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San Diego’s housing market has long been tough. It’s now downright bruising.
So this week’s Voice of San Diego cost-of-living series wouldn’t be complete without a look at the region’s soaring housing costs and the impact they are having on residents.
Lisa Halverstadt documents the region’s surging rents and demand for long-term housing aid that can’t keep up with the need. She found tens of thousands of San Diegans are waiting in line for housing vouchers they can expect to be waiting more than a decade to receive — and the number of residents in line has only been growing.
Housing developers and managers are also reporting increased demand for their limited supply of affordable housing units while the city’s housing agency told Halverstadt it’s seeing reduced turnover at properties it oversees amid the pandemic.
Despite state policy changes meant to shield low-income tenants from massive rent hikes, many San Diegans remain vulnerable. Even San Diegans who receive Section 8 assistance or live in affordable housing — two much-wanted resources sometimes considered golden tickets — are feeling the pinch, including one North Park tenant whose landlord just increased his rent 90 percent.
New Beginnings In North County
North County is a vast region. It’s home to 1.2 million people, a variety of cultures, a booming tech industry, precious ecosystems and much more. It also has a new reporter.
Tigist Layne joined Voice of San Diego this week after writing for The Coast News, and we’ve dusted off the North County Report for the occasion.
Layne hopes to cover many of the topics that are important to North County — including homelessness, housing, climate change, workers and immigrant rights — while holding the region’s leaders accountable.
In Other News
- The family of Lucky Phounsy, who died in police custody in 2015, has been awarded $85 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against San Diego County. Family members told a jury that Phouncy was experiencing a mental health crisis, which San Diego sheriff’s deputies exacerbated and made worse. They then hogtied and tasered Phouncy, who died en route to a hospital. (10 News)
- In other Sheriff’s Department news, officials say they have solved a 34-year-old murder case in Santee. (NBC 7)
- In a new column, Michael Smolens explores city councilwoman Jen Campbell’s short-term rental regulations and how she managed to get them passed. Regulating vacation rentals, as our Lisa Halverstadt wrote last year, has long been a San Diego Special: a relatively minor problem other cities have been able to solve, but that San Diego struggles to deal with.
This Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Will Huntsberry and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Megan Wood.