SD Union Tribune: San Diego area leaders have new housing obligations. They need to honor them.

SD Union Tribune: San Diego area leaders have new housing obligations. They need to honor them.
March 16, 2018 Joanna Rivas

California’s most consequential public policy problem is a lack of housing. This shortage has driven the cost of shelter so high that homelessness has exploded and middle-income and poor families are forced to live paycheck to paycheck. In many urban areas, it’s common for well-educated, relatively well-paid young professionals to share housing with several roommates, as if they were still college kids scraping by. The statistic that best indicates the breadth of the problem is the Census Bureau finding that the Golden State — not Mississippi or West Virginia — has the highest effective poverty rate in the United States. This fact is what makes two recent local stories so troubling. The first — by Phillip Molnar of The San Diego Union-Tribune — cited a 4 percent decline in residential building permits issued by San Diego County and local cities in 2017 compared with 2016, according to the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California . The number of permits for new housing units fell from 9, 972 to 9,580. The 2016 number was itself down slightly from the 9,975 permits issued in 2015.

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