November 20, 2017

11-20-17 Newsletter



Great to have local housing champion Assemblymember Evan Low at this month’s Happy Housers’ event.  That’s a wrap for the year.  See you at the next celebration on January 12th!


Senator Bob Wieckowski and Assemblymember Ash Kalra spent two hours of their Friday with SV@Home and elected officials from throughout the County at the Elected Official Roundtable earlier this month.  We celebrated this year’s wins and talked about the work ahead, knowing that housing affordability continues to be the top issue in the Capitol.


Lots of Conversation at “On The Table” Events



SV@Home was excited to participate in On the Table, a one-day event sponsored by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. On November 15th, we hosted three events– breakfast with Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, lunch with SPUR San Jose, and after work munchies with LinkedIn.  Dozens of community members joined in to discuss the serious housing challenges affecting all Bay Area residents, focusing on solutions.  Thanks to all who participated that day.  Let’s keep the conversation going!

Policy Updates

Cupertino Council Considers Major Changes to Vallco Plan

In a move reportedly intended to preempt recent legislation signed by Governor Brown, two Cupertino City Council members have suggested changing the City’s General Plan to eliminate all residential uses on the site of the 50+ acre Vallco mall.

The subject of two competing ballot measures in 2016 (which both failed to get the necessary votes), the Vallco mall is now largely empty and awaiting redevelopment.  In October, Sand Hill Property Company notified the City of its interest in moving forward with a community process to obtain input from residents on the design and composition of the development. Specifically, the developer asked the City to “initiate a process of developing a Specific Plan, along with an EIR, that evaluates” alternatives that could increase residential uses and decrease non-residential uses that are included in the current General Plan.

With closed session meetings, along with efforts to make changes to the General Plan, planned before to the end of the year, the Council is violating the promises it made to engage the community as the project moves forward.  This promise is spelled out clearly on the Cupertino website, which says that “the City expects to hold multiple public meetings and invite public input throughout the process.”  View the action alert from United Cupertino here and SV@Home’s letter here.

Board of Supervisors Takes Action to Approve Measure A funding

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved the first round of Measure A funding, awarding $27.8 million to four affordable housing projects in Cupertino Gilroy, Morgan Hill, and San Jose.

  • The Veranda– with 19 affordable homes for seniors in Cupertino, developed by Charities Housing.  Six of the homes will be set aside for permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless/special needs seniors.

  • Gateway Senior– located in Gilroy, this development will include 75 affordable senior homes and is being developed by Danco Communities.  Thirty-seven of the units will be reserved for special needs seniors.

  • Crossings on Monterey– a 39-home community being developed by Urban Housing Communities in Morgan Hill.  Twenty of the units will be reserved for chronically homeless and homeless individuals and families.

  • Leigh Avenue Senior Apartments– located in San Jose, this development will include 64-units of affordable senior housing and commercial space that is being eyed for medical/dental offices.  Sixty-three of the units will be set aside for homeless and special needs seniors.

In total, these action finances the development of 126 permanent supportive housing units for the chronically homeless and other special needs households, six homes for extremely low-income households, 22 homes for very low-income residents, 39 homes for low-income households, and four managers’ units.

At its December 5th meeting, the Board is expected to consider an additional $17M for projects that will create an additional 155 new homes.

City of Palo Alto Adopts Comprehensive Plan, Looks Toward Implementation

After more than a decade of discussion and debate, the Palo Alto City Council voted to adopt an updated Comprehensive Plan at its November 13th meeting.  The new plan, Our Palo Alto 2030, serves as the City’s roadmap for major decisions related to land use, housing, transportation, and infrastructure.  It includes a preferred scenario of 3,545-4,420 new housing units, which will be critical to addressing the City’s housing need.  However, because the City also plans to add 9,850-11,500 new jobs, the Plan falls short of alleviating Palo Alto’s jobs-housing imbalance.  Read Palo Alto Weekly’s coverage of the November 13th Council meeting for additional highlights.

