March 31, 2017

3-31-17 Newsletter


March 31st newsletter


Here Comes Affordable Housing Week– May 12th to 19th!

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to mark your calendars for Affordable Housing Week, which will kick off with the SV@Home Policy breakfast at 8:30 on May 12th and end with a great AHW mixer on May 19th at 5:30.  There will be many events during the week to learn about new housing issues and get updates, engage with housers and community members, and make your voice heard!  Look for an AHW-specific newsletter soon!

Experts Talk Open Space and Housing at Luncheon Forum

Barbara Marshman (Editor, San Jose Mercury News), Angel Rios (Director, San Jose Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services), Paul Ring (Vice President of Real Estate Development, The Core Companies), Therese Trivedi, (Senior Planner, Metropolitan Transportation Commission), Steve Abbors (General Manager, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District), and Dorsey Moore (District 4 Director, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority Board of Directors) listen to an audience question at at SV@Home’s lunchtime forum, titled “Homes and Habitats: Can Silicon Valley Make Room For Both?” Advocates, city staff, and developers showed up for a productive discussion about challenges of creating enough housing and protecting natural habitats in an area with limited land.

First Community Housing Celebrates the Groundbreaking of Second Street Studios!

San Jose Councilmember Johnny Khamis, Senator Jim Beall, County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, SJ Councilmember Chappie Jones, First Community Housing’s Executive Director Geoff Morgan, FCH Board Member Gary Schoennauer, SJ Mayor Sam Liccardo, Board Chair Dave Cortese, State HCD’s Eugene Lee, and SJ Councilmember Raul Peralez get ready to break ground on FCH’s Second Street Studios, a 135-unit  Permanent Supportive Housing development south of Downtown San Jose, on March 17th.

City of Cupertino Announces Funding Availability!

The City of Cupertino has reissued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and is requesting proposals for eligible capital housing projects to be funded under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and Below Market Rate (BMR) Affordable Housing Fund (AHF). The City has the following one-year grants available – CDBG Capital Housing Projects ($300,000) and BMR AHF Housing Projects ($10,000,000).

The City invites eligible nonprofit and for-profit Development Entities (DEs) to submit proposals for eligible funding activities which include, but are not limited to:

  • Land acquisition
  • New construction
  • Acquisition and/or rehabilitation of buildings for permanent affordability
  • Substantial rehabilitation

The RFP is available via this link. Responses are due at 5:00pm on Tuesday, April 18th. Please direct any questions to Kerri Heusler at (408) 777-3251 or

Policy Updates

Palo Alto Approves Comprehensive Plan Preferred Scenario

Housing: City of Palo Alto

On March 20, the Palo Alto City Council voted on a preferred scenario for the City’s Comprehensive Plan.  The selected scenario includes 3,545-4,420 new housing units — while the range for new housing units is on the higher end of the six scenarios, it is far below the 6,000 units included in Scenario 6, which Palo Alto Forward and many others advocated for.  The Council also asked staff to evaluate a preferred scenario that includes 9,850-11,500 new jobs.  The City of Palo Alto already has the worst jobs-housing imbalance in the County, with nearly 4 jobs for every home, and we are concerned that the final preferred scenario does not allow for as many new housing units as needed to address the imbalance.  For more details on the Council’s March 21 decision, check out Palo Alto Online’s coverage here.

Palo Alto City Council Adopts New Affordable Housing Impact Fees

After the new City Council voted to reopen the discussion on impact fees in January, the Palo Alto City Council finally adopted a new set of impact fees for residential and non-residential development to fund affordable housing at its March 28th meeting.  The Council voted 5-4 to set the fees at the following levels:

  • Residential for sale (in-lieu fees) – single family detached – $75/square foot
  • Residential for sale (in-lieu fees) – attached (townhomes, condos) – $50/square foot
  • Residential rental – $20/square foot
  • Office and R&D – $35/square foot
  • Hotel and Retail – $20.37/square foot (no change)

The Council also approved a provision that would give the Council the discretion to allow developers to pay in-lieu fees rather than produce the required percentage of inclusionary units, under special circumstances — including instances where the in-lieu fees would allow for the creation of more affordable units than the inclusionary requirement, or if a pending affordable housing project is in need of funds.

SV@Home advocated for this sort of flexibility regarding options for “alternative compliance” with the existing inclusionary housing requirement in order for developers and the city to negotiate and agree upon the option — whether providing inclusionary units on site, paying in-lieu fees, working with an affordable housing developer to provide deed-restricted units off-site, or dedicating land — that both suits the particular project and supports the city in meeting its affordable housing goals.  We expect that further reading(s) of the ordinance will take place before the new fee levels are officially adopted.

We thank the City Council, Planning and Transportation Commission, and City of Palo Alto staff for their efforts over many months to adopt these new fees, which will go a long way in generating the resources the City needs to to meet the challenges it faces in adequately housing.

