March 15, 2017

3-15-17 Newsletter


sv@home newsletter march 16th, 2017

Hot Off the Press: President Trump’s Budget Cuts

President Trump presented his proposed budget to Congress today, slashing overall funding for HUD by 13%– or $6.2 billion compared to 2016 levels. Included in these cuts is the elimination of the widely-popular and bi-partisan CDBG Program, the already devastated HOME Investment Partnership Program, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, and legal services for lower-income families. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, only $4.1 billion of the $7.5 billion for programs on the chopping block has been detailed, leaving another $3.4 billion in cuts that will come from “reforms that reduce costs.”

It’s hard to see how these budget cuts wouldn’t have an impact on our Housing Authority and the 17,800 families they house every day, or the community efforts to end homelessness in Santa Clara County.

Join SV@Home by signing on to this letter from the National Low Income Housing Coalition that urges members of Congress to ensure affordable housing, community development, and transportation programs receive the highest allocation of discretionary funds possible. Sign-on via this link. Please direct any questions to NLIHC’s Public Policy Director, Sarah Mickleson, via email at or (202) 662-1530 ext. 228.


Meet SV@Home’s Newest Board Members

Rahul Chandhok of the SF 49ers, Javier Gonzalez of Google, and Jan Lindenthal of MidPen Housing Corporation are the newest members of SV@Home’s 19-person Board of Directors that oversees the strategic direction of the organization.

Rahul Chandhok is the Director of External Affairs for the San Francisco 49ers, where he works with local, regional, Statewide, and federal issues for the team.   Rahul has experience with a wide variety of legal issues, including those relating to 501c3 nonprofits. He received his law degree from UC Davis School of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Criminology- Law and Society from UC Irvine.

Javier Gonzalez is the Government Relations and Public Policy Manager at Google, where he leads Google’s government relations and public affairs efforts for Silicon Valley. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge in government, campaigns, and legislation in the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley and Sacramento regions. A native of Santa Clara Valley, Javier attended local schools including Santa Clara University.

Jan Lindenthal is the Vice President of Real Estate Development at MidPen Housing Corporation. Jan has worked in the housing and community development world for more than 20 years, holding positions at South County Housing, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, and the Central New York Planning and Development Board. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Hamilton College and a Master’s Degree from Tufts University Center for Public Service.

Housing California and RUN Lobby Day

SV@Home was there when Housing California held its annual conference in Sacramento last week.  The annual event is the best way to learn the latest about affordable housing and to network with the hundreds of housers in attendance.  If you missed it, the conference featured speakers like Doug Jutte of the Build Healthy Places Network and Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

As part of the conference, SV@Home staff took part in a lobby day led by Residents United Network (RUN), which turned out over 200 affordable housing residents and advocates to speak with California legislators about the importance of affordable housing. The lobby day built support for three critical housing bills in the state legislature this year: SB 2 (Atkins), AB 71 (Chiu), and AB 74 (Chiu).

  • SB 2 would create a $250-300 million permanent source of State funding for affordable housing by collecting a $75 document recording fee (no more than $225 per transaction) on non-point-of-sale real estate transactions. This bill, which requires a 2/3rds vote of the Legislature, is the most recent in a series of attempts to create a State housing source.

  • AB 71 would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for vacation homes and direct the $250-300 million in savings to the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.

  • AB 74 would create a program to house homeless California residents on MediCal in order to improve their health outcomes. AB 74 would also put in place recording mechanisms to track the amount of money saved by housing homeless residents.

RUN members, Housing CA attendees, and SV@Home staff spoke in support of AB 71 at the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee hearing.  The bill passed out of Committee on a 5-2 vote and is now moving on to its next test before the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation.

Residents United Network (RUN) and SV@Home at the State Capitol in Sacramento after a committee hearing on AB 71

Residents United Network (RUN) and SV@Home at the State Capitol in Sacramento after a committee hearing on AB 71

Policy Updates

Palo Alto Steps Out as a Leader in ADU Ordinance Reform

Credit: City of Santa Cruz, Peterson Architects ADU Prototype

Affordable housing supporters celebrated a major win in Palo Alto last week, with the City Council adopting measures ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) that go above and beyond the recently-created statewide requirements to ease regulatory barriers to ADU development.  The policy changes, which were initially proposed by Councilmember Cory Wolbach, set a new standard for other Santa Clara County jurisdictions, demonstrating a thoughtful and creative approach to addressing residents’ diverse housing needs.

