Building Industry Leader gives San Diego an “F” grade for new housing

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County’s housing shortage is getting worse. When it comes to building new homes and apartments, one industry expert said the region should receive an “F” grade.

Borre Winckel, the President and CEO of the Building Industry Association of San Diego County said it’s clear that we are not even close to meeting the region’s goals for housing production.

According to new numbers released by the California Department of Housing and Community Development and the San Diego Association of Governments, which is also known as SANDAG, the City of San Diego and the San Diego region issued fewer building permits in 2018 than the year before. The decline continues the trend of slowing permit activity.

To meet the ten year housing production goal of 161,980 units between 2010 and 2020, the region would need to build 14,725 new units each year.

Winckel said at this point, we have only been building 7,700 new units annually which is equal to about half of the regional goal. “We have completely blown the goal. We’ve only built 43% of the housing units that we were supposed to deliver by this time,” Winckel said.

The head of the building industry group blames state regulations, including new environmental rules, for driving up the costs of construction and deterring new building and development. “What we need is a massive deregulation effort statewide.” As one example of what he calls costly regulation, Winckel pointed to a new state mandate in 2020 for solar panels on new construction. He cited another rule that is supposed to spur development near public transit corridors. Winckel said a requirement called the VMT, vehicle miles traveled, adds more fees and costs for developers who don’t build in areas close to public transit.

Winckel said he is certain the current housing deficit is only going to get worse. He said the biggest losers will be middle income households, because excessive regulations and fees make it too expensive to build housing for middle class families. “Economically, it doesn’t pencil out to produce middle income housing because these regulations cost too much. The next target wants to have 19,000 housing units built every year though 2019. It’s impossible,” Winckel said.

Categories: California News, Local San Diego News