June 12, 2017

6-12-17 Newsletter


SV@Home Newsletter June 12th

Policy Update

Plan Bay Area and CASA – The Committee to House the Bay Area Begins Its Work

CASA logo

Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Association of Bay Area Governments jointly released a draft of Plan Bay Area 2040 for public comment. Plan Bay Area includes an Action Plan and housing strategies that provide a starting point for improving access to affordable housing across the Region over a 24-year period. SV@Home provided early comments, and then provided additional recommendations, focusing on implementation, stronger affordability requirements, more substantial incentives for Priority Development Areas, and better connections between transit and affordable housing.

A key Plan Bay Area 2040 action is to bring together a group of partners to develop a Regional Housing Implementation Strategy for the nine-county Bay Area. This multi-sector group will officially launch in September, though work will begin in June.  CASA– the Committee to House the Bay Area, will bring together 42 leaders from throughout the Bay Area and charge them with developing a regional, nine-county strategy to respond to the Bay Area’s housing crisis. While the problem has been decades in the making, despite significant efforts by many dedicated professionals, we still have a serious housing problem requiring a different approach.

CASA has been brought forward by MTC, and will be co-chaired by SV@Home Executive Director Leslye Corsiglia, San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell, and Chairman and CEO of TMG Partners Michael Covarrubias. Attached is the list of CASA members. CASA will work to develop a package of funding and legislative measures for State action, a package of funding and legislative measures for regional and local action, and an advocacy platform and coalition to advance housing policies in the State and region.

We are ready to get started, and are excited to be working alongside Jennifer LeSar and Cecilia Estolano from Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors, Carol Galante from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, and Miriam Zuk from the Center for Community Innovation to support us with our work.

We will continue to provide updates on the progress of CASA through these regular e-newsletters.

In Case You Missed It…

Santa Clara Working Group Finalizes Impact Fee Recommendations

On Wednesday, May 31st, Santa Clara’s Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Working Group finalized recommendations on staff’s proposed rental impact and commercial linkage fee, proposing the adoption of a $20 per square foot residential rental impact fee, a range of $20 to $30 per square foot for residential for-sale, and a range of $5 to $20 per square foot commercial impact fee. The final set of recommendations reflected many of that were supported by a coalition of housers –SV@Home, Abode Services, Habitat for Humanity East Bay, MidPen Housing Corporation, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, and Greenbelt Alliance.

We thank the Working Group chair, Vice-Mayor Dominic Caserta, City staff led by Andrew Crabtree, and all the working group members for their work. SV@Home was pleased to be part of a process that thoughtfully considered differing perspectives and worked to find common ground. The City Council will deliberate on impact fees in July. Stay tuned for opportunities to join advocacy efforts in Santa Clara!

San Jose Leaders Discuss Affordable Housing Plan

Photo courtesy of First Community Housing

On Tuesday, Housing Director Jacky Morales-Ferrand brought forward a report to the City Council highlighting that the City has completed 325 new and newly-affordable apartments in five developments– including 86 homes for homeless individuals– and has approved $46.6 million in funding for an additional seven developments that will offer approximately 526 affordable homes, including at least 386 for ELI vulnerable and homeless individuals.  The not so good news– “the scarcity of City funds available for new affordable apartments makes it impossible for the City to fund additional affordable homes in San Jose beyond the projects identified in this Plan.” This raises concerns about the availability of funding to leverage Measure A dollars in the coming year.​​ Check out the full report here.

Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilmember Don Rocha requested that the Housing Department come back with additional information on a number of issues, including plans for moderate income housing creation and detail about Measure A implementation.  We will keep you informed as this information is completed and presented.  Here is their memo.

San Jose Staff Proposes New Urban Village Implementation Framework

Photo courtesy of the City of San Jose

Also on Tuesday, the City deferred until August an item originally scheduled for discussion that laid out a strategy for moving forward with Urban Village implementation planning.  Mayor Liccardo requested the deferral and asked for additional outreach. SV@Home weighed in as well, requesting a deferral to allow for more engagement from the development community. See our letter here.

Willow Glen Teacher Housing Moves Forward

San Jose has not permitted any moderate-income units in the current Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) cycle.  Yet, given the opportunity to approve 16 units of housing for teachers, which also replaced the existing commercial space, San Jose’s Planning Department staff recommended against approval of the development because the land for the project was zoned for jobs.  Luckily, on May 24th, the Planning Commission did not agree, voting 4-3 to move the development forward for City Council consideration on August 8th.  Given the incredible need for housing for teachers, approval of this project is critically important.  We will need the community to come out en masse to voice support for this important project.

Housing Authority Holds Project Based Vouchers

The Santa Clara County Housing Authority (SCHHA) recently informed the development community that, as a result of the President’s proposed HUD budget, and continuing uncertainty surrounding the federal government’s commitment to affordable housing, they are “unable to offer any further Project-Based Vouchers (PBVs) for awards.”  PBVs that have already been awarded are not impacted.

