Housing

Two County Properties to Be Developed into Affordable Housing

The Sheriff’s Regional Crime Lab in Clairemont.
The Sheriff’s Regional Crime Lab in Clairemont.

In an effort to address the housing crisis in San Diego, the County Board of Supervisors voted to solicit proposals for the development of affordable housing units on two County-owned properties.

The Family Court on Sixth Ave. downtown and the Sheriff’s Regional Crime Lab on Mount Etna Drive in Clairemont will be turned into affordable housing units for local residents. The Crime Lab will move to a new, 156,000-square-foot facility at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa this summer and the San Diego Family Court recently moved to the new Central Courthouse on Union Street, making both properties available for other uses.

After conducting site assessments, the two properties were determined to be suitable for immediate development, including an affordable housing component.

The board’s action allows the County director of General Services to request statements of qualifications and, subsequently, requests for proposals, to ground lease and develop both properties with at least 50 percent affordable, multi-family residential units.

The homeless population in the region, increased by 5 percent last year compared to 2016 (from 8,692 to 9,116). A total of 5,621 were unsheltered, meaning that they were living on the streets.

Also, the number of unsheltered seniors increased by 20 percent during the same period. The increases are believed to be the result of a limited supply of affordable housing and the fact that more than 50 percent of area residents are housing burdened, a term to describe when more than 30 percent of income goes toward housing.

Proposals from qualified entities will be received by the board at its June 26, 2018 meeting. After that, the County will review the proposals and return to the Board with recommendations for approval of agreements needed to allow development of the properties.

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact