By Murtaza Baxamusa / Rooflines, the Shelterforce blog
It is often convenient to blame city planners for the affordable housing crisis. After all, those affected have no other public forum to vent their concerns, least of all toward those who are profiting off of the crisis on a project-by-project basis. Sadly, this blame is often misguided, because planners do not produce housing.
A case study of the profit-maximizing, decision-making that is driving the affordability crisis is downtown San Diego. Construction cranes are up all over, and a $6.4 billion development juggernaut is rolling through. Nearly 10,000 new units have been permitted by the downtown planning board over the last four years, and the fast and generous permit approval process is cited as a model by developers for other regions.