Legislative Update

June 2nd was the last day for bills to make it out of their house of origin.  Here is a brief status update on a few key bills that SV@Home has supported:

  • Two priority bills SB 2 and AB 71 are still alive though they did not move from their house of origin.  SB 2 is the “perm source” bill, which would create a $75 document recording fee on non-point of sale real estate transactions to fund affordable housing.  AB 71 would expand the State’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program by eliminating the mortgage interest deduction on vacation homes. Because the bills are both fiscal bills requiring a 2/3rds vote, they weren’t required to meet the June 2nd deadline and can be revisited at a later date.  Their fate is uncertain, however, as after the recent vote to increase taxes for transportation, members have expressed concern about additional tax increases. Fingers crossed.
  • The following bills made it out of their house of origin and are now winding their way through the process:
    • AB 1397— Assemblymember Low’s bill to require local governments to maintain an inventory of land and adequate sites for housing sufficient to meet their need for housing at all income levels passed on to the Senate with a vote of 51 Yay, 25 Nay, and 4 not voting.

    • SB 35— Senator Wiener’s streamlining bill passed the Senate with a vote of 25 Yay, 12 Nay, and 3 not voting.  The bill was amended to require that large projects use skilled and trained labor and small projects pay prevailing wage.  100% affordable developments are exempt from labor requirements.  More amendments are expected as the bill moves through the Assembly.

    • SB 3— Senator Beall’s $3 billion bond bill passed on to the Assembly with a vote of 30 Yay, 9 Nay, and 1 not voting.  The bill’s fate is uncertain, however, as the Governor has indicated that he will veto any bond measures.

    • AB 1505— the “Palmer Fix” bill passed the Assembly with a vote of 47 Yay, 24 Nay, and 9 not voting, and is now in Senate Transportation and Housing.

Late last week, the Budget Conference Committee took action that doomed the $400 million in General Funds proposed by the Assembly, so funding for affordable housing this year is dependent on the movement of SB 2, SB 3, or AB 71.

Public Meetings

Palo Alto City Council: Comprehensive Plan Update
Monday, June 12th at 5:00 p.m.
250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto
Agenda Item 11 (expected to be heard from 8:00-10:30 pm)

This evening, the Palo Alto City Council will discuss recommendations from the Comprehensive Plan Update Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and review changes made to several of the Draft Plan’s elements, including the Land Use Element.  For more information on the issues being discussed, take a look at the staff report here.

What We Heard: Visualizing Future Development. East Whisman Precise Plan

Mountain View City Council: East Whisman Precise Plan Study Session
Tuesday, June 13th at 6:30 pm
500 Castro Street, Mountain View

The Mountain View City Council will hold a study session focusing on policy development and conceptual circulation (vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle networks) for the East Whisman Precise Plan.  The meeting agenda and staff report for the June 13th meeting can be found here.  SV@Home has been following this planning process since last year and will continue to track the development of the Plan’s policies related to affordable housing, residential density, and the creation of complete neighborhoods.

North Bayshore Precise Plan

Mountain View City Council: North Bayshore Precise Plan Study Session
Tuesday, June 27th (time TBD)
500 Castro Street, Mountain View

The Mountain View City Council will hold a study session on the North Bayshore Precise Plan, which is currently being updated to include a goal of 9,850 new homes and a minimum of 20% affordable housing units in the plan area, and establish a set of affordable housing administrative guidelines to support the implementation of the plan.  With the final adoption of the Precise Plan and EIR slated for Fall 2017, this will be one of the last Council study sessions on the topic.  SV@Home has been engaged in the planning process over nearly two years, and along with several partner organizations, we submitted a coalition letter in support of the Plan’s current affordable housing goal and overall housing unit target.  In addition to the coalition letter, you can take a look at SV@Home’s latest recommendations on the Plan’s draft affordable housing administrative guidelines here.

San Jose City Council: Incidental Shelter of Homeless Individuals and Families (tentative)
Tuesday, June 27th (time TBD)
200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose

The San Jose City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Code to allow incidental shelter of homeless individuals and families in a safe place, as an incidental permitted use to an existing assembly use, where the shelter is provided inside existing building(s) that are constructed and operating in compliance with the San José Municipal Code.  The Council  previously passed an urgency ordinance to temporarily amend  the Zoning Code to allow legal religious assembly facilities to provide temporary shelter to homeless persons without a Special Use or Conditional Use Permit. The proposal to be heard on June 27th is for an ordinance that does not have an expiration date.

Other Upcoming Events

Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) Regional Economic Forum
Thursday, June 15th from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
Computer History Museum
1401 N Shoreline Boulevard, Mountain View

The Silicon Valley Regional Economic Forum is one of the 16 regional forums in the State of California to help identify economic competitiveness issues of the region. In partnership with local organizations, SVLG produces this event to discuss the issues of highest concern.  The results from the forums are funneled to a Statewide summit, identifying the key issues facing the State. This year’s Regional Economic Forum will include three panels focused on solutions– Transportation, Immigration, and Workforce Housing. See the full list of panelists and register for the event on SVLG’s website: http://svlg.org/upcoming-events/regional-economic-forum-2017

SV@Home Turns 2!
Thursday, July 20th, 5:30-7:00pm
Piazza Piccola, 350 West Julian St (courtyard behind the SV@Home offices)

Join SV@Home for our second birthday! We will be taking advantage of the beautiful Santa Clara County weather and celebrating with a Happy Housers Event in the courtyard behind the SV@Home offices.

Stay Tuned: Lunchtime Forum on Teacher Housing

Watch this space for more information about SV@Home’s upcoming Lunchtime Forum on Teacher Housing. With the teacher housing proposal recently heard by San Jose’s planning commission and a recent upsurge of interest in the “missing middle” of housing in Silicon Valley, teacher housing is becoming a topic to watch.

Contact Us

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

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