San Diego Church Breaks Ground on Housing Project

The first San hous­ing to begin con­struc­tion Cal­i­for­ni­a’s new ‘Yes in God’s Back­yard’ law passed is tak­ing shape in the Logan Heights neigh­bor­hood, reports Andrew Bowen for KPBS. “San Diego adopt­ed reforms in 2019 that stream­lined per­mit­ting for afford­able hous­ing on church park­ing lots. The reforms also allow church­es and non­prof­its in the city’s wealth­i­est neigh­bor­hoods to build afford­able hous­ing on their land, even the under­ly­ing zon­ing does­n’t allow it.”

“Bethel One will offer 25 one-bed­room apart­ments set aside for low-income and vet­er­ans, with one addi­tion­al unit reserved for an on-site prop­er­ty . It’s being built by Bethel AME, a 136-year-old Black church.”

The project is replac­ing an aging duplex on a lot already owned by the church. As Plan­e­ti­zen has not­ed in oth­er sto­ries, faith lead­ers sup­port­ing the ‘Yes in God’s Back­yard’ say help­ing with the hous­ing and cri­sis is part of their respon­si­bil­i­ty to the com­mu­ni­ty. “I real­ly believe that church­es have a tremen­dous respon­si­bil­i­ty to not just our con­gre­ga­tion, but to the com­mu­ni­ty in which our church­es are locat­ed,” said Bethel AME senior pas­tor Rev. Har­vey Vaughn III.

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