For Immediate Release

July 8, 2019

San Diego Habitat for Humanity
Ellen Immergut | Director of Communications


San Diego Habitat for Humanity Launches Home Affordability Advocacy Campaign
Announces early support of affordable housing bond slated for November 2020

SAN DIEGO, CA (July 8, 2019) — Today, at the site of its newest housing community in Logan Heights, San Diego Habitat for Humanity joined local elected officials and affordable housing organizations and advocates, as well as Habitat organizations across the country, to launch a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over the next five years.

Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet. In San Diego County, only 47 percent of residents own their home, in contrast to the national average of 69 percent.  Homeownership is unattainable for even those households earning the area median income, and renters need to earn 3.2 times the minimum wage to afford the median asking rent. The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.

“In a study that the Housing Commission commissioned in 2017, we identified that by 2028, an additional 150,000-200,000 from all income levels are required in San Diego just to keep up with normal anticipated growth,” said Rick Gentry, President/CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission. “The wage needed to afford a 2-bedroom rental home is more than $59/hour, or almost five times the minimum wage. That is just not sustainable.  With advocacy campaigns like Habitat for Humanity’s Cost of Home Campaign, we will continue to raise awareness of these housing challenges, and work toward bringing affordable using within reach of more San Diego families.”

Marking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and decent place to call home, the Cost of Home campaign seeks to identify and improve policies and systems through coordinated advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels. The advocacy approach is based on decades of on-the-ground experience and public policy expertise, and a strong ability to develop and engage coalitions with diverse and committed stakeholders. In these efforts, Habitat for Humanity is committed to strong bipartisan solutions. Cost of Home focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity.At the same time, San Diego Habitat for Humanity also announces that it is an early supporter and member of a partnership, led by the San Diego Housing Federation, to bring a $900 million housing bond to the ballot box in November, 2020. If passed, this measure would provide 7,500 affordable housing units for veterans, homeless families, elderly, and disabled residents of our City.  In addition to building much-needed housing, these local funds are even more important to secure because they make San Diego projects eligible for matching funds from the recently passed Propositions 1 and 2 statewide affordable housing funding.

“Our goal is to see that everyone in San Diego County has access to a safe and affordable place to live”, said Stephen Russell, Executive Director of the San Diego Housing Federation. “The bond measure would ensure that San Diego receives matching funds from state and federal governments, further increasing our pool of resources that we can devote to housing.”

“The only way we can solve the housing crisis is through reform at the local, state, and federal levels. That’s why Habitat for Humanity’s Cost of Home campaign is so important”, said City of San Diego Councilmember representing District 8, and Chair of the San Diego City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee, Vivian Moreno.  “We need to ensure that our efforts at the local level are matched at the state and federal levels.”

“We have to do more”, said Chris Ward, San Diego City Councilmember from District 3.  “At the City Council, we continue to work on policy reform and revenue solutions that are going to help San Diegans who struggle every day under the weight of an unsustainable shortage of the types of attainable and affordable housing that they need. This is our chance to build housing in all neighborhoods that working san Diegans can afford, and to gain the matching funds from state and federal resources needed to produce more housing units. We won’t wait any Ionger. I look forward to bringing the bond proposal to the Rules committee at the July 31st hearing.  We have to get this on the ballot, we have to fight for its passage, and we have to make sure that we have the resources here to be able to produce more housing.”

“When the Cost of Home is any family’s future, that’s something none of us can afford,” said Lori Holt Pfeiler, President/CEO of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.  “We’re calling on our community to help us do something about it, by advocating for policy changes making it easier to build affordable homes, to make housing more attainable for low-income families, and to put an end to the housing crisis.  It’s a tall order, but if we work together, we can incite important change.”

More details about Habitat’s Cost of Home campaign and ways get involved are available at

About San Diego Habitat for Humanity
San Diego Habitat for Humanity, the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a nonprofit organization that builds and repairs homes in partnership with local hardworking families in need of improved housing. For more information, visit or call 619-283-HOME (4663).