November 2, 2017

11-2-17 Newsletter


Breaking News

Impact of Tax Reform on Affordable Housing

Well the long-awaited details of the Republican tax reform proposal were released today, and the short story is that it’s not great for housing. Briefly here are the major impacts:

  • Retained the volume cap for 9% and 4% percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) for acquisition
  • Repealed all tax-exempt private activity bonds, including multi-family bonds
  • Repealed 4% LIHTC generated by multifamily bonds

While it is great that the LIHTC was retained, the repeal of the tax exemption for private activity bonds has a huge impact. In Santa Clara County we only receive 9% credits for a few new affordable developments annually, and much of our affordable housing stock has been traditionally financed with the combination of 4% credits and private activity bonds. Additionally, with the proposed reductions in the corporate tax rate, the value of the LIHTC will be reduced.

SV@Home will provide more detail as it becomes available on our social media channels.  Make sure to follow us on Twitter — @SVatHome — and like us on Facebook — @siliconvalleyathome  to get updates.


Hundreds of community leaders and stakeholders come out to ‘Rebuild North Bay’ Launch in Sonoma

In the wake of this month’s North Bay Fires, a robust recovery effort– called Rebuild North Bay– is underway. Former FEMA Director James Lee Witt, who led recovery efforts for over 350 disasters during his post from 1993-2001 under President Bill Clinton, will lead the effort. On October 25th, SV@Home was there with hundreds of community stakeholders, who packed the Student Center Ballroom at Sonoma State University, to hear more about recovery plans. Larry Florin, CEO of Burbank Housing, shared that the region already had 15,000 people on affordable housing waiting lists before the fires. To learn more about Rebuild North Bay, to make make a donation, or to get involved please visit

Support SV@Home on November 28th for #GivingTuesday

As a membership-based nonprofit organization, we are grateful for the support of our many members and partners. Together, we are the voice for affordable housing in Silicon Valley, and it is through your giving that we are able to continue our work.

November 28th is #GivingTuesday — a “global day of giving” — and we hope that you’ll take a moment on this day to join the Giving Tuesday movement by giving back to SV@Home.  Whether by joining us as an SV@Home memberproviding a donation, or lending the power of your voice, your contribution is what allows us to drive change.  For more information about membership and giving to SV@Home, please contact Gina Lee at

Welcome Our Newest Team Member: Mathew Reed!

We are so excited that, come December, Mathew Reed will be joining our team as SV@Home’s Policy Manager!

In addition to holding a PhD in Urban Sociology and Social Policy from Northwestern University, Mathew has a decades long commitment to affordable housing development, preservation, and policy in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. A true houser, Mathew brings the community voice into housing policy discussions and works to ensure that inequality and social justice are part of the affordable housing conversation.

Mathew has worked in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors as a housing demographer, a social policy evaluator, and an organizer. Mathew joins us from his position at Sacred Heart Community Service, where he was a community organizer and housing analyst working on homeless prevention, renters’ rights, and efforts to expand affordable housing funding and development.

Welcome, Mathew!

Policy Updates

Want to Dig into the State Housing Package?

By now, everyone who is concerned about housing in California is aware that the Governor signed a historic package of bills on September 29th. But you may not be aware of the details, or how the bills could impact Santa Clara County. if you are interested in learning more, check out SV@Home’s  legislative page on our website.  The page includes brief descriptions of key bills, our take on the impact of the bills, and links to the statutory language.

What’s up with Measure A?

County staff are busy implementing Measure A, with plans to bring forward the first projects for award before the end of the year.  At last count, the County had received more than seven project proposals in response to the NOFA released on September 26th.  Applications are being accepted on an over-the-counter basis (there is no specific deadline for applications).  The NOFA and requirements can be accessed here.

Last Thursday, the County sold $250 million in bonds to enable the funding of Measure A projects.  The remaining $700 million of the $950 million measure will be issued over the next ten years, depending on demand.

And lastly, an RFP to select a program administrator for downpayment assistance funding was released on October 27th.  Up to $25 million of the $250 million in bond proceeds issued to date will be used to fund a downpayment assistance loan program.  After selection of the  program administrator, the program is expected to launch early in the new year.  The RFP can be downloaded here.

What’s up with CASA — the Committee to House the Bay Area?

CASA formally launched in September and now is moving forward to develop a suite of integrated legislative, financial, policy and regulatory recommendations that together will form a Regional Housing Implementation Strategy.  Two subcommittees have now been formed to dig deeply into potential solutions– a Housing Production Subcommittee, led by Denise Pinkston from TMG Partners and Derecka Mehrens from Working Partnerships USA, and a Protection and Preservation Subcommittee, led by Dr. Jennifer Martinez from Peninsula Interfaith Action and Linda Mandolini from Eden Housing. The subcommittees will begin bringing forward recommendations for committee action as early as December.

