In a world where the demand for affordable housing is a pervasive crisis, San Diego stands out: last year, the city was ranked the 11th least affordable housing market worldwide. And in spite of a healthy local economy, half of San Diegans can’t find rental housing they can afford, while 60 percent cannot afford to own a home. And it is estimated that the city currently needs 142,000 housing units it simply doesn’t have.
But the potential to fill that gap is fully present.
In 2017, LISC San Diego announced a $50 million loan fund to spark affordable housing development in the city and surrounding communities. Known as the Housing Affordability Fund, it is designed to leverage six-figure loans that will finance fixes for San Diego’s affordable housing gap and homelessness issues.
Because underwriting and managing multi-million dollar funds is core to LISC’s work across the country, filling financing gaps that address priorities in local markets, LISC San Diego was the only organization in the city to step forward with both the capital and local relationships to drive the effort. The fund is poised to leverage significant private capital and help create about 2500 units of affordable housing which would save San Diego’s renters up to $19 million per year in rent.
The fund's ultimate beneficiaries are low- and medium-income renters in the region—those marooned by a 40 percent increase in rental prices in the past decade. But San Diego's affordable housing developers will also benefit.
The fund can “give builders an opportunity to get to the starting line very, very quickly," said Lori Holt Pfeiler, chair of Housing You Matters, a coalition of community leaders focused on San Diego’s housing shortage. Capital for land acquisition, she added, is often a stumbling block for projects.
Indeed, boosting San Diego’s affordable housing supply will have a positive ripple effect throughout the economy, says LISC San Diego executive director Ricardo Flores. “As it is, the supply shortage constrains talent available to employers and degrades the city’s quality of life, as residents move farther away from employment and education centers to find affordable housing. This fund has the potential to help turn that trend around.”
Photo credit: Housing Development Partners
Private Sector Support
Public Sector Support
Executive Director: Ricardo Flores
4305 University Ave., Suite 420
San Diego, CA 92105