February 9, 2017

2-9-17 Newsletter


Feb. 9th Newsletter


Volunteers Participate in 2017 Homeless Count

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo motivates community volunteers and homeless guides who showed up really early— at 5:30 in the morning– to get their assignments to canvass the County, counting people who are living outside, on the streets, in tents, in vehicles or RVs, in encampments, and in other places not meant for human habitation.  The Homeless Count, which is conducted every two years, is accompanied by a detailed survey that tells us more about the people who find themselves homeless in our community and that provides more insight into their circumstances.  These counts have been conducted every other year since 2004, and help to determine how much federal funding our County receives to respond to homelessness. Thank you to all the volunteers and coordinators!

Celebrating the Measure A Win

Chris Wilder, CEO of the VMC Foundation, Gary Graves, former COO of the County of Santa Clara, Jennifer Loving, ED of Destination:Home (and SV@Home Board Member), and Supervisor Cindy Chavez celebrate at the Measure A celebration in Downtown San Jose.  Dozens of volunteers and supporters gathered together to thank everyone who came together to make Measure A a reality.  As was stated by several at the gathering, every dollar, every phone call, every personal contact, and every piece of literature dropped was key to victory.  Now it’s on to implementation!

SV@Home Open House is a Sucess!

On January 26th, we welcomed Santa Clara County Housers like Katherine Harasz (Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara), and SV@Home Board members Amie Fishman (Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California) and Kevin Zwick (Housing Trust of Silicon Valley) to our new office in San Jose’s Little Italy. Check out the album on Facebook by clicking on the picture above.

Policy Updates

County Takes First Action on Measure A

Kevin Zwick, President and CEO of the Housing Trust Silicon Valley and SV@Home Board Member, presents testimony at the Board of Supervisors meeting as they discuss Measure A Implementation.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors took the first formal action on Measure A since it received 67% of the vote last November, approving a report from the Office of Supportive Housing regarding bond implementation that outlined initial plans, including production targets and actions.  Key messages included:

  • Programs– Staff is moving forward with  programs that  will fund rental housing for ELI and VLI households ($800 million) and first-time homebuyer assistance ($50 million), but is still studying the workforce housing program ($100 million).

  • Homeownership–The County laid out several possibilities for funding homeownership programs, including direct homebuyer subsidy through downpayment assistance, funding for the development of new homeownership units, and support for self-help construction.

  • Rental Developments– The County envisions that, for the most part, supportive housing units will be integrated in mixed-income developments, with the County funds supporting the targeted units.  Some 100% Permanent Supportive Housing projects may also be funded.

  • Process for Award– The County envisions that it will:

    • Issue NOFAs in partnership with cities and the Housing Authority

    • Determine the order of  projects funded according to the number of supportive housing units proposed or adherence to other County goals

    • Implement a process where developers with “significant supportive housing experience” have priority for funding on an over-the-counter basis

    • Allow cities and the Housing Authority to recommend projects for funding

  • Geographic distribution–The County has a goal to distribute the funds geographically, and is considering ways to do so, including the potential of connecting funding to the RHNA process.

  • Services– The County plans to work internally to identify existing resources for supportive services, however it anticipates the need for innovative partnerships to access additional service dollars.

  • Leverage–The County anticipates that it will  leverage upwards of $3 billion from private and public sources, and intends to work with unconventional partners to engage them in the effort.

  • Housing Ready Communities– Key to the success of Measure A will be the ability to site development, so a new campaign dubbed “Housing Ready Communities” will focus on messaging, community outreach, and political engagement needed to ensure that projects proposed throughout the City are able to move forward.

It is anticipated that the staff will return to the Board  in April or May with a more detailed report, after receiving more input from the public.

Many members of the public spoke to the item, including several SV@Home members.  SV@Home Board member Bob Brownstein, Working Partnerships USA, voiced his concerns that developments targeted to seniors and the disabled, particularly those in nursing homes and care facilities, receive Measure A funding.  Wendy Ho, Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits, expressed the need for service dollars, particularly for rapid rehousing and PSH projects.

SV@Home voiced support for the County’s efforts and offered the support as the staff works toward implementation.  Additionally, SV@Home will  partner with the County and other partners on the Housing Ready Communities Campaign, which is beginning the work needed to prepare communities for Measure A developments.

Santa Clara and Palo Alto City Councils Prioritize Housing

With 22 newly elected officials now seated on City Councils across the County, we are now officially in priority setting season.  A number of City Councils, including Palo Alto and Santa Clara, recently held priority setting retreats to decide on the issues they will take action on in the near future.  Both of these cities named housing as a priority issue.

According to the Santa Clara Weekly, Santa Clara Councilmembers identified creating more housing as the City’s second most urgent issue, just behind updating the City’s infrastructure.  Along with a goal of addressing Palo Alto’s long-term fiscal challenges, the Mercury News reports that Palo Alto Councilmembers reprioritized housing as well as a number of issues from last year’s list, including transportation, infrastructure, and a healthy city and community.

