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View our previously recorded Policy in Action and HAC events below!

The Policy in Action is a rebranding of our HAC, a monthly, informal brownbag discussion convening Housers to engage on hot housing topics. Every month, we select a topic or current event, bring in an expert to give a brief presentation, and then open up the discussion to ask questions, float new ideas, and identify potential areas for shared action.


December 2023 PIA: Redefining Affordable Housing

On December 8th SV@Home was joined by David Low from Destination: Home for our December Policy in Action on effectively defining, messaging, and advocating for affordable housing as well as insights on how affordable housing ends homelessness and the critical connection between the two. Both SV@Home and Destination: Home shared presentations and resources to be shared far and wide to increase understanding of affordable housing and its benefit to our communities.


October 2023 PIA: Legislative Update

On October 27th, 2023, SV@Home hosted Graciela Castillo-Krings from Sacramento Advocates for a conversation about the most critical housing bills passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by the governor in 2023 and what they mean for Silicon Valley. We also looked ahead to what 2024 has in store for statewide housing action to address homelessness, displacement, and housing unaffordability.


September 2023 PIA: Tenant Preference Policy

The City of San Jose’s Neighborhood Tenant Preference and Anti-Displacement Preference for Affordable Housing would set aside a proportion of units in City-funded affordable developments to be reserved for income-qualifying applicants from specific neighborhoods where the risk of displacement is the greatest and/or applicants from the neighborhood where the affordable housing development is located. In order to guarantee fairness and accessibility, these tenant preferences must align with the regulations of fair housing laws. Learn how the city balances the different requirements in implementing this policy and the analytics that led to the calculation of the set-aside.


August 2023 PIA: August 2023 PIA: A Shift Towards Community-Led Development (English)

We know affordable housing production and preservation are critical to transforming Silicon Valley into a place where everyone can live and thrive. In this month’s event, we explore how place-based organizations drive development in their communities and the benefit of seeking solutions rooted in and carried out by the community closest to the need.


July 2023 PIA: The Next 8 Years- Keeping Housing Elements’ Promises

The next 8 years hold unique promise for real progress on affordable housing- if cities follow through. Housing Elements are a critically important 8-year plan each California city must create to meet the housing needs of all their residents, at all income levels. Now, some local jurisdictions are beginning to have their Housing Elements approved by the state. Learn about the opportunity ahead, and how to realize the potential of housing elements to meet the housing needs of all our communities! View slides


June 2023 PIA: Tenant Right to Counsel

The City of San Jose will be exploring a Tenant Right to Legal Counsel program and alternative housing collaborative court program proposal to prevent evictions and displacement. Our speaker, Emily Hislop goes over the eviction process and what the city is currently doing to mitigate displacement at the court level and before it even reaches that point. Hear about policies that will assist in preventing evictions and what options are out there to advocate for.


May 2023 PIA: Breaking Down Barriers to Racial & Economic Equity in Access to ADU Construction

Recent research from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley reveals racial and socioeconomic disparities in which homeowners can build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). These disparities are driven by high costs, limited access to financing, and the complexity of permitting processes in many cities. ADUs can provide much-needed additional homes in our communities and are an important potential source of revenue for lower-income homeowners. Here, we discuss the disparities and actions local jurisdictions can take to remove barriers to ADU construction for lower-income homeowners of color along with broader recommendations to increase ADU construction overall.

Featuring Muhammad Alameldin of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at U.C. Berkeley and Iliana Nicholas of East Palo Alto Community Alliance and Neighborhood Development Organization (EPACANDO).

View presentation slides for Muhammad and Iliana


April 2023 PIA: Stopping Tenant Displacement in Mountain View

Tenants throughout Silicon Valley face housing instability. In Mountain View, the City has embarked on an ambitious effort to identify policy changes which can improve housing stability and prevent displacement of renters. That work is ongoing, and is expected to be brought to the Council for an informational study session in May. Watch this conversation with the team leading that work to learn how they have engaged the community, what they have learned so far, and what’s next.


March 2023 PIA: COPA in San Jose Update

COPA is a housing preservation tool for smaller rental properties that requires a landlord who wishes to sell their rental property to first notify a Qualified Non-Profit, pre-approved by the city, to convert properties to permanent affordable housing. These nonprofits will have the opportunity to express an interest in the property, and then have a set timeframe to put together an offer. The landlord is not obligated to accept the offer, but they usually must allow that nonprofit to match their preferred offer when it goes on the market. Join SV@Home for an update on the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) and plans to implement it in the City of San Jose.