The approved changes include:

  • Compliance with the SB 1069/AB 2299 provisions to eliminate parking requirements for ADUs within a 0.5 miles of public transit or that meet other specific criteria, and to allow for the conversion of existing detached accessory structures, regardless of setbacks, to ADUs,

  • Allowing for required replacement parking on an existing driveway,

  • Reduction of required side and rear yard setbacks for ADUs to 6 feet,

  • Elimination of the minimum lot size requirement,

  • Increase in maximum unit size for attached ADUs to 600 feet, and

  • Elimination of door orientation requirements for ADUs.

The Council also directed staff to come back with options to incentivize  ADUs for low and moderate income households, seniors, people with disabilities, and public employees, and to develop options to bring existing illegal ADUs into compliance to ensure their safety and legalize them even if they don’t meet the new zoning standards.

SV@Home applauds the City of Palo Alto for its leadership, as well as the members of Palo Alto Forward and many other residents of Palo Alto, who came out in force to support progressive changes to the ADU ordinance!  SV@Home’s comment letter can be found here.

The new ordinance will come back to Council for two more readings in the near future; stay tuned for further updates.

Sunnyvale City Council Discusses the Future of Mixed-Use Village Centers

On March 7th, the Sunnyvale City Council held a study session on the Draft Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE), focusing on the LUTE’s policies related to the seven mixed-use Village Centers throughout the City, as well as parking and transportation.  City of Sunnyvale staff report that the Horizon 2035 LUTE includes plans for the potential buildout of approximately 72,100 housing units and 59.8 million square feet of industrial, office and commercial space.  It also seeks to support mixed-use development that allows for car-light and car-free living through the use of complete streets and alternative transportation.

Members of the Sunnyvale Sustainable and Affordable Living Coalition (SSALC) have raised concerns over the LUTE’s potential to worsen the jobs-housing imbalance as well as the need for more housing in the Village Centers, calling upon the City to commit to ensuring that the plan results in sufficient housing for people across the income spectrum.  SV@Home plans to follow these issues as the LUTE comes back to the Planning Commission and City Council for public hearings in the coming months.

Horizon 2035 logo

Image courtesy of City of Sunnyvale

San Jose Priority Setting Recap

On Tuesday, March 7th, the San Jose City Council voted to adopt its 2017 policy priorities, determining which action items from the 2016 list had been completed, which actions required more work and needed to remain, and which new items should be added.  The 2016 list included a number of key housing actions– updating the Rental Rights and Referrals Program (rent control), mobilehome conversions, a commercial impact fee for affordable housing, and a voucher program for veterans.  All of these actions remained on the list at the end of the day, though most are expected to be completed in the near term.

SV@Home’s key goals for priority setting were to keep the commercial linkage fee (CLF) on the list and ensure that work items that came out of the Council’s discussions on ADUs were added. In addition, we advocated to prioritize garage conversions and to drop a proposal to create additional outreach barriers that would unfairly target affordable housing developments. Our comment letter is available via this link.

We are excited that all of SV@Home’s recommendations were reflected in the final list of priorities!  In addition to these actions, there were three other housing related actions added to the list:

  • a soft-story retrofit program (Priority #1)

  • Spurring high density development along transit corridors (Priority #5)

  • an anti-displacement preference (Priority #6)

While SV@Home is supportive of priority #1 and #6, we are very concerned about Priority #5, which is yet another attempt to add exemptions to the recently-enacted affordable housing impact fee (AHIF).  This action, which would exempt transit-oriented development from payment of the AHIF, was proposed by Councilmember Khamis, and received votes of support from Councilmembers Davis, Nguyen, Jones, and Diep.

