Metropolitan Transit Service trolleys in downtown San Diego. File photo

Public transit and safe streets advocacy nonprofit Circulate San Diego released a report Wednesday that shows a large share of projects under the city’s program to increase the number of affordable and market-rate homes are located near transit hubs and in high opportunity areas.

San Diego’s Affordable Homes Bonus Program provides incentives for developers who incorporate affordable units in their projects. If up to 15% of the base density is designated as affordable, then the developer can build up to 50% more units than otherwise would be allowed.

The program was approved unanimously by the City Council in August 2016.

"Equity and Climate for Homes" report by Circulate San Diego (PDF)
“Equity and Climate for Homes” report by Circulate San Diego (PDF)

The report, “Equity and Climate for Homes,” contains an analysis of 20 months of data under the program, which shows that 63% of the projects are located in high-need Census tracts in San Diego and 97% are within a half-mile of a high-performing transit stop.

In May, Circulate released another report which shows how the program is increasing production of both market-rate and deed-restricted affordable homes.

“A prior analysis by Circulate San Diego found that the AHBP had entitled substantially more projects on an annual basis than the predecessor California Density Bonus program,” a report summary reads. “The AHBP also helps affordable housing developers maximize the benefits of public funding by allowing bonus units above the base density, resulting in more deed-restricted affordable homes than would be produced otherwise.”

In February Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, introduced legislation to extend San Diego’s Affordable Homes Bonus Program to the rest of California. AB 2345l made it through the Assembly and is now awaiting July hearings in the state Senate.

“”Equity and Climate for Homes” shows that San Diego’s bonus program is producing much-needed homes where they will do the most good, said Colin Parent, executive director of Circulate San Diego and a co-author of the report. “AB 2345 presents an opportunity to bring this successful program statewide to help more people afford to live in California.”

— City News Service