San Diego announces creation of ‘Affordable Housing Permit Now’ program

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria says, “Housing is the solution to homelessness, a key strategy for climate action and a path to economic opportunity for all our residents.” File photo/

Program implements Mayor’s executive order requiring expedited processing for 100% affordable housing and emergency shelter permits

SAN DIEGO – In response to an executive order signed in January by Mayor Todd Gloria, the Development Services Department announced this week that it has created the Affordable Housing Permit Now program for 100% affordable housing projects and emergency shelters. The program provides enhanced customer service and expedites reviews, dictating that they be completed in no more than 30 business days.

“The City of San Diego must not be an impediment to the speedy building of affordable housing, and I’m committed to taking all reasonable and responsible measures to help home builders create desperately needed homes faster,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “That’s why I directed our Development Services Department to implement a plan to seamlessly review and approve permit applications without delay so we can get affordable housing built much more quickly.”

Mayor Gloria signed the executive order moments before delivering his 2023 State of the City address and made the need for faster housing production a key pillar in his speech. In addition to the review requirement, the executive order directed the city’s Development Services Department to expeditiously hire new positions to review and issue housing permits and to immediately implement contracts with temporary contract staff to address the city’s permitting backlog. It also directed staff to liberally grant requests for incentives and waivers that will help developers construct this much-needed affordable housing.

“DSD will facilitate speedy processing of 100% affordable housing projects by providing the fastest and most efficient customer service to applicants who are ready to build those homes,” said Development Services Department Director Elyse Lowe. “Our staff will follow strict timelines for review and approval of eligible projects, and we’ll help the project achieve faster permitting through intensive collaboration between applicants and city representatives.”

Projects eligible for this program must not require discretionary approvals or have already obtained any relevant discretionary permits; the program is targeted for projects ready to build. The entire development – which can include emergency shelters, permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and other 100% affordable home types – must be available for very-low, low- or moderate-income households as those terms are defined in the San Diego Municipal Code.

With the recent hiring of 39 new employees dedicated to permitting residential projects, the Affordable Housing Permit Now program will not affect other project permit processing times for the Development Services Department. The city anticipates that all housing permit timelines will improve due to the new staff and increased efficiencies.

Anyone interested in learning about this program and how to apply for permits can visit the program page on the city’s website by visiting

(City of San Diego Release)

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