The Union-Tribune examined if San Diego County can build more housing to slow the pace of rent and home price increases. What we found: - Zoning changes, emphasis on townhomes and reduced regulation would likely speed up construction; - Biggest hurdles continue to be anti-growth sentiments and lack of land zoned for housing; - Solutions for the future may include streamlined permitting processes, a change in parking requirements and a greater mix of housing types San Diego County housing: Here’s the full story San Diego County should be awash in new housing projects. Unemployment is low and wages are rising. Many millennials are marrying, having children and aiming to buy. Their parents want to downsize. But the market is not responding. Last year only about 10,000 housing units were approved, and most were for rent, not for-sale homes and condos. Norm Miller, a real estate economist at the University of San Diego, recalls attending a recent community meeting of Morena Boulevard-area residents. They gathered to talk about development plans around the Tecolote Road trolley stop opening in 2021. Nondescript big-box stores, industrial buildings and parking lots dominate the site. Miller expected residents would welcome high-density housing, new retail and office development, steps from mass transit headed to UC San Diego, San Diego State University, downtown and parts south and east. “Boy was I wrong,” he said. “They were vehemently opposed to development.” On the rental side, vacancy rates stand at only 2 or 3 percent in most neighborhoods when at least 5 percent is considered optimal for a balanced market. Miller said that unless things change, the county homeownership rate, now at 53.2 percent, will sink to a historic low of 50 percent, a point reached years ago in the city of San Diego. Newcomers arriving for jobs nearly equal the number moving away. And those who can’t move and lack adequate income and support risk becoming homeless. “There’s not much supply and you wonder why it’s not more,” Miller said. “The only answer is we’ve been going more than a decade where we haven’t added much to the supply to the middle or lower market where it’s so desperately