Let me begin by quoting Union-Tribune writer David Garrick. In his recent article dated July 21, Garrick writes: “San Diego will expand city efforts to spur construction of housing for middle-income residents with a new wave of reforms –including softer rules for removing historic structures, complying with water pollution mandates and using cheaper building materials. The reforms, which are being recommended by a panel of industry experts and housing advocates created by Mayor Todd Gloria, may also include a vacancy tax, developer fee reductions and additional density bonus programs for middle-income housing.” Garrick goes on to write: “Another immediate action is streamlining the city’s historical review process, which panelist Marcela Escobar-Eck called the No. 1 obstacle to building new middle-income projects.”
As Gloria and the Gang at City Hall are currently doing everything in their power to trade out the cute little craftsman for an apartment behemoth in the Uptown Area, it’s only going to get worse. The part that they don’t seem to understand is that the cozy craftsman is middle-income housing. The plan seems to be to eradicate middle-income property ownership in favor of rent-paying tenants. And with today’s rents of $2,500 for a studio, $3,000 for a one-bedroom and $4,000 for a two, the renter can say goodbye to ever owning a home. Especially with those 8-10% rent increases every year.
So what is the future of Uptown under our current leadership of elected officials and their developer buddies? We’ll continue to have really nice homes in Mission Hills and parts of Bankers Hill, and everyone else will be struggling to pay the rent in their middle-income project. The wealth divide will grow ever wider.
Sally Fall, University Heights