February 2023 PIA: Sunnyvale Moffett Park Specific Plan

After a multi-year planning process, the City of Sunnyvale recently closed the public review period for the Draft Moffett Park Specific Plan (MPSP). As the MPSP nears its adoption this Spring, it is imperative that this plan is robust so that all Sunnyvale residents have access to this future vibrant and resilient Eco-Innovation District neighborhood. The MPSP provides a wealth of opportunities for Sunnyvale. Find out how you can help to ensure that the MPSP provides access for all Sunnyvale residents to work, move, live, and play in Moffett Park.

  • Intro/Background Presentation at 6:09
  • Panel Discussion at 12:35
  • Q&A at 32:50

November 2022 Policy in Action: San Jose Affordable Housing Siting Policy

Learn about how this policy can ensure we equitably distribute affordable housing throughout San Jose and what you can do to influence City leaders to make the right decisions.


October Policy in Action: 2022 Legislative Update

Join SV@Home for a conversation with Senator Dave Cortese about the progress California is making to address housing affordability.


September 2022 Policy in Action: Shelter, Interim & Permanent Housing Solutions for Needs of San Jose’s Unhoused Residents

Emergency shelters, interim housing, and permanent supportive housing each play an important role in meeting the needs of community members who are unhoused. As the City of San Jose looks to expand the use of individual “tiny homes” as a solution, we examine how each of these solutions meets critical community needs, and why we can’t forget that we know what works – housing ends homelessness.


August 2022 Policy in Action: Anti-Displacement Policies in the Housing Element

Join SV@Home for a conversation about the purpose and need for anti-displacement policies in local housing elements to affirmatively further fair housing.


July 2022 Policy in Action: Engaging with HCD’s Housing Element Review Process

Join SV@Home to learn about the important role housing advocates play once cities submit draft Housing Elements to the State!


June 2022 Policy in Action: The Bay Area’s Draft Transit-Oriented Communities Policy

Join SV@Home for a conversation about the Transit Oriented Communities Policy, its connection to housing, and how to get involved.


May 2022 Policy in Action: Local Elections & Legislative Update with SV@Home Action Fund

Join SV@Home to learn what the June 7th elections and statewide legislation means for our housing crisis.


April 2022 HAC- COVID & Housing: What’s Happening with Evictions?

Join SV@Home for a conversation about the rapidly evolving situation with evictions as the longstanding COVID renter protections end. Featuring Erin Neff, Staff Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.


March 2022 HAC- Housing Elements & State Compliance: Making Housing Elements Work

A conversation about how the state will enforce housing element law to help make sure people’s housing needs are met locally, and what advocates can do to help. Be sure to check out the key points, time stamps, and slides below!

Key points and time stamps:

  • How HCD is engaged in the whole Housing Element cycle: 21:29
  • Most common issues and key areas of non-compliance in Housing Elements already submitted: 26:21
  • Consequences for cities of non-compliance: 34:45
  • How can advocates elevate concerns and potential violations to HCD? 43:29
  • How can cities commit to programs and policies that require a political process staff doesn’t control? 51:09
  • If cities don’t have money to build housing, what can they do to make sure housing gets built? 59:06
  • What do cities that are high in resources need to do to affirmatively further fair housing? 1:02:28

View slides

The Housing Element process is complex, and a critical investment of time and resources for addressing the housing crisis. The well-being of our Bay Area residents and the prosperity of our cities and communities depend on cities’ investment in protecting our communities’ future by planning for the needs of a diverse population and economy.

Now California has decided that this and other housing laws are too important not to get right, beefing up the enforcement division at the California Department of Housing and Community Development and adding a Housing Strike force in the Attorney General’s office. During this HAC, we discuss the State’s strategies for making housing elements work through enforcement, and help you be fully equipped to make sure the Housing Element process in your city meets the standards it’s required to in as many ways as possible.

Featured Speakers: David Zisser, Assistant Deputy Director of Local Government Relations and Accountability, California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Melinda Coy, Senior Housing Accountability Manager, HCD Moderated by Mathew Reed, Director of Policy, SV@Home


February 2022 HAC: COPA (Community Opportunity to Purchase Act)

In Spanish and English! COPA is a preservation policy designed to keep units affordable, especially rent controlled units that have lower rents than the market average due to age or upkeep. When a landlord wants to sell their property, they would first notify a list of nonprofits pre-approved by the city. These nonprofits have a certain amount of time to indicate their interest and then time to put together an offer for the property. The landlord is not obligated to accept the offer, but they usually must allow that nonprofit to match their preferred offer when it goes on the market.

In 2017, the San Jose City council set anti-displacement tenant preference as a priority, which expanded to developing anti-displacement strategies as part of its Housing Response Crisis Workplan in 2018. The city applied for a “Challenge Grant” from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future with SOMOS Mayfair as a community partner. Through the Challenge Grant, the City has been able to create a draft framework for a COPA program. In 2019, the city council held a study session on the topic of displacement resulting in the Citywide Anti-displacement Strategy in 2020. One of the recommendations was to explore a COPA program. These policies have been presented to numerous formal stakeholder meetings (SAC and TAC) and community input meetings. With the feedback of these meetings, San Jose City Council will decide whether to adopt a COPA program at an upcoming council meeting.


