without this ballot measure approving specific housing units, providing funds for development, removing requirements that otherwise apply, or taking any other action? 
”Impartial analysisThe following impartial analysis of the measure was prepared by the office of the San Diego City Attorney:
“Under existing law, the City of San Diego and certain other public agencies will be allowed to help develop, construct, or acquire approximately 3,247 affordable housing units in the City for people with low incomes.
If this measure is approved by voters, the agencies would be allowed to help develop, construct, or acquire up to 38,680 units more than the current limit. If the measure is not approved, the agencies would be prohibited from helping to develop, construct, or acquire any more units than the current limit.
This measure would have no other effect on existing law.
This measure would not create an obligation to build any specific housing units. It would not grant approval for any particular development. It would not identify locations for the housing units.
This measure would not require public agencies to provide funding for the units or change any applicable regulations and processes regarding funding. It would not raise taxes.
This measure would not remove any requirements that otherwise might apply to the development of any particular project, such as requirements to obtain permits or analyze a project’s impact on the environment.
The City Council of the City of San Diego placed this measure on the ballot for voter consideration after hearing a report from the San Diego Housing Commission that the City is approaching the current affordable housing unit limit. 
—San Diego City Attorney
BY JOHN LAWRENCE
Has the City squirreled away millions of dollars in off-budget funds which could be used for affordable housing and housing for the homeless?
This story was published via San Diego Free Press.org. Thank you for sharing this perspective.
By Katheryn Rhodes and John Lawrence
In the City of Palo Alto, if you make less than $250,000 a year, you’re eligible for a housing subsidy. The city council has voted to study a housing proposal that would essentially subsidize new housing for what qualifies as middle-class nowadays, families making from $150,000 to $250,000 a year.
Here in San Diego, the situation is not much better as teachers, police and government workers cannot afford to live in the city they work in. So if middle class, college educated professionals can’t afford to live here, how can anyone else lower on the economic ladder afford to live here either? In particular, those on the bottom most rung, the homeless, can’t even afford a foot in the door.
According to the San Diego Housing Commission’s report Addressing the Housing Affordability Crisis in San Diego (November 26, 2015):
This report finds that nearly 50% of San Diegans face housing affordability challenges in rentals and home ownership and over 70% of San Diegans are priced out of the home ownership market….
The City of San Diego is one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the nation. Zillow recently surveyed nearly 300 cities and found San Diego to be one of the most unaffordable six markets in the United States. Both renting and owning in San Diego are increasingly out of reach for average families. The average home price in San Diego is $506,000 according to Zillow – affordable only with an income over $80,000 per year. The average two-bedroom rental in San Diego is $1820 per month, affordable only with an income of $72,800 per year. …
San Diego’s median income is approximately $73,000 for the city, which is consistent with our estimate that about half of San Diegans are unable to afford a minimally sized unit. A minimal unit would be priced at approximately $400,000 based on current San Diego home prices.
Translating the affordability challenge into wages, the Low Income Housing Coalition estimates that nationally, in order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in the U.S., renters need to earn a wage of $19.35 per hour.
Good luck with that as minimum wage workers will be making $15 an hour 6 years from now and still will not be able to afford a modest two bedroom apartment, that is if rental prices do not go up in the meantime! Fat chance of that. SANDAG estimates that, as the production of new housing falls behind, only 6% of the housing that is being constructed is for people with low incomes. Obviously, there’s more money to be made by building housing for upper-income people.
The report continues: “As of 2013 there were approximately 120,000 extremely low-income families and only 20,000 affordable units available for them in San Diego. The pace of new construction for very low income, low income and moderate-income units is lagging severely behind the estimated need in San Diego …” To say the least!
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California has the second lowest homeownership rates in the nation, renters are burdened, and people are leaving in droves BY ELIJAH CHILAND
Everyone knows that California has a severe shortage of housing, but studies released this week illustrate just how dire the situation has become. The three reports were prepared by Beacon Economics and released by Next 10, a nonprofit group founded by Bay Area venture capitalist F. Noel Perry. The findings suggest that Californians are finding home ownership increasingly unattainable, with middle- and lower-income earners are literally being priced right out of the state.
Beacon found that, in 2014, California ranked a miserable 49th in homeownership rates among states, with less than 54 percent of homes occupied by their owner. The state also finished dead last in overall affordability, with prices in Los Angeles County rising 6.5 percent over the last year, according to pricing data from CoreLogic. As a result, Californian homeowners spend the highest amount of their annual income—25.4 percent—on housing.
Compounding the problem is a startling lack of construction. The studies found that, between 2005 and 2015, permits were filed for only 21.5 units of housing for every 100 new residents of the state. This has led to increased rental prices and more cases of room sharing. (LA is home to some of the US's most crowded zip codes.)
And so the unaffordability of homeownership has helped drive up the rental burden—while homeowners spent about a quarter of their income on their housing, renters in California spent on average 36 percent of their incomes on their housing (the numbers for Los Angeles are far higher), more than only two other states. Even scarier, that share shot up from an already high 28.1 percent in 2000.
By Lori Holt Pfeiler and Dan Silver | January 30, 2017
San Diego is in the middle of a major housing crisis, but so far we’ve failed to address it.
Voice of San Diego has covered some of the big housing failures: Poway’s rejection of affordable homes for veterans, Encinitas’ unwillingness to do its fair share in meeting state housing goals and development proposals that promote urban sprawl.
But one of the biggest factors holding San Diego up is its inability to first come to terms with the region’s housing need.
Post-recession, San Diego County now faces a deficit of 60,000 units, with low- and middle-income housing hardest hit. We should be building 14,000 units every year to meet demand and even more to make up the deficit.
By Christopher Thornberg
Debate about California’s housing crisis typically revolves around low-income households. The rule of thumb is that people shouldn’t spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. But more than 90 percent of California families earning less than $35,000 per year spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.
This isn’t new; that percentage has been stubbornly high for years. Nor is this an exclusively Californian problem — the comparable figure for the United States overall is 83 percent.
What is new and disturbing is that the crisis is now spreading to middle-income households, families earning between $35,000 and $75,000 per year.
In 2006, 38 percent of middle-class households in California used more than 30 percent of their income to cover rent. Today, that figure is over 53 percent. The national figure, as a point of comparison, is 31 percent. It is even worse for those who have borrowed to buy a home — over two-thirds of middle-class households with a mortgage are cost-burdened in California — compared to 40 percent in the nation overall.