Opinion: San Diego community colleges want to solve the housing problem. Here’s our idea.

Rising costs have strained the district’s ability to attract and retain talented employees,

The San Diego Community College District takes pride in its mission of serving the San Diego region and providing accessible, high-quality learning experiences. However, as major local institutions, the SDCCD and its colleges — San Diego City, Mesa and Miramar Colleges, and the College of Continuing Education — are concerned about more than just education.

The SDCCD currently is developing an affordable housing strategy that addresses both its own needs and those of the region. This strategy aims to address a critical need for much of the student population — access to housing — as well as establish financially self-supporting projects and promote sustainable development and living patterns.

Planners estimate the San Diego region needs to create nearly 100,000 affordable homes from 2021 to 2029. Most affected by this shortfall are households at the lowest income levels, including many local college students who must juggle the cost of attending college with rising housing costs. According to a recent survey by The Hope Center, 59 percent of SDCCD students experienced housing instability in 2020. The same survey also found that 18 percent of SDCCD students experienced homelessness that same year.

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