Supervisor Dianne Jacob. Photo courtesy of Dianne Jacob.

A major initiative to create more affordable housing in the San Diego region was announced Monday by county Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Ron Roberts.

Their plan would establish a $25 million affordable housing investment pool, transfer $500,000 from Roberts’ Neighborhood Reinvestment account to the county’s Health and Human Services Agency to underwrite pre-development and planning activities, and identify 11 county-owned properties for residential development.

At a news conference, they said their aim is to spur the building, renovation and acquisition of affordable housing and stem the growing tide of homelessness.

“Clearly, what we are doing now is not keeping up with the numbers of San Diegans who are being shut out of the housing market and either pushed into homelessness or unable to climb out with existing resources,” said Roberts, also chairman of the Regional Task Force on The Homeless.

“I’m looking to jump-start investment and creativity, while also encouraging elected officials in other areas of the county to look for government resources that can be used for affordable housing,” he said.

Jacob said the $25 million in unallocated reserves would provide a one- time investment to address affordable housing issues countywide.

“These funds will allow us to team up with affordable housing developers to provide a hand up to those in need, not a hand-out,” said Jacob. “The initiatives represent a huge investment in San Diego’s future — and for many of those who are struggling, they will help make the American dream come true.”

The funds would be managed by nonprofit and private sector partners, the supervisors said.

Last month, the California Association of Realtors reported that just 28 percent of San Diego households could afford to purchase a median-priced home in the area.

The plan will go before the Board of Supervisors next week.

–City News Service