On September 24th and November 5th, the City will take action on a number of important housing issues, many of which are interconnected. SV@Home believes that the package of related items provides an opportunity for serious thinking: What can we do now to respond to challenges we face, and If we need to make compromises or adjustments, how are we going to compensate to stay on track to meet affordable housing needs in the future? Included on the agenda for the September 24th meeting are a number of important issues:
Housing Crisis Workplan Update – More details on the update to be announced soon. In the meantime, you can read the last update from March 2019 here.
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Amnesty Program – When the Council passed reforms to the City’s ADU ordinance last year, city staff was directed to develop a program that would allow homeowners with existing accessory units, including converted garages, to learn how to bring their units into compliance with building codes and legally registered with the city. Many expect that there may be thousands of these unpermitted rental homes in San Jose, and bringing them out of the shadows and up to code serves the interests of both the tenants and the City. But to serve the broader intent of expanding the city’s housing stock, the amnesty program will need to balance the opportunities to bring existing units into conformity with the need to preserve existing housing opportunities and affordability.
Downtown High Rise Incentive – Extension of affordable housing exemption: Council will be considering an extension of the exemption for Downtown residential buildings from affordable housing fees and inclusionary housing requirements. The exemption was originally put in place in 2015, and was extended to the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance when the program was implemented for rental housing in 2018. High rise housing is more expensive to build than lower-density multifamily homes, and the interest in getting more housing built downtown led to the exemption. As a result, the city has now built thousands of new apartments downtown without integrating affordable units or collecting fees to balance the impact of luxury development. Decisions about the continued exemption need to be grounded in clear data on the impact that compliance with affordable housing requirements will have on projects moving forward. This discussion must also account for the different types of residential development that may have different income potentials. We need more housing, but we can’t afford to build a downtown where only rich people can live.
To see learn more visit our Top Topics “San Jose: Stand Up for Housing” page.