List of San Jose Priorities:

A big shout out goes to Vice Mayor Carrasco and Councilmember Rocha for ensuring that the CLF and ADUs remain top priorities for City action.  We need these tools in our toolbox to respond to the affordable housing crisis.

We will keep you informed as these action items make their way through the City process to identify the time for you to voice your support (or opposition, as in the case of priority #5).

Affordable Housing Impact Fee Working Group Launches!

The Santa Clara Working Group's first meeting

The City of Santa Clara launched a working group tasked with developing a recommendation on the staff’s proposed Residential Housing and Non-Residential Impact (Commercial Linkage) Fees. The Working Group, chaired by Vice-Mayor Dominic Caserta, will meet at least four times over the course of 90-days. SV@Home is thrilled to have been invited to participate, together with other SV@Home members – MidPen Housing, the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley, Abode, the League of Women Voters, Working Partnerships, Greenbelt Alliance, the Building Industry Association, and the Santa Clara Association of Realtors.

All meetings are open to the public and we highly encourage members of the affordable housing community to attend and voice strong support for these critical tools. The meetings are scheduled to start at 2:30 pm on the following Tuesdays – March 28th, April 11th, and April 25th.

The full roster of Working Group participants and materials related to these meetings can be found on the City’s website via this link.

Los Altos Extends Development Moratorium on El Camino Real Corridor

At yesterday’s City Council meeting, the City of Los Altos unanimously approved an eight-month extension of a development moratorium for the El Camino Real Corridor.  This is the final allowable extension of the original moratorium that was established in October 2016.  With the continued halt in development over the next eight months, the City will have the time to finalize pending updates to its density bonus policy as well as regulations governing CT (Commercial Thoroughfare) districts, which will apply to development on El Camino Real moving forward.

Several members of the public came out to speak against the moratorium, and Councilmembers acknowledged that the moratorium is not ideal, given how critical development along the Corridor is.  Councilmember Jeannie Bruins pointed out that, because the Corridor is a designated Priority Development Area (PDA), that the city is both committed and obligated to build denser housing in this area, and that this denser housing is an opportunity for more affordable housing.  “This is not about [whether or not] we’re having the density; it’s about having the density in a thoughtful way.”  Along with Mayor Prochnow and Vice Mayor Mordo, she pushed to limit the moratorium to 8 months instead of 12.  SV@Home plans to follow this issue as well as related changes to Los Altos’ density bonus and zoning policies in upcoming months.

San Jose Leaders Declare Shelter Emergency

Nordale community residents walk away from the flooded area of their community after San Jose Fire Department rescuers evacuated residents from their neighborhood near Kelley Park in San Jose on Feb. 21, 2017. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

Nordale community residents walk away from the flooded area of their community after San Jose Fire Department rescuers evacuated residents from their neighborhood near Kelley Park in San Jose on Feb. 21, 2017. (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)

On Tuesday, in the aftermath of the devastating Coyote Creek flood, the San Jose City Council took action to declare a state of emergency, enabling the City to suspend regulations and standards in the event of a “shelter crisis” and to use public facilities to house the homeless.

The City is challenged to respond to the needs of those displaced by the floods– more than 500 families, most of whom are lower income– in an area with 3% vacancy rates and sky high rental rates.  Many of those families are finding shelter at a City community center, and others are doubling up with family and friends.  Given the difficulties in locating appropriate replacement housing, it may be some time before these families can find permanent housing solutions.  If you know of any available housing options– single family houses, condos, townhomes, rooms, anything– please contact Catholic Charities today at 866-305-0617 or email:

Also, it is important to say that, while the flood happened three weeks ago and life has returned to normal for many, help is still needed to clean up and respond.  If people want to volunteer to help in the clean up effort, please check out this link.  If you want to know the latest about the flood and flood relief, you can find it at the City of San Jose Office of Emergency Services site.

Public Meetings

Palo Alto– Impact Fees
March 27th, 6:00pm
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.