The work of CASA will continue through the fall of 2018, with a final report slated for release in 2018.  The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which is convening CASA, has a great website where you can learn more about the effort and access agendas and meeting materials, including lists of ideas produced to date.

For those who are not aware of CASA, the Committee was convened by MTC following the release of the draft Plan Bay Area 2040, the region’s long-range transportation and land use plan, which projects the region will see 2.4 million more people, 820,000 new households and 1.3 million new jobs by the year 2040.   CASA includes 48 leaders from across the Bay Area, including elected officials, and representatives from the development community, corporations, labor, equity organizations, and housing experts.  The group will work to build “an actionable political consensus around (1) increasing housing production at all levels of affordability, (2) preserving existing affordable housing, and (3) protecting vulnerable populations from housing instability and displacement.”

San Jose: Council considers changes to City’s Housing Impact Fees/Inclusionary Ordinance

On October 24th, Housing Department staff brought forward recommendations to approve changes to the City’s Affordable Housing Impact Fee (HIF) and Inclusionary Housing Programs, given the passage of AB 1505, which goes into effect on January 1st. (Check out our  Housing Brief for more information about AB 1505). The Council approved the staff report, which laid out how the City’s inclusionary and HIF ordinances will work going forward. Here’s the scoop.

For all rental projects that have submitted planning applications prior to December 31st, as long as they are substantially complete, the HIF ordinance will govern. And, for any rental project submitting for planning approvals beginning January 1st, the City’s inclusionary ordinance would be enforced.

The Council also approved minor adjustments to the definition of dwelling unit under the ordinance to respond to concerns raised about assisted living units without complete bathrooms/kitchens, and asked the staff to come back with more analysis on the appropriate size of developments subject to the ordinance. We expect that the staff will return with this analysis developers later this year

Palo Alto: Councilmembers propose significant housing proposals to encourage housing development

Next Monday, the Palo Alto City Council will consider a proposal from three of its members — Vice Mayor Liz Kniss, and Councilmembers Adrian Fine and Cory Wolbach — that seeks to encourage housing development in the city, making it easier to develop and less costly. Stating that the Council has the obligation to both existing and future residents, the trio recommends that the staff return to Council with a workplan that identifies the process and resources needed to undertake significant process changes. Recommendations include:

  • Updating and improving the zoning code and other regulations to increase the number of affordable and “moderately-sized market-rate” homes
  • Increasing the density of housing near jobs, transit, and services
  • Streamlining the City’s approval process for new residential development.

SV@Home appreciates the Council members’ leadership in seeking bold action to encourage new affordable housing in an area where few homes have that characteristic. We are preparing a letter to the Council in support, and will call out a few recommendations, including housing unit minimums, parking maximums (including “car light” housing), and adopting an inclusionary requirement for rental housing. We also support policies that would offer underutilized and vacant publicly owned parcels for affordable housing development.

Upcoming Public Meetings

Palo Alto City Council – Colleagues’ Memo on Zoning Updates to Encourage Housing Development

Monday, November 6th at 6:00 pm
(Item estimated to be heard at 10:00 pm, see agenda for further details.)
Palo Alto City Hall
250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto

The Palo Alto City Council will talk about opportunities to increase housing development in the City. See more about the meeting above.

Palo Alto City Council – Palo Alto Comprehensive Plan

Monday, November 13th at 6:00 pm
Palo Alto City Hall
250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto

After much debate and discussion, on November 13th, the Palo Alto City Council will review the Planning and Transportation Commission’s recommendations regarding the final Comprehensive Plan and vote on certifying the Plan EIR. Our allies at Palo Alto Forward, who have been deeply engaged throughout the planning process, are calling on the City Council to ratify the Plan and move forward with the implementation of housing policies to improve supply and affordability. Here is Palo Alto Forward’s sign-on letter to the City Council.

San Jose City Council – Urban Village Financing

Tuesday, November 14th, Time TBD
San Jose City Hall
200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose

Back in June, City staff presented a plan to the City Council that laid out a plan for financing Urban Village infrastructure. After receiving feedback from Council, developers, and other stakeholders  including SV@Home, staff has made changes to its proposal and will present the revised plan to the City Council. It is critical that the financing plan framework be completed so that development can proceed in Urban Villages.

