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

Consolidated Plan Contact


Located about 5 miles southeast of downtown San Diego, National City, California, is the home of many of the naval personnel stationed in the San Diego area. The city's "Mile of Cars" is one of the largest automotive sales centers in California. In 1990 National City had 54,249 persons living within its 8.5 square miles.

Action Plan

For the first year of its Consolidated Plan, National City expects to receive $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and $517,000 in HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) programs funds for 31 projects, including new home construction, code enforcement, rehabilitation, community facilities, and services.

Citizen Participation

In January 1995 a city council hearing was held to solicit citizen input on the Consolidated Plan. In February and March the Housing and Community Development Committee held two public meetings to identify community development needs and priorities. In April the committee held two additional meetings to review proposals and finalize recommendations to the city council. Numerous agencies and organization were consulted throughout the development process, including: key city departments, the San Diego Housing Authority, regional government entities, the National City Chamber of Commerce, interested business organizations, and agencies that serve various needy populations.


During the 1980s National City's population increased by 11 percent, significantly less than the countywide growth rate of 34 percent. The city's ethnic makeup shifted during this period, with Hispanics increasing by 43 percent and non-Hispanic whites decreasing by 30 percent. In 1990 Hispanics comprised 45 percent of the population; whites comprised 32 percent; Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders comprised 16 percent; African Americans comprised 8 percent; and Native-Americans comprised percent.

Of the total households in National City, two-thirds were families. Another 23 percent were single-person households. Overall, average household size increased to 3.2 persons.

National City's median family income (MFI) is $32,096, versus $39,798 for the San Diego metropolitan area. Almost two-thirds of the households in National City are considered low-income because they earn 80 percent or less of MFI. Of these, 39 percent are very low-income, earning less than 51 percent of MFI.

Although low- and moderate-income households are concentrated throughout the city, the lowest income households are concentrated along the northwestern edge of the city, along the harbor, and along the boundary with San Diego. These areas also contain higher proportions of the city's Hispanic households. Other low-income households are concentrated within the city, west of Interstate 805.


Housing Market Conditions

Although nearly two-thirds of the city's 15,243 housing units are rented, the proportion of owner-occupied housing has increased since 1980. Slightly less than half of all housing units are in multifamily buildings, and absentee landlords are common. An estimated one-quarter of the rental stock is in substandard condition, while overcrowding adds to the deterioration of the units.

National City's housing stock is relatively old, with nearly half of it being constructed before 1960. The majority of the residential land has been developed, and new construction is unlikely. During the 1980s the number of mobile home units increased by nearly 70 percent. However, mobile homes still account for only 2.8 percent of the total housing stock.

Most importantly, housing needs, as determined by household size, do not match the current supply of housing units. Although there is a shortage of units for small (one- or two-person) and large (four- or more-person) households, there is a surplus of units for medium (three-person) households.

At the time of the 1990 census, the median monthly rent in National City was $476, and the median home value was $115,000. The vacancy rate was only 3.1 percent.

Affordable Housing Needs

Of all households in National City, 29 percent are overcrowded, containing more than one person per room. Rental households are more likely to be overcrowded (35 percent) than owner households (18 percent).

Housing that costs less than 30 percent of a household's gross income is considered affordable. Although extremely low-income (0-31 percent of MFI) households comprise 29 percent of renters in National City, only 12 percent of rental units can be afforded by this income group. Of extremely low-income households, 80 percent pay more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses, and 63 percent pay more than 50 percent. Of very low-income households, 75 percent pay more than 30 percent of their gross income for housing expenses.

In addition to overcrowding and cost burdens, housing problems include physical deficiencies in housing units. Among the city's Hispanic and African-American renters over 80 percent experienced housing problems. Among owner households in these ethnic groups, over 66 percent experienced housing problems, including all elderly African-American households and 95 percent of large Hispanic households.

Homeless Needs

In National City, an estimated 250 persons are homeless, including 187 single adults, 28 single homeless youths, and 35 persons in families. Nearly 50 percent of the homeless population is estimated to have substance abuse problems, while 40 percent are mentally ill. About 40 percent of women heading homeless families are victims of domestic violence. An estimated 15 percent of the homeless people in the San Diego area have HIV/AIDS.

National City and neighboring Chula Vista will acquire a 14-unit apartment building for temporary housing purposes. National City refers homeless people to shelters in San Diego, mostly to one downtown shelter with 160 beds. San Diego County contains a total of 1,544 beds, not including special inclement-weather beds. The Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee Project, located in National City, provides needs assessment, emergency food and rental assistance, case management, housing referral, and other services. A survey conducted by the San Diego Association of Governments found 78 regional homeless services available in National City.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The Community Development Commission of National City (CDC) operates 300 public housing units in two complexes, which are reserved for senior citizens. Approximately 9,000 applicants appear on the waiting list for public housing.

