By Sandra G. Leon
The San Diego City Council this week approved a plan to allow homeowners to add tiny homes to their properties to help provide affordable housing options for students, seniors, and young residents.
Tiny homes are portable, premanufactured living areas that must be fully independent from the existing home, including having its own living, sleeping, cooking, eating, and bathroom facilities. Usually totaling around 100 square feet in size, the tiny home must be on the same parcel as a main house and must cover any tires from sight. Tiny homes are not considered as movable as RVs or recreational trailers although most are built on towable chassis and are not set on concrete foundations.
“Moveable tiny homes are a great option that naturally increases affordable housing at no cost to taxpayers. It’s a win for the homeowner, it’s a win for the renter, and it’s a win for the taxpayer,” Councilman Scott Sherman, the law’s author said. “I appreciate my colleagues’ support for this important housing reform. We must continue pushing for common-sense solutions that result in naturally occurring affordable housing.”
Several companies currently offer tiny homes for sale in San Diego with prices ranging from around $30,000 to upwards of $100,000. Tiny homes can help homeowners increase their income by renting the unit or allow additional family members to live on site.
“This is a creative way to find places for San Diegans to reside,” Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell said. “It can help alleviate our overwhelming housing deficit.”
Other California cities, including Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Luis Obispo, already allow tiny homes.
Sherman, a Republican, ran for Mayor in the March primary election but did not receive enough votes to make the November run-off. Councilwoman Barbara Bry and State Assemblyman Todd Gloria are the two candidates for Mayor on the November 3rd ballot.
The measure will go to Mayor Kevin Faulconer for his approval and he is expected to sign it into law. The law change was passed unanimously by the City Council so the votes would presumably be there to override a potential veto by Faulconer.
The law will take effect on January 1, 2021.