City of San Diego Declares Housing a Human Right

Legislative Updates,

On Tuesday, January 24, the San Diego City Council voted on a resolution declaring Housing as a Human Right. The topic first surfaced back in late October of 2022 at the same time the Tenant Protection Ordinance was first discussed. The council unanimously supported the concept and asked the City Attorney to craft a resolution for a future vote. Today that resolution was approved unanimously. (8-0, Councilmember Campbell absent). “The Council intends for the City to support housing as a human right by implementing policies that address the root causes of homelessness, that keep people housed through affordable, accessible, and habitable homes, and that provide pathways to housing for people experiencing homelessness.” SCRHA has been monitoring the issue which has garnered attention in recent days from varying groups with varying opinions on the impact of the declaration. The declaration is not an ordinance or a law. It is mostly symbolic of the city’s desire to address the lack of housing and homelessness. THERE ARE NO SPECIFIC POLICY PROPOSALS IN THE RESOLUTION. SCRHA will be closely monitoring the issue and will continue to closely watch any policy proposals that may arise in the future. Tenant Protection OrdinanceAs SCRHA shared previously, the Mayor and Council President released a framework for a Tenant Protection Ordinance this past December. The new framework is vastly different from what was originally proposed last October and THAT IS A DIRECT RESULT OF SCRHA’S ADVOCACY, including all of the members who attended the October hearing, called in, and sent messages to their councilmember(s). Members of the council heard rental housing providers loud and clear and reiterated the importance of including the industry’s viewpoint when crafting the ordinance and to avoid unintended consequences. Having met with each council office, exasperated by the homelessness crisis, all of them want to go much further than state law. The SCRHA has pushed back with facts, demonstrating where existing laws already accomplish most of their desires. The ordinance is currently being drafted and SCRHA continues to be a key stakeholder in that discussion. The Tenant Protection Ordinance is separate from the declaration of Housing as a Human Right and should not be impacted by the declaration.