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County to identify affordable senior housing sites in Fallbrook

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The County of San Diego will be exploring potential sites for affordable senior housing in Fallbrook.

A 3-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote May 2, with Terra Lawson-Remer and Nathan Fletcher not present, directed the county’s Chief Administrative Officer to explore opportunities to acquire land in Fallbrook for the development of affordable senior housing and directed the CAO to return to the board with an identified property or properties and funding options including recommendations to utilize up to $2.5 million of unassigned general fund balance set aside for evaluation of affordable housing pilot programs.

The vote also directed the director of the county’s Department of General Services to negotiate the acquisition of the identified site or sites, execute option agreements, begin due diligence, and return to the board for the necessary funding and approvals of the purchase or purchases.

Fallbrook has approximately 8,000 residents who are 65 or older based on the 2020 census, and the number of senior citizens in Fallbrook is forecasted to increase by 39% between 2020 and 2050 with a forecasted 98% increase in seniors between the ages of 80 and 84 and a 149% increase in seniors 85 or older. Approximately 10% of seniors in Fallbrook are living below the federal poverty level.

Seniors 55 or older comprised nearly 25% of the county’s homeless population based on the 2022 annual Point-in-Time Count. Seniors on a fixed income struggle to afford housing due to increases in the cost of living and rent.

In August 2021, the Board of Supervisors directed the Chief Administrative Officer to utilize $5 million of general fund money for innovative and sustainable affordable housing policy research, affordable housing policy development and implementation, and evaluation of affordable housing pilot programs which advance equity, sustainability, and affordability.

The $5 million includes $2.5 million which has not yet been earmarked, and the Fallbrook housing opportunities may use money from that funding. The total estimated acquisition and development costs will depend on the recommendations which will subsequently be brought to the Board of Supervisors for consideration.

 

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