June 3, 2022 – San Diego, CA – Chair Nathan Fletcher, Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer and The San Diego Foundation (TSDF) want to work with the 18 incorporated cities, and other government agencies to create a Government Land Action Strategy, to identify government-owned land to build 10,000 affordable homes over the next three to-five years. TSDF is also pledging $10 million to help projects built on government land get started, and will pursue raising another $90 million to support the initiative.

“The Government Land Action Strategy will be a catalyst for more housing region wide that families can afford,” said Chair Fletcher. “Housing costs are out of reach for most, including hard working, middle income families. We want to create a package of properties that can be marketed to affordable housing developers, so we can have more housing built, and more built faster. 

“I appreciate Mark Stuart, and The San Diego Foundation’s commitment to helping us tackle the housing crisis,” Chair Fletcher continued. “When they see a challenge, they quickly raise their hand to be part of the solution.  We’re fortunate to have them here in our County.”    

“We want to use public land for the public good, and right now the greatest public good is to build homes that the public can afford,” said Supervisor Lawson-Remer, who has been working on equitable housing efforts including Senate Bill 1105. “This partnership with The San Diego Foundation will help us convene the region’s cities and public agencies to identify all vacant government land where homes can be built quickly. If we solve the problem of where to build, we can tackle our housing crisis with greater speed and at a lower cost.”

The San Diego Foundation is a trusted leader in leveraging real estate assets to benefit our community because of its affiliation with the San Diego Charitable Real Estate Foundation (CREF). Last year they launched the San Diego Black Homebuyers Program in partnership with LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and supported by Chair Fletcher’s Office to provide down payments and/or closing cost assistance for eligible Black first-time homebuyers. To date, 20 homeowners and their families have received assistance through the program that launched in August 2021.

“This spring our Board of Governors committed $10 million – the largest grant in the history of our organization – to partner with the County of San Diego to launch a massive San Diego Housing Fund,” said Mark Stuart, President and CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “This permanent, revolving fund will leverage public, private and philanthropic dollars to accelerate the production and preservation of housing and create equitable, sustainable, community-focused housing.”

On Tuesday, June 14, Chair Fletcher and Supervisor Lawson-Remer will present their policy to formalize the partnership with The San Diego Foundation. If approved, the policy will ensure:  

  • TSDF will work in partnership with the County to convene government agencies, synthesize the results of the parcel analysis, develop recommendations for policy changes and financing to meet our shared goal of 10,000 affordable homes on government-owned land.  
  • Ensure programmatic and strategic alignment with existing regional equitable housing efforts.
  • Support SDF’s creation of a San Diego Housing Fund and other strategies, utilizing the $100 million TSDF is working to raise, which will include recommendations regarding financing opportunities to unlock government-owned parcels for affordable housing.

Today, the announcement was made at a vacant parcel owned by the County of San Diego that once had a building on it where the County delivered child protective and adoption services.  Later this year, the County, in partnership with Wakeland Development, will break ground on a new development that will bring more than 120 affordable housing units to the Linda Vista area. 

This announcement is not the first time the County is wading into the housing crisis waters.

The County has recently taken the following actions to address the housing crisis:  

  • The County is on pace to issue more than 1,600 building permits for new housing in the unincorporated region of the County, that is up almost 50% from the year before. We are getting out of the decades of litigation that bogged down progress. 
  • In March the Board of Supervisors approved designating three county-owned properties as “surplus land.” The Properties are:
    • Former Northeast Family Resource Center at 5001 73rd Street in the College Area,  
    • 6255 Mission Gorge Road in the Grantville area, and 
    • Former North Inland Family Resource Center at 600-620 E. Valley Parkway in Escondido.
  • Approved $23 million to support 4 different projects that will deliver 421 units of housing for seniors, people with disabilities, the homeless or those at risk of being homeless, and people with behavioral health challenges.   
    • Paseo Norte Apartments (Ramona) – Excess County Land 
    • Taormina (San Diego-Kearney Mesa) – Excess County Land
    • The Iris at San Ysidro (San Diego-San Ysidro)
    • Santa Fe Apartments (Vista) 
  • $14 million to help open 407 new affordable units at the Saint Teresa of Calcutta and provide behavioral health services for 20 years. This property was built by Father Joe’s Villages. 
  • Broke ground in February on 100 affordable housing units for low-income people and families to live in San Marcos with Affirmed Housing. The County contributed $6.25 million. 
  • Broke ground in January on the 50-unit Valley Senior Village apartment complex in downtown Escondido for older people who are homeless and have a serious mental illness. This property is being built by National CORE and San Diego Community Housing Corporation. The County contributed $10 million.
  • To date, the $50 million invested in the Innovative Housing Trust Fund has leveraged $567 million in other public and private funds to create and preserve 1,397 permanently affordable housing units within 20 developments in 15 communities throughout San Diego County. In August 2021, the Board of Supervisors increased funding by $20 million for a total of $70 million.
  • The County’s No Place Like Home funding will total nearly $130 million for regionwide housing development.

In early 2022, San Diego became the least affordable metro area in the State. Although the County of San Diego is building more new homes in the past year than in the prior three years, production is still lagging behind demand. The region has a current shortfall of 90,000 homes and needs to build another 90,000 homes by the end of the decade just to keep pace with population and job growth. We are on track to build half that amount (Stat Source:  https://www.sandag.org/uploads/projectid/projectid_189_27782.pdf).


James Canning: 619-372-7988 or James.Canning@sdcounty.ca.gov