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Bill to Streamline Redevelopment of Hillcrest DMV Property in San Diego Passes Assembly

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – A bill introduced by Assemblymember Ward to direct the Department of Motor Vehicles to redevelop its property in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego with additional affordable housing has passed in the Assembly with bipartisan support. AB 1635 requires state agencies to work with a local public housing agency to advance a plan with at least 20% of the units as affordable housing before July 2026. 

“After nearly two decades with little to no progress, AB 1635 sets clear goals for how this property can move forward with an additional affordable housing component,” said Assemblymember Ward (D-San Diego). “This is just one example of how state land can be used to help solve California’s housing crisis by maximizing its redevelopment potential.”

A 2007 bill introduced by former State Senator Christine Kehoe authorized the Department of General Services to lease or exchange three parcels of property owned by the DMV for up to 45 years, including the Hillcrest location. However, since SB 754 was enacted, no agreements have been executed and the property remains a deteriorating two-story building constructed in the early 1960s, while the surrounding Hillcrest neighborhood continues to be revitalized around it. Despite this authorization, attempts by the DMV in 2017 to replace the site with a DMV-only facility and fencing met fierce community opposition.

AB 1635 will facilitate and streamline redevelopment of this location into affordable housing, a replacement DMV field office, and community benefit mixed-used project that will complement the City of San Diego’s Community Plan for the area with additional input from local groups. The bill now heads to the State Senate for consideration. 

“As our region faces a housing and homelessness crisis, we need to continue to think creatively about developing housing on public property,” said SDHC President and CEO Lisa Jones. “Underutilized, government-owned properties provide unique opportunities to produce more of the affordable housing units needed in San Diego and throughout the state. I thank Assemblymember Ward for continuing his leadership in addressing this issue with essential, innovative solutions like AB 1635.”