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Carlsbad, Vista approved for county housing units

REGION — Thousands of affordable housing units were approved Oct. 15 by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

The board unanimously approved the action to move forward with four complexes, along with two from the state, for a total of 675 units in Carlsbad, Vista and San Diego. The county is using funds from its Innovative Housing Trust Fund with an overall target goal of 2,600 units and 5,000 residents by 2025.

The fund is a $50 million investment the county uses to build more affordable housing.

“I’m going to continue to work with state leaders to try and get RHNA credit for the efforts that we do on county-owned land, on county-owned projects,” Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment credit. “I think it’s unfortunate that under current state guidelines, we don’t get credit for constructing units on our own land.”

The board also accepted an update on two additional developments funded through the state’s No Place Like Home program and authorized a second-round notice of funding, according to the county. In some cases, the two funding sources are used on the same development.

As for the projects, San Diego will receive four complexes, while Carlsbad and Vista each get one.

The fund was established in 2017 to provide $50 million to tackle the affordable housing issue. The board provided $25 million at the launch and an additional $25 million on April 30.

According to the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, about $12 million has already been awarded to six developments to construct 453 affordable units. To date, 94 units have been built with another 274 under construction.

“They will have an affordability period of 99 years,” said David Estrella of Health and Human Services. “The county has been able to leverage other local and private funds to spur the development of more than 750 units to be developed.”

The first round of funds for units addresses families and veterans experiencing homelessness and special needs, low-income seniors, and people with developmental disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse issues and survivors of domestic violence. Those properties are located in San Diego, Poway, San Marcos and Vista, according to the county.

“These are much needed units that make a significant difference in the lives of needed families and other vulnerable populations for some very at-risk populations we have,” said Supervisor Greg Cox.

With additional phases, the Trust Fund investment, when paired with other state and federal funding sources, is expected to create a total of more than 1,500 units. These homes will remain as affordable housing units for a minimum of 99 years.

The county has also identified five excess properties that are suitable for development that will include about 800 affordable, multifamily residential units.

The state’s No Place Like Home program will add hundreds more units. Together, those sources will provide for more than 2,600 new units in the region over the next five years.

Additionally, the county spends more than $100 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds every year to help local residents with housing subsidies. About 10,400 households and over 24,000 people each month receive housing subsidies through the county’s Public Housing Authority.

Together with the Veterans Administration, the county also provides monthly rental assistance to more than 500 veterans and their families through the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.

1 comment

taxpayerconcerns November 2, 2019 at 10:49 pm

Where in these reports are the words low income housing used more often than the word affordable? Affordable housing to most people just means that they can afford it. Under state definitions low income is some where in the vicinity of $65,000 a year for a family of four. Those of very low income will have a max income of $45,000 a year for a family of four. According to one report on low income housing, the family income is evaluated each year and if over the max the family will have to leave the subsidized housing. Is that projection in the report on the number of families that must move when their income exceeds the maximum?

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