While the Council cleared this hurdle, it now must follow through with implementation — which, as SV@Home stated in our November 10th letter to Council, will require additional policy changes that support the creation of more housing, and especially affordable housing.  The Council is off to a strong start after voting to support a colleagues’ memo by Councilmember Fine, Vice Mayor Kniss, and Councilmember Wolbach that brought forward several policy ideas to facilitate housing construction.  SV@Home spoke out in support of the memo, which included game changing proposals such as: adopting inclusionary housing requirements for rental housing developments, increasing the existing inclusionary requirement to 20%, and setting housing minimums rather than maximums.  We will be following next steps closely; stay tuned for opportunities to engage!

Milpitas opens public input process for new housing impact fees

The City of Milpitas has opened a public comment period to obtain input on potential residential and non-residential impact fees.  Milpitas was one of twelve jurisdictions that participated in a comprehensive nexus study to consider adoption of new housing impact fees. The Milpitas’ nexus study, prepared by Keyser Marston, includes a recommendation of $20 per square foot fee for single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums, and $17 per square foot fee for lower-density and higher-density apartments.  For non-residential impact fees, the study recommends between $4 and $8 a square foot. The public comment period runs until December 3rd. Click here to access the full nexus study or email Housing Manager, Tim Wong at with any questions or comments.

San Jose rejects major changes to its rent control ordinance

Facing hundreds of residents with two different narratives, this past week the San Jose City Council took a variety of actions relating to its rent control ordinance.  The most significant decisions were reject staff recommendations to instead tie the increases to the Consumer Price Index, thereby retaining the current 5% cap, and rejecting a proposal to increase the number of units subject to rent control with the addition of duplexes.

Rent control is bound to be a big topic of conversation in 2018 with at least one group gathering signatures for a November ballot measure that would repeal the Costa Hawkins Rent Control Act, a 1985 law that prohibits rent caps on single-family and multi-family homes built after that date.

Ruling on Lawsuit between Santa Clara and San Jose Released

A San Mateo County Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of the City of Santa Clara in its dispute with the City of San Jose over development near the Levi’s Stadium.  This ruling allows the Related Companies to move forward with plans for a mixed-use development on the 240-acre parcel, including significant job-producing uses and an estimated 1,680 residential units.  San Jose is concerned that sufficient housing is not being planned to accommodate the 12,000 jobs that will be created by the development– putting the burden for housing the new jobs on San Jose– and is determining whether it will appeal the Judge’s ruling.  Still unresolved is a suit filed by the City of Santa Clara over Federal Realty’s Santana West project in San Jose, which would add an estimated 1 million feet of office and retail space, but no new housing units.

City of Santa Clara Explores Solutions for Teacher & Workforce Housing

At a November 7th study session, the Santa Clara City Council discussed Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as a potential solution for affordable teacher housing.  As the impact of housing crisis has extended to moderate income workers, including teachers & other members of the education sector, public employees, and first responders, the Council highlighted the urgent need to address the City’s lack of workforce housing overall.  As a next step, they asked staff to study the potential for partnering with a program called HATS (Housing Affordability for Teacher Stability) that plans to facilitate building ADUs for teachers.  With many housing advocates collaborating to make ADUs easier and more affordable to build, new policies and tools — such as a $1.75 million dollar grant from JP Morgan Chase to the Housing Trust Silicon Valley for a new ADU financing and educational outreach program — are making ADUs a real possibility for more homeowners.

The City of Santa Clara has long been a leader in creating teacher housing, starting with the development of Casa del Maestro in 2002, which provides homes for 70 teachers and their families.  We commend the Council for staying focused on creating housing solutions for its workforce.

Upcoming Public Meetings

San Jose City Council – Urban Village Financing

Tuesday, November 28th, 1:30 PM
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.