A total of 1,214 units are assisted through project-based Section 8 contracts. Of these, 511 are for senior households, and 703 are for families. Private contractors who use other HUD programs own and operate four assisted-housing complexes that contain 1,065 units. Of these four complexes, three may be lost to the affordable stock. However, this loss may be prevent through an applicable Federal program.

The CDC, which serves as the city's housing authority, administers 1,044 Section 8 certificates and vouchers.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Market conditions and governmental factors pose barriers to affordable housing. Between 1980 and 1988, construction costs in Southern California increased by over 30 percent. Unimproved residential land in the developed parts of National City can cost from $15,000 to $50,000. The city uses density bonuses to reduce land costs in exchange for guaranteed affordable housing. The city has also changed its zoning ordinance to permit mixed residential and commercial areas in light industrial zones. It has also authorized the expansion and reconstruction of nonconforming single-family dwellings, which significantly impacts areas containing older and more affordable housing units. National City's development fees are generally lower than regional fees, and permits are processed rapidly because of the low volume of activity.

Fair Housing

The CDC contracts the operation of a fair housing program to Heartland Human Relations. The program provides various counseling and information services, including a fair housing intake process similar to HUD. It has increased the legal and enforcement resources available to victims of housing discrimination.

Lead-Based Paint

The San Diego Department of Health Services documented eight cases of childhood lead poisoning National City. Based on the age of the housing stock, over 6,000 units occupied by low- and moderate-income households may contain lead-based paint.

Other Issues

At the time of the 1990 census, an estimated 5,867 residents, about 11 percent of the population, had disabilities. About 200 frail elderly persons need housing assistance. Also, several nonprofit providers assist persons with disabilities.

An estimated 543 National City residents are severely mentally ill. Most of them need affordable housing, because their incomes are typically under $12,000.

The San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled counts at least 49 developmentally disabled persons whose housing needs have not been met for at least 6 months.

There are also an estimated 67 persons with AIDS living in National City, and 402 persons with HIV. Substantial numbers of the persons with AIDS are expected to have serious housing needs during the course of the disease.

Community Development Needs

A community development needs survey was distributed at three of the public meetings on the consolidated plan, at a citywide meeting of neighborhood activists, to members of the Chamber of Commerce, and to recipients of Section 8 rental assistance. Of the surveys distributed, 81 were returned, offering input on community needs. Respondents ranked the following needs as having medium to high priority:

City agencies identified the following relatively urgent needs:


Vision for Change

National City seeks to meet the most urgent needs of low- and moderate-income residents by maximizing the use of available resources.

Housing Priorities

National City has identified the following housing priorities and corresponding objectives:

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

National City has identified the following nonhousing community development priorities:

Antipoverty Strategy

Numerous factors contribute to poverty in National City, including: low educational levels, a depressed local economy, disinvestment, disappearance of manufacturing jobs, and shortage of affordable child care. The Community Redevelopment Commission (CRC) will coordinate the antipoverty programs, while collaborating with the Chamber of Commerce and various groups offering employment training, youth employment, and other programs.

Housing and Community Development Resources

Several groups who have a regional presence collaborate with the CRC in providing resources for housing. These groups include: the San Diego Community Foundation, the National Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the California Housing Partnership Corporation, and South Bay Community Services.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The National City CRC is the main agency responsible for coordinating the plan. The Committee for Housing and Community Development reviews the activities and reports to the city council. The National City Planning Department provides additional assistance. The CRC coordinates with numerous statewide, regional, and local nonprofit organizations who have housing and community development missions in National City. Two designated community housing development organizations -- the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee Project and Telacu -- operate in National City. Because these organizations are eligible for certain special funding, Federal law makes them accountable to the community. Six other nonprofit organizations in National City qualify or may qualify for this status.

The CRC works with several social services agencies that provide services to the homeless and to other populations with special needs. The CRC will also work with lenders and other for-profit groups seeking to develop affordable housing in National City. The city will continue to examine any of its own activities which may impede affordable housing development.


Description of Key Projects

National City estimates that it will receive $1.5 million in CDBG funds and that repayment of rehabilitation loans will generate an additional $350,000 in income. The city will use these funds for 27 projects, including:

National City estimates it will receive $517,000 in HOME funds. The city will use these funds for the following activities:


Except for site-specific activities, such as recreation area improvements, these activities are citywide, focusing on lower income neighborhoods.


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; as well as, provides a table with information about the project(s).

To comment on National City's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Paul Desrochers
Executive Director
Community Development Commission
City of National City

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