February 9, 2017

County Takes First Action on Measure A


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.