Daniel Palmer, 61, is a tenant of North Park Towers. Palmer has a Section 8 voucher but has seen an a 86 percent rent increase. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler for Voice of San Diego

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.

Read more from Halverstadt here.

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 / Photo by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

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. 

If you want to send tips, ideas, questions and comments or just say hello, feel free. Drop her an email or follow on Twitter

Read Layne’s introduction in the North County Report here. 

In Other News

This Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Will Huntsberry and Jesse Marx. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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