May 10, 2024 - News

State, federal housing funds to San Diego fell in 2023

A stacked column chart showing federal and state funding for housing production and preservation in San Diego County in fiscal years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. Funding dropped from $725m to $631m over that time period.
Data: California Housing Partnership; Chart: Axios Visuals

California and the federal government gave San Diego County less money last year than in 2022 to build or preserve low-income housing.

Why it matters: The 13% decline in funding comes in spite of a regional shortfall of 134,537 rental homes that are affordable for some low- and very low-income households, according to a report from the California Housing Partnership and the San Diego Housing Federation.

By the numbers: San Diego County received $236 million from state housing programs in the fiscal year that ended in 2022, but that slipped to $188 million last year.

  • Federal housing sources also fell — from $489 million in 2022 to $442 million last year.

How it works: Low-income housing developers compete against each other for state and federal money to finance their projects, and their applications are considered more competitive if they can secure local dollars to match.

  • The primary local funding source here comes from fees cities charge on market-rate projects that they then use to pay for affordable-housing projects.
  • San Diego voters — unlike those in other cities — have not approved a ballot measure to increase local funding.

What they're saying: Danielle Mazzella, the report's author with the California Housing Partnership, said some yearly fluctuation is inevitable, based on when projects are ready to seek state or federal support.

  • "A dedicated source, though, would solve a lot of problems," she said.
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