It’s Tough to Be a Renter in San Diego County

by on January 15, 2019 · 4 comments

in San Diego

More than half are burdened by housing costs.

by Jill Castellano / – San Diego

San Diego County is one of the least affordable places to live in America, and renters know it.

When housing costs are high, people have less money to spend on other necessities such as food and medical care, which hurts their quality of life.

In 2017, 57 percent of the county’s renters were considered burdened by their housing costs, meaning they spent 30 percent or more of their income on rent and utilities. The figures come from data recently released by the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

The high cost of housing especially affects low- and middle-income families, who have less money to spend on food and other necessities.

The problem is even worse for the 28 percent of renters in the county who spent more than half their income on rent and utilities in 2017. People with higher rent burdens are more likely to skip doctor appointments and avoid paying for medications, and they are less likely to save money.

For the balance of this article.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

thoughtfulbear January 15, 2019 at 12:18 pm

There must be more AFFORDABLE housing – a LOT more. BIG difference. That, and DON’T give would-be housing developers the wriggle-out of paying some sort of “fee” instead!


Bob Edwards January 16, 2019 at 7:42 am

And don’t forget how much housing stock, especially in the beach areas, is lost to short term vacation rentals.


Bearded OBcean January 16, 2019 at 8:52 am

We can talk about affordable housing all we want. But soft costs for development can cost more than 40% of a project’s value – those are costs in place that have nothing to do with construction. Additionally, state regs that require solar to new sfr’s in addition to new regs for sewer lines etc (those two add $50k to alone), what do we expect? Sure we can build apartment projects without parking, but good luck not running into a stampede of neighborhood opposition, considering San Diego is anything but a public transit-oriented city.
A better way of looking at the burden of renters is viewing typical rents through the lens of median renter household income. That’s the truly scary stat. Average rents in San Diego consume almost 45% of median hh income among renters. That’s bonkers.


ZZ January 16, 2019 at 12:24 pm

92107 has 14,600 “households” (roughly the number of separate housing units, though illegal splits of houses go into the household number) and 27,956 people.

Even a 1% growth in supply of ANY housing, much less affordable, therefore means 146 brand new units a year, each and every year.

How many happen in fact? Teardown/replacements don’t count unless they replace 1 with more than 1. And sometimes a project reduces units (like those ugly 5100 WPL projects that replaced 2 units with 1).

There is simply no possible solution to making living here affordable that doesn’t involve a TON of new construction. New construction at a pace at least 3 times higher than now, maybe 5 times higher.

The NIMBY crew than runs OB and every other nice part of San Diego of course will never let that happen. So I predict with 98% certainty that the affordability problem will get worse each and every year.

Of course San Diego needs more big apartment buildings without parking. The more people who need transit, the more it happens in reality. Buses get too full, the city adds more. Proposed transit plans actually get approved and state and federal funding based on ridership numbers.

The proposal to building a bunch of housing on city land around Sports Arena sounds great to me.


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