Housing Supply Crisis

San Diego/California

​The San Diego region and California are beautiful places to live and as a result, have always had higher homes prices, affectionately known as the “Sunshine Tax,” than other parts of the US.

Over the years, the region’s population has grown, yet the supply of housing has not kept pace. We are now left with a housing supply crisis.

According to our regional planning agency, SANDAG, the region needs to add approximately 12,000 housing units annually to keep pace with population growth. For the past decade, housing starts have fallen woefully below this threshold.

The lack of housing supply is exacerbating the cost of housing in San Diego, California, and across the nation. In 2016 the issue garnered attention not only at the local level, but also from Governor Jerry Brown, the Obama Administration, and from several research entities.

See the links below for various reports, toolkits, articles, and more on this hot topic! ​ SCRHA supports concepts that will help streamline the development process, reduce community opposition to development, and reduce the cost of building, without placing constraints on the free market and limiting private property rights.

Addressing the Supply Crisis

The Southern California Rental Housing Association strongly supports the development of new housing of all types and at all price points. Our region, California, and the nation has a deficit of housing. This has led to increased prices. The only real way to control costs going forward is to meet demand! That is why SCRHA has joined the Housing You Matters Coalition and is supporting policies at all levels of government that help streamline housing development, remove the barriers to housing construction, and lower the costs to build which ultimately are passed along to renters and buyers.

We urge our state and local governments to look at ways to add housing units by reducing regulatory barriers and fees as well as addressing factors that contribute to time delays, which increase costs.

Click here to see examples of the policies the City of San Diego is considering to help address the supply crisis.

Recent News
San Diego Reports and Studies

Core Commandments of Rental Housing

The following represent the core laws and policies that impact rental housing.

Costs-Hawkins Rental Housing Act

Passed in 1995, Costa-Hawkins places statewide limits on local rent control ordinances. Local rent control laws generally cannot apply to units built after 1995 and cannot apply to single family homes and condos. Additionally, Costa-Hawkins provides landlords in rent control areas with “vacancy decontrol,” meaning a landlord can set the initial rent once original tenants vacate a unit.

Ellis Act

The Ellis Act exists to assist property owners in rent control areas exit the rental housing business. Typically, local rent control regulations place limits on how much a landlord can raise rent each year. This can become financially burdensome to many owners who may find themselves losing money on their investment. The Ellis Act provides a means to exit the rent housing business and help property owners avoid financial ruin.

Fair Housing Laws

Property owners and managers, as well as their staff, should be well versed on both Federal and California Fair Housing Laws. These laws protect people from discrimination when they are renting, buying, or securing financing for any housing. Federal prohibitions specifically cover discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability and the presence of children. State Fair Housing covers age, race/color, ancestry/national origin, religion, disability/ mental or physical, Sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, genetic information, marital status, familial status, and source of income.

Problems with Rent Control

If you do some research you will see that almost all economists and researchers agree that rent control is a flawed policy for many reasons. Here are some of the top reasons why rent control does more harm than good.

  • Rent control is not based on need. It is based on luck…where you are at the time it is implemented. There is no means testing, meaning those who need it the most often do not benefit from it.
  • Those with rent controlled units are far less likely to move, even if their income improves, making available units harder to come by and pushing prices up further for those that are available.
  • Rent control often deters new construction, exacerbating existing supply issues.
  • Artificial price controls on property owners often lead to less money for owners to reinvest in their properties. Much of the housing stock throughout the nation was built prior to 1980, meaning that these properties will need maintenance and upgrades in coming years. Rent control directly impacts a property owner’s ability to do such rehab.
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