Saratoga– Affordable Housing Impact Fees
April 5th, 7:00 pm
Saratoga City Hall – 13777 Fruitvale Avenue

Saratoga is one of several communities throughout the County participating in a nexus study to determine the linkages between the construction of new market rate residential units and new workplace buildings, and the resulting demand for affordable housing.  The results of the nexus study, which determine the maximum legally supportable fees that can be charged to new development, will be brought to Council for the first time on March 15th.  SV@Home strongly supports the adoption of impact fees to fund local jurisdictions’ efforts to build more affordable housing and will be following this discussion closely.  The meeting agenda and staff report will be posted here prior to the meeting.


Webinar: How Advocates Can Help Stop President Trump’s $7 billion Cut to HUD
Monday, March 20th, 1:00 pm

NLIHC is hosting a webinar to discuss the impact of President Trump’s proposed budget in more detail. Register for the webinar via this link.

Image Description: A green park with a silhouetted trees and the silhouette of a person sitting on a bench

“Silicon Valley Tour 29” by MIkele on Flickr, under Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0

Lunchtime Forum – Homes and Habitats: How Can Silicon Valley Make Room for Both?
Thursday, March 30th, 12:00 pm (lunch at 11:30)
Biblioteca Latinoamericana, 921 S. First Street, San Jose
SV@Home Members: Free
General Public: $10
Register here today!

Silicon Valley is study in contrasts – it experiences cycles of explosive economic growth with the addition of tens of thousands of jobs, while also being home to endangered species and rare serpentine flowers. One of the challenges that we face is how to make sure that all of these people, flora, and fauna have the homes and habitats they need to survive and thrive.  How do we create enough new housing to meet local and regional growth needs and maintain parks and open space for recreation and conservation?  Hear from South Bay housing and open space leaders on how we can create “win-win” scenario that results in a resilient Silicon Valley with homes and habitats for all its residents.

Panelists include:

  • Steve Abbors, General Manager, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
  • Dorsey Moore, Chairperson, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Board of Directors
  • Paul Ring, Vice President of Real Estate Development, The Core Companies
  • Angel Rios, Director, San Jose Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services
  • Therese Trivedi, Senior Planner, Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Moderator: Barbara Marshman, Editor, San Jose Mercury News

There is a limited number of seats available, so register today!
Lunch will be available starting at 11:30am. Our forum will begin at 12pm.

(New guests!) SPUR and SV@Home Panel Discussion – How Tech is Engaging in Housing
Wednesday, April 5th, 12:30 pm
SPUR San Jose, 76 S. First Street, San Jose 95113
SV@Home and SPUR Members: Free
General Public: $10
(Pre-registration not required)

The region’s largest tech employers have begun to focus more of their community engagement efforts and investments in housing, whether it serves their employees or the communities impacted by the industry’s rapid growth. Join Tameeka Bennett (Youth United), Ardie Zahedani (St. Anton Communities), and SV@Home Board member Jan Lindenthal (MidPen Housing) for a deep dive on this issue.

Bill Wilson Center Building Dreams Luncheon
Thursday, May 4th, 12:00 pm
Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway

Come to this year’s Building Dreams and find out how BWC is working to end youth homelessness. Register here: For more information about becoming a table host or event sponsor, contact Pam Fitzgerald at (408) 850-6129 or

Placemaking, City of Santa Clara
Friday, March 24th, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Santa Clara University, Locatelli Center, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA

Saturday, March 25th
9:00 am to 11:00 am
Santa Clara Senior Center, 1303 Fremont Street, Santa Clara, CA

Led by the Project for Public Spaces, the City of Santa Clara will host two meetings to gather public input regarding a city-wide placemaking effort. For more information on these city-led meetings, please write to Andrew Crabtree, the Community Development Director for Santa Clara via email at

Save the Date: CHC’s 2017 Policy Forum
Thursday, May 11th
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Fairmont Miramar Hotel, Santa Monica

Mark your calendars for California Housing Consortium’s 20th anniversary. Celebrate with CHD at the 2017 Forum and California Housing and Hall of Fame Awards!  This year’s keynote speaker will be Barbara Boxer and the forum will include a federal policy discussion and awards recognizing industry leaders who have shared CHC’s vision the last two decades. Learn more about awardees and speakers on the CHC website –

New Members
Thank you to our newest 2017 member, Mary Lou Clark!

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San Jose, California 95110

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