The mayor and several City Council members have put forth different housing plans this year. And while city leaders agree that we’re facing a major housing shortage that’s caused home prices and rents to surge, there’s less consensus on how to solve the problem.
VOSD’s Lisa Halverstadt read all the plans so you don’t have to looking mostly for what they had in common, since those may be the easiest to implement.
The policies that seem to have the most support include setting annual housing production goals, encourage development near public transit, reduce parking requirements and make it easier to build granny flats.
• KPBS has an update on the Mission Valley community plan, where thousands of new housing units can start to chip away at the city’s housing woes.
The housing crisis isn’t isolated to San Diego. It’s a statewide problem.
CALmatters has a cool visual representation of how bad housing costs are getting throughout the state and how things got that bad.
State lawmakers have been floating even more solutions to the state’s housing issues than what we’re seeing in the city. Between this week and Sept. 15, more than a dozen housing bills will be coming up for votes – the last opportunity for them to pass before recess, reports the Associated Press.
VOSD pal and LA Times reporter Liam Dillon has been doing stellar reporting on the state’s housing crisis and laid out the three biggest housing-related bills that will be up for votes before Sept. 15 on Twitter: a $3 billion low-income housing bond, a new $75 fee on real estate transactions for a permanent affordable housing fund and a proposal to streamline local development regulations.
Border Report: Border Patrol Losing Agents
Remember President Donald Trump’s pledge to expand the Border Patrol? It doesn’t seem to be happening yet. In reality, the number of border agents in the field has dropped by more than 200 and deportations are on track to be 10,000 people fewer in 2017 than in 2016.
In this week’s Border Report, VOSD contributor Brooke Binkowski, updates us on Trump’s promises, also pointing out that fewer deportations hasn’t meant fewer arrests and that the surge of arrested of undocumented immigrants has been a boon for the private prison industry.
Also in the latest border news, a Tijuana Council member pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor related to a money-smuggling scheme and a lowrider festival in Barrio Logan this Saturday.
This week is the last week Binkowski will write our Border Report. But don’t fret, VOSD’s very own Mario Koran will be taking it over.
How SANDAG’s Outgoing Leader Became a Lightning Rod for Controversy
After months of dogged reporting from VOSD’s Andrew Keatts revealed how the San Diego Regional Association of Governments failed to disclose a series of major problems with the agency’s sales-tax funded transportation program, the agency’s executive director Gary Gallegos stepped down after 15 years.
The Union-Tribune takes a long look at Gallegos career and explains how he had long attracted controversy.
Last November, SANDAG went to the voters with a tax measure to fund transit, highway and other infrastructure projects, Measure A. The agency told voters they would raise $18 billion, even though its staff had determined the tax would bring in far less.
The agency is also running a $17 billion shortfall on TransNet, a sales tax approved in 2004, thanks in part to overstated revenue expectations on the 2004 ballot and a significant increase in project costs.
But before all this, writes the U-T’s Joshua Emerson Smith, Gallegos had trouble, falling out of favor with groups in San Diego County from across the political spectrum. For the Democrats and environmental advocates, there wasn’t enough transit. For North County voters, there weren’t enough freeways.
Gallegos will be fine, though. For all his troubles, he’ll be retiring to Colorado with a retirement package worth $264,000 a year.
Quick News Hits
• The case of the drug-addicted USC medical school dean might be good thing for UC San Diego in the two schools’ continuing legal battle. (LA Times)
• Sempra acquires a bankrupt energy company, beating out Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Reuters)
• The LA Times, the Union-Tribune’s sister newspaper, is undergoing a major overhaul of its top leadership. (LA Times)
• A proposed Salton Sea deal, involving the San Diego County Water Authority, may clear the way for a Colorado River deal between California, Arizona and Nevada. (Desert Sun) Here’s some background from VOSD’s Ry Rivard on that Colorado River deal.
• Lots of people watched the solar eclipse yesterday. (Union-Tribune)