Mountain View City Council – North Bayshore Precise Plan Final Adoption

Tuesday, December 12th at 6:30 pm
Mountain View City Hall
500 Castro Street, Mountain View

The Mountain View City Council adopted a master planning framework to zone and build 9,850 units in the North Bayshore Precise Plan at a study session on September 26th. But that doesn’t mean the decision is final — the Plan comes back for Plan adoption at the December 12th Council meeting at 6:30 pm. SV@Home and community partners will host a gathering before the meeting to rally the troops in preparation for a positive result! Details will be announced soon, so stay tuned.

Have you and your friends signed our #SayYesNBS letter in support of 9,850 units? We need each of you to speak out! Click here to sign the petition and remember to pass along to your colleagues, friends, and family!

Santa Clara City Council – Affordable Housing Requirements Update

Tuesday, December 19th at 7:00 pm
Santa Clara City Hall
1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara

As a follow up from the July Council discussion regarding the recommendations put forward by the City’s Affordable Housing Requirements Update Working Group, the City Council will revisit potential changes to its existing inclusionary housing policy as well as the adoption of new affordable housing impact fees for both residential and non-residential development. The Council will discuss recommendations from the Working Group as well as staff, along with several new policy questions that have arisen with the passage of AB 1505, also known as the “Palmer fix” bill (see our Housing Brief, “AB 1505 – What now impact fees?”for more information).  Check SV@Home’s events calendar for updates related to this item and a link to the meeting agenda once it is available.

SV@Home Events

Last Happy Housers of 2017!

Thursday, November 9th from 5:30-7:00 PM
Loft Bar + Bistro
90 S 2nd St, San Jose

SV@Home’s Happy Housers events are a great opportunity for people from all corners of the housing world to meet and exchange ideas and socialize with fellow housers.

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell) is helping us end 2017 as our special guest! Assemblymember Low authored AB 1397, which was a part of the housing package signed by Governor Brown, and ensures that the sites identified in a locality’s Housing Element can realistically accommodate the planned housing. Before joining the Legislature, Assemblymember Low served as Mayor of Campbell from 2009-2014.

Stop by and join Assemblymember Low for drinks and conversation with fellow housers, advocates, and policymakers on November 9th!

SV@Home Member Holiday Party – December 13th

Wednesday, December 13th from 5:30-8 PM
Silicon Valley Capital Club
50 West San Fernando St, San Jose


Join us for our annual holiday party on Wednesday, December 13th at the Silicon Valley Capital Club!  This is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with others determined to make housing affordable throughout Silicon Valley. You can register here.

Note: This event is for SV@Home members only, so make sure to become a member before you RSVP. If you are not sure whether or not you are a member, please email

Not a member yet? Sign up now to become a 2018 member and attend the rest of our 2017 events, including the holiday party, for free! We hope to see you on December 13th!

Partner Events

Participate in On the Table Housing Conversations on November 15th!

On the Table, sponsored by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, is a day of community building through conversations designed to strengthen and connect our community, and will bring together thousands of local people to eat, drink, and talk about our region’s housing challenges. The day is a great chance to get to know neighbors and colleagues, make new connections, and inspire action.

SV@Home is partnering with key partners to invite residents and workers for conversations on how the housing crisis is affecting them, and how we can work together to address this important issue.

  • Sign up for a morning On the Table event with SV@Home and Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley. Here are the details:
    9 – 10 AM (Coffee and light breakfast provided)
    Social Policy – 200 S. 1st Street, Suite 10
  • Attend a lunch time On the Table event with SV@Home and SPUR San Jose
    12 – 1 PM (Food and drinks provided
    SPUR San Jose Office – 76 S. 1st Street
  • Or take in an after work social with SV@Home and LinkedIn
    5:00 – 6:30 PM (Food and drinks provided)
    LinkedIn – 605 W. Maude Avenue in Sunnyvale
  • And lastly, consider joining a conversation— Invisible Housing Crisis in Los Altos: Win/Win Solutions— with the Los Altos Women’s Caucus (in partnership with the League of Women Voters, GreenTown, the American Association of University Women, and the Los Altos Community Foundation)
    5:30-7:30 PM
    Silicon Valley Community Foundation
    2440 W. El Camino Real, Suite 300 in Mountain View
    (Park in green or white spaces)
    Space is limited so RSVP at

We hope you can join us for one or more conversations on 11/15!

A Legislative Approach to a More Affordable California

Thursday, November 16 at 12:30pm
SPUR San Jose
76 S 1st Street, San Jose

In September, Governor Brown signed a package of 15 state bills intended to address the Statewide housing shortage and affordability crisis. Leadership from State legislators, in conjunction with growing public awareness, helped assemble the political will to get this comprehensive set of bills across the finish line. Come hear from some of the key people involved in this important work and learn what still needs to happen in order to increase the affordability of housing across California. Leslye Corsiglia, Executive Director of SV@Home, will moderate the panel, which will include Senator Jim Beall and others!