As we know, many of these other issues — from the traffic on our roads to the struggles over city budgets — are symptoms of the housing crisis.  Addressing these problems and creating livable communities requires local governments to, first and foremost, address the housing needs of their residents.

More work is to be done to finalize Santa Clara and Palo Alto’s priorities. A report on Santa Clara’s goals will be discussed at a future City Council meeting, while Palo Alto Councilmembers will hold a governance retreat on April 5-6 to identify specific projects that it will take on under each priority.  We’ll be following these conversations, so stay tuned for more information!

In the meantime, we are gearing up for the City of San Jose’s priority setting session, which will take place during the February 28 City Council meeting.  If you’re interested in weighing in on what San Jose should prioritize, please contact nicole@siliconvalleyathome.org.

Public Meetings

East Whisman Precise Plan map

Mountain View– East Whisman Precise Plan
Tuesday, February 14th
500 Castro Street, Mountain View

The City Council is hosting a study session to consider a preferred development alternative which will include key elements such as land use distribution, development intensity, and building heights. The staff report for the meeting can be accessed via this link.

Santa Clara– Affordable Housing Requirements & Impact Fees
Tuesday, February 21
1500 Warburton Avenue

Information on the current staff proposal can be found here.  Staff’s initial proposal to the Planning Commission included the following fee levels: $25-$35 per square foot on residential development, a $5-$10 per square foot fee on office, $2-$5 on light industrial, and zero jobs/housing linkage fees on hotel and retail uses.  The meeting agenda will be posted here prior to February 21.

Palo Alto– Impact Fees
February 27th
250 Hamilton Avenue

After voting not to adopt a proposed impact fee ordinance during its second reading on January 9, the City Council will reopen the discussion on affordable housing impact fees.  Staff’s proposal from the January 9 meeting can be found here. The meeting agenda will be posted here prior to the meeting.

San Jose Council Chambers

San Jose– Annual Priority Setting Session
Tuesday, February 28th
Time TBD
200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose

The San Jose City Council will discuss and select its top priorities for 2017.  Last year’s priorities included reviewing the mobile home conversion ordinance, considering a Commercial Impact Fee for affordable housing, reviewing changes to the City’s second unit ordinance, considering modifications to the City’s Rental Rights and Referrals Program, and updating the City’s surplus lands ordinance.  Several of these items continue to be priorities in 2017.  The meeting agenda will be posted here one week before the meeting. The staff report on previous year’s priorities and proposed items for consideration can be found here.

Other Upcoming Events

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s State of the City Address
Saturday, February 11th
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Gunderson High School Gym, 622 Gaundabert Lane, San Jose, 95136

Advance registration is required; register here.
Mayor Liccardo will outline key initiatives, budget priorities, and opportunities for residents to get engaged to make San José a safer, smarter city. In addition to the Mayor’s speech, the event will honor outstanding citizens from each Council District and exemplary city employees.  After the program concludes there will be a Resource Fair with information about city services and employment, in addition to resources offered by some of San Jose’s leading non-profits.

Joint Venture’s Annual State of the Valley
Friday, February 17th
8:00am – 2:00pm
150 W San Carlos St., San Jose

Join Joint Venture Silicon Valley for its annual State of the Valley Conference! This town meeting-style event convenes the entire region for dialogue and discussion about the Valley’s challenges and opportunities as well as music, dance performances, booths, and exhibits. The event is a celebration of our region – who we are and who we’re becoming.
This year’s keynote speakers will include David Brooks, New York Times columnist and best-selling author, and Stephen Goldsmith, Director of the Innovations in Government Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
See the program and full list of speakers and register here!

Housing California Annual Lobby Day
Wednesday, March 8
California State Capitol, 1315 10th St, Sacramento 95814

The annual Housing California Lobby Day brings together people from all over the state as one voice in the Capitol to speak with state legislators about important housing/homelessness bills and how they can change the lives of Californians.  For more information on this year’s Lobby Day policy priorities or to join us in meetings with our South Bay legislators, please contact nicole@siliconvalleyathome.org.

Housing California Annual Conference
Wednesday, March 8 – Friday, March 10
Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814

This year’s theme is “Block by Block: Improving Neighborhood Health.”  Several pre-conference workshops will be held on March 8, and the full conference will kick off on March 9.
This year’s workshops include “Envisioning Equitable Development: Addressing our Affordability Crisis with Affordable and Market Rate Housing” with Mountain View Vice Mayor Lenny Siegel and “California Transit Agencies Leadership in Affordable Housing” with Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez! Find out more and register here!

Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s Annual Investor Briefing
Thursday, March 16th
10:30am – 1:00pm
Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara

Housing Trust Silicon Valley’s annual luncheon event provides Housing Trust partners and the business community with policy and impact updates around affordable housing. Coming off of the success of Measure A and the other affordable housing measures in the region, the event will feature a keynote address, recognition of the year’s housing champions, updates on Housing Trust’s progress and a look to our future. Find more info and register here!

New Members
A big “Thank you” and “Welcome” to our 2017 members who have recently joined or renewed their membership!
PATH, Jessica Epstein, Angela Rausch, and Marilyn Roaf

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San Jose, California 95110

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