Monica Montgomery Steppe
Monica Montgomery Steppe speaks at the City Council meeting. Image from city video

The San Diego City Council rejected Mayor Todd Gloria’s package of incentives for new housing development in a heated, five-hour public meeting on Monday night.

Gloria’s Housing Action Package 2.0 sought to spur more housing for homeless individuals, college students and middle-income residents.

The plan drew controversy because it would allow developers to build market-rate and required affordable housing in different areas, potentially reinforcing existing patterns of low-income housing.

Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe said she couldn’t vote for the package unless affordable housing was built alongside market-rate units to ensure “true integration” in communities.

The package also drew criticism from residents of single-family neighborhoods who oppose higher-density development.

Gloria’s plan also included incentives for building new single-room-occupancy hotels, which would cater to homeless individuals, and convert underutilized commercial sites and public land for new housing.

City officials expect a revised version of the housing package to return to the council next year with revisions.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.