U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


Approximately 12 miles northeast of downtown San Diego along Interstate 8, El Cajon, California, is a city of about 92,000 people in the greater San Diego metropolitan area. El Cajon is the hub of eastern San Diego County, serving as the commercial, legal, and cultural center of East County.

Action Plan

In the Consolidated Plan, El Cajon describes its housing and community development needs, defining a 5-year strategy that addresses these needs using Federal and other resources. For the first year of the plan, El Cajon is requesting $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and $564,000 in HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds. This money will be used to finance 14 housing, community development, and service activities planned for Fiscal Year 1995.

Citizen Participation

Public participation in the plan development process began on January 10, 1995, the first of two public hearings designed to solicit citizen input on community development and housing needs. A needs assessment survey, written in both Spanish and English, was distributed to low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and 299 responses were received.

During a 30-day comment period, copies of the draft plan were available for public review at the county library and at the office of the Community Development Department. On April 25 the El Cajon City Council held another public hearing so that citizens could comment on the Consolidated Plan prior to its submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).


In 1994 El Cajon's estimated population was 92,300, a 4-percent increase over the 88,693 residents counted by the 1990 census. The city experienced explosive growth in the 25 years after World War II, rising from 5,600 in 1950, to 37,618 in 1960, to 52,273 in 1965. In 1990 El Cajon was the fifth largest city in San Diego County.

The 1990 census reported that the median family income (MFI) for the San Diego County metropolitan statistical area was $38,798. Of the 32,935 households in El Cajon, 49 percent earn less than 80 percent of MFI. Analysis of census data indicates the following levels of low- and moderate-income households:

The city's racial and ethnic minority subpopulations, as tallied by the 1990 census, include:


El Cajon's housing needs include:

Market Conditions

The 1990 census reported that El Cajon's housing stock consisted of 34,453 year-round units. Of these, 32,893 were occupied, with 19,501 being rental units and 13,392 being owned units. There were 3,540 substandard units (1,029 rental and 2,511 owned units). Only 266 substandard units (about 7.5 percent) were not suitable for rehabilitation.

Owner-occupied housing units -- both single-family homes and condominiums -- are available in many price ranges. Resale prices of existing condominiums range from $102,000 to $121,000, while prices of newly constructed homes and condominiums range from $124,000 to $220,000.

The majority of rental apartments are one- and two-bedroom units, with monthly rents ranging from $395 to $525 for a one-bedroom and $490 to $695 for a two-bedroom apartment.

HUD fair market rents for El Cajon are: $463 for a studio unit, $562 for a one-bedroom unit, $661 for a two-bedroom unit, and $862 for a three-bedroom unit.

Affordable Housing Needs

In 1990, 25 percent of the owner households and 51 percent of the renter households paid more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses, exceeding HUD's standard for affordable housing.

Although nearly 17,000 rental units were priced at levels affordable to low- and moderate- income households, only 555 of these units were affordable to extremely low-income households, and none were vacant or for rent.

Homeless Needs

A 1991 homeless survey conducted by the San Diego Regional Task Force estimated that there were between 150 and 200 homeless persons in El Cajon. Because only 25 shelter beds are available, the demand for shelter far exceeds the supply.

Substance abuse is a serious problem among the city's homeless population. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation services are needed.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

Although El Cajon does not have any public housing communities, 1,918 assisted housing units currently exist in the city. Of these, 1,349 units receive tenant-based rental assistance through Section 8 certificates and vouchers and the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation program. This assistance is administered through the Housing Authority of the County of San Diego. Another 569 units are assisted through the unit-based Section 236, Section 202, Section 208, or mobile home rental assistance programs.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Barriers to adequate affordable housing arise from market conditions and governmental factors. These constraints affect the costs of housing development, making the finished product less affordable to lower income households.

El Cajon attempts to mitigate the negative effects of government policies on affordable housing by:

Fair Housing

Results of a fair housing audit show a moderate incidence of racial and ethnic discrimination, reflecting a need for continued education on fair housing issues.

Lead-Based Paint

Based on the age of El Cajon's housing stock, an estimated 9,700 units occupied by low- and moderate-income households may contain lead-based paint.

Other Issues

Of the city's 1990 population, 11 percent were elderly persons, with 36 percent of those being frail elderly persons. Typically, elderly persons require low-cost housing with easy access to transit and health-care facilities.

About 11 percent of the population had work, transportation, and/or self-care limitations. These persons with disabilities require special attention relating to housing and services.

As of March 1994, 106 cases of AIDS have been documented in El Cajon. Persons with HIV/AIDS require a broad range of services, including housing, health care, transportation, and food distribution.

Community Development Needs

El Cajon has the following non-housing community development needs:


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

The objective of the 5-year strategic plan is to address the needs of households in low- and moderate-income areas. The city's efforts will focus on three census tracts (157.01, 158, and 159), which have concentrations of high unemployment.

Housing Priorities

El Cajon's housing priorities for the next 5 years are to:

Non-housing Community Development Priorities

El Cajon's community development priorities for the next 5 years are to:

Anti-poverty Strategy

The 1990 census indicated that approximately 12 percent of the city's population was living in poverty. In 1989 the poverty threshold for a family of four was $12,674.

El Cajon's anti-poverty strategy will emphasize economic development and job training programs. Specific strategies include:

Housing and Community Development Resources

Resources to implement the 5-year plan include $2 million in CDBG and HOME funds to be received this year. El Cajon anticipates that similar levels of HUD support for community development and housing activities will be available during the remaining 4 years of the strategic plan. The city also plans to use, as appropriate and available, assistance from Federal, State, and other sources.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

El Cajon's Department of Community Development will be the lead agency responsible for coordinating and implementing the Consolidated Plan. The Department of Community Development also manages the CDBG program. The Planning and Building Divisions of this department oversee the permitting process and regulate compliance with zoning and building codes. The city, through the Department of Community Development and the El Cajon Redevelopment Agency, will:


Description of Key Projects

For the 1995-1996 program year, El Cajon will use $2 million in CDBG and HOME funds to implement the following programs and activities:


Action Plan activities will occur at locations in CDBG-eligible blocks or tracts, except for housing rehabilitation or new homebuyer assistance programs, which depend on an individual household's eligibility.

Housing Goals

Housing activities will rehabilitate 22 housing units. Other planned activities will benefit 65 households and 6,600 persons and will improve public facilities at 24 locations.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on El Cajon's Consolidated Plan, please contact DeWayne Guyer, Assistant Director of Planning, at 619-441-1710.
Return to California's Consolidated Plans.