San Jose City Council– General Plan Annual Review

Tuesday, November 28th, 1:30 PM
San Jose City Hall
200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose

Every year, the Planning Commission and City Council each hold an Annual Review hearing to review and consider amendments to the 2040 General Plan.  This year, the Planning Department is recommending action on eight privately-initiated and five City-inititated General Plan amendments.  This is the opportunity to raise other issues, including the potential for rethinking the Urban Village horizons.

Mountain View City Council – Affordable Housing Strategy & AB 1505

Tuesday, November 28th, 6:30 PM
Mountain View City Council
500 Castro Street, Mountain View

The City Council will hold a public hearing on Mountain View’s citywide affordable housing requirements for new market rate developments.  Up for discussion are inclusionary housing requirements for both for-sale and rental housing, housing impact fee policies for residential and non-residential/commercial development, and affordable housing policies for specific plans.

The City currently has a 10% inclusionary housing requirement on for-sale housing developments with 10 or more units.  Prior to the Palmer decision, this requirement also applied to rental housing developments.  With the passage of AB 1505 as part of this year’s Housing Package, the City of Mountain View now has the opportunity to once again apply its inclusionary housing requirement to rental housing.  SV@Home is advocating for a 15% inclusionary requirement on both for-sale and rental housing in all cities throughout Santa Clara County.  Join us at this meeting to push for a strong affordable housing strategy that supports housing for all!

For a summary of Mountain View’s current affordable housing policies, visit SV@Home’s Resource Hub.  

Santa Clara County Planning Commission – Stanford General Plan Update

Thursday, November 30th, 7:00-9:00pm
Palo Alto Arts Center Auditorium
1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto

The Planning Commission will receive public comment on the Stanford 2018 General Use Permit Draft Environmental Impact Report EIR.  This is the last community meeting on the Stanford GUP, but if you cannot attend, you can still submit written comments by emailing or sending a letter to the following address:

County of Santa Clara
Department of Planning and Development
Attention: David Rader
County Government Center
70 West Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110

Under the 2018 General Use Permit application, Stanford proposes up to 2,275,000 square feet of new academic and academic support space and up to 3,150 net new housing units/beds, of which up to 550 units would be available for faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, and medical residents.

Palo Alto City Council – Study Session on SB 35

Monday, December 4th, 6:00 PM
Palo Alto City Hall
250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto

The City Council will hold a study session on SB 35, which creates a “streamlined” approval process for housing developers whose projects meet objective planning standards and include below-market-rate housing.

Santa Clara City Council – Affordable Housing Requirements Update

December 5th 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.

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors – Measure A Affordable Housing Projects

Tuesday, December 5th
County Government Center
70 West Hedding Street, San Jose

The Board will return to consider allocating an additional $17M for Villas in the Park and Quetzal Gardens affordable housing projects, which includes an additional 155 apartments for very low-income and supportive housing in San Jose.

Santa Clara City Council – Public Land Workshop

Thursday, December 7th at 5:00 pm
Santa Clara City Hall
1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara

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!

San Jose City Council –  Inclusionary Ordinance

Tuesday, December 12th
San Jose City Hall
200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose

The City Council will revisit potential changes to its existing inclusionary housing policy, 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 for 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!

New Members

Join our movement for #HousingForAll and become one of over 250 organizations and individuals who have joined SV@Home! When our voices are united, we are stronger, better, and more effective. Help us continue to increase affordable housing in the Silicon Valley by becoming a new member or renewing your annual membership today!

Sign up online or mail us this form. Affordable rates are available – just ask! For any questions, email

Thanks and welcome to our newest 2018 members, Robert Stromberg, Andrea Osgood, Janice Jensen, Sally Logothetti, Kerri Heusler, Janice Robbins, Kathy Thibodeaux, Geoffrey Jackson, Councilmember Pat Showalter, Northern California Community Loan Fund, First Community Housing, Union Bank, City of Morgan Hill, and Knight Foundation!

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San Jose, California 95110

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