City of Santa Clara Kicks off General Plan Process

Chart showing that the number of units actually built is significantly less than the number of units of housing predicted by the general plan

On Tuesday, March 28th, the Santa Clara City Council hosted a study session on the 2035 General Plan.

According to findings presented by Housing and Community Development Director Andrew Crabtree, Santa Clara reached its year 2035 job growth projection in 2016– 19 years early! In stark contrast, household growth lagged severely, with the City approving a mere 152 new homes annually while adding 915 new households. (Table 1 in Staff Report)

SV@Home shared the following recommendations with the City Council and staff:

  • Adopt jobs and housing goals that don’t exacerbate the current jobs-housing imbalance
  • Identify, adopt, and implement strategies to achieve the housing/jobs goal;
  • Embark on specific plan processes for both the El Camino Real and Great America focus areas
  • Move forward with the Tasman East focus area planning process
  • Carefully analyze and identify industrial areas that are suitable for conversion
  • Create opportunities for community discussion and dialogue about the need for “complete neighborhoods” and create buy-in for the right housing solutions in the right places.

After a four-hour hearing, the Council directed staff to embark on specific planning processes for El Camino Real and Great America. Additionally, staff were directed to develop a gatekeeper process, update the zoning ordinance, and examine the General Plan’s progress towards transit demand management goals.

We thank SV@Home members – SummerHill Homes and Greenbelt Alliance – and other community advocates that spoke strongly in favor of an increased and diversified housing stock, better transit, and a process for creating more complete neighborhoods.

Last, but not least, we also thank Councilmembers Teresa O’Neill and Kathy Watanabe, Andrew Crabtree, and City Manager Rajeev Batra.

Santa Clara Reschedules Impact Fee Working Group Meeting

Next Meeting– Tuesday, April 11, 2:30pm – 4:30pm
1500 Warburton Avenue, Santa Clara

The second meeting for the Affordable Housing Working Group, scheduled for Tuesday, March 28th, was cancelled. The Working Group will reconvene at 2:30pm on April 11th. The agenda and materials for this meeting is available via this link. Working Group meetings are open to the public and we encourage housing advocates to join us in advocating for residential impact and commercial linkage fees.

Public Meetings

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

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 April 5th.  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.

Public Hearing: San Jose Mobilehome Park Closure Ordinance
April 11, 2017, 6:00 pm
San Jose City Council
200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose

The City of San Jose will hold a public hearing on the draft Mobilehome Park Closure Ordinance at the April 11th City Council meeting.  This ordinance will apply to mobilehome park owners who wish to close a mobilehome park and do not wish to change the used of their mobilehome park site to another land use, and it will determine the process and requirements for relocation of mobilehome park residents.  For questions about the proposed Ordinance, contact Jenny Nusbaum, Supervising Planner, Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (PBCE) at 408-535-7872 or

San Jose AHSC Workshop on 2016-17 Program Revisions
Thursday and Friday April 6th and 7th

The Strategic Growth Council is accepting public comments on the draft FY 2016-17 Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program Guidelines and Quantification Methodology until April 14th via email at The final AHSC Program Guidelines and accompanying GHG quantification methodology are expected to be considered for adoption June 1st.

AHSC Staff will be holding the following workshops (click the links to register):

  • Sacramento – Thursday, April 6, 2-3:30 p.m.
  • Webcast of Sacramento April 6 workshop
  • San Jose – Friday, April 7, 10-11:30 a.m.


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)

Photo Credit: Sergio Ruiz for SPUR

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 for Community Action), Ardie Zahedani (St. Anton Communities), and SV@Home Board member Jan Lindenthal (MidPen Housing) for a deep dive on this issue.

EAH Housing Morgan Hill Family Groundbreaking
Tuesday, April 18th
Program and Lunch at Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Rd. (at E Dunne Ave.), Morgan Hill
Ceremony across the street at Site A – Tobiano at Orchard Ranch, 40 E Dunne Ave., Morgan Hill

Join EAH Housing for the groundbreaking celebration of Morgan Hill Family Apartments, the 5th affordable housing community developed by EAH Housing in Morgan Hill. These apartment homes will be located on three distinct in-fill sites. Morgan Hill Family is the result of a public-private partnership between EAH Housing, the City of Morgan Hill, the County of Santa Clara, Wells Fargo Bank and Affordable Housing Community Development Corporation, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, and the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara.
You can RSVP by emailing by Friday, April 7th

New Members

Thanks to our new and recently renewed 2017 members!
Working Partnerships, Los Altos Community Foundation, Heritage Bank, Natalie Monk, Sunnyvale Vice Mayor Gustav Larsson, Former Mountain View Mayor Mike Kasperzak, Aarti Shrivastava, and Kerri Heusler!

Thanks to our generous Affordable Housing Week sponsors!

Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara, LinkedIn, City of San Jose, Enterprise, The Sobrato Family Foundation, Armanino, Community Economics, Health Trust, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, California Apartment Association (tri-county), Destination: Home, John Stewart Company, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, TechCU, Microsoft, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California

Contact Us

350 W Julian St. #5
San Jose, California 95110

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