January 2022 HAC: Tenant Protections

In 2017, city council directed staff to look into ways to protect Palo Alto renters and keep them housed. The subsequent conversion of the Hotel President from housing back into a hotel led to the eviction of many downtown residents, sparking more calls for protections from eviction leading to another colleague’s memo seeking more action.

In response, the city applied for a Challenge Grant from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future. Through the Challenge Grant the City has been able to create a profile of Palo Alto renters and research renter protection policies that would benefit Palo Altans. These policies have been presented to the city’s Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) and Human Relations Commission (HRC). With the feedback of these commissions, Palo Alto City Council will decide which policies to pursue and the timeline of implementation.

Learn more about tenant organizing strategies and Palo Alto’s approach to tenant protections!


November 2021 HAC: California Legislative & Budget Update

While we work locally to produce new homes, preserve existing affordable homes, and protect renters, the SV@Home Action Fund also works at the state level to pass legislation to help address our housing needs. At this event we were joined by lobbyist Graciella Castillo-Krings, reviewed the 2021 legislative year and previewed 2022. Nearly all of the SV@Home Action Fund’s priority legislation was signed into law in 2021 — what will those bills do for our area and state? What does the year ahead have in store for housing in Sacramento? How are housing conversations changing in our capitol? How can advocates in Silicon Valley support statewide efforts to equitably and sustainably improve access to safe, stable, affordable homes? Check out this conversation on these questions and more. Featured Speaker: Graciela Castillo-Krings, Sacramento Advocates


October 2021 HAC: Housing as Healthcare

Housing is one the most fundamental social determinants of health. Numerous studies have shown that having a safe, stable home is key to health and well-being. Research has also demonstrated that providing our unhoused neighbors with a secure home has a host of health benefits, such as increased access to essential medical care and avoidance of costly emergency room visits. Unfortunately, systemic inequities have resulted in deeply unequal access to these resources, disproportionately impacting BIPOC communities across the Bay Area.

Fortunately, leaders across the Bay Area are pursuing innovative measures to address the intersection of housing and health, including a new regional project to support the needs of the Bay Area’s Black communities.

Join SV@Home and our special guest Darris Young from the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) for a discussion on the connection between housing, health, and equity. We’ll discuss how housing shapes our health, how we can make the connection between the importance of affordable housing and a healthy community for all, and opportunities to simultaneously advance housing justice and racial equity.


September 2021 HAC: Fair Housing & the Housing Element

Every eight years, cities throughout the state are required to update their Housing Elements to plan how they will meet their share of new housing development (known as RHNA, or the Regional Housing Needs Allocation). In the Bay Area, it is our turn to begin this new Housing Element cycle, which covers the years 2023 to 2031. Housing elements must identify adequate sites and show that enough homes can be built to meet the allocated housing need, as well as to outline policies and actions that the jurisdiction will employ to prioritize and incentivize housing development and prevent displacement, among other requirements. Learn about this very important piece of the Housing Element puzzle, and ways to get engaged to make sure your local jurisdiction has a plan that will work!

New to this planning cycle, local jurisdictions must demonstrate that they are using their Housing Element to combat discrimination, overcome existing patterns of segregation, and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics such as race and ethnicity. HCD has recently released comprehensive guidance on how cities must incorporate the law, known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), into their Housing Element.

Featured Speakers:

Kelsey Banes, Regional Director for Peninsula & South Bay at YIMBY Action

Thomas Silverstein, Associate Director of the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law


August 2021 HAC: Mobilehome Rent Stabilization

Mobilehomes are generally considered a source of naturally affordable housing. Mobilehome park residents often own their home, renting the land underneath from the park operator. As with any rental property, mobile home owners are vulnerable to high spikes in rent year over year.

After years of advocacy by mobilehome residents in Sunnyvale and Mountain View, these cities took action to provide rent stabilization to their mobilehome tenants. They are joined by the other many cities in Santa Clara County already providing mobilehome rent stabilization (San Jose, Gilroy, Milpitas, Morgan Hill and Los Gatos). On March 16, 2021, the Council directed City staff to develop a draft Ordinance that would provide the same base protections to mobile home residents as the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (Mountain View’s rent stabilization law commonly known as the “CSFRA”) and that would empower the Rental Housing Committee to administer the Ordinance. The city hosted two recorded stakeholder meetings (park owners and park residents) to provide feedback on the initial framework.

The Mountain View City Council will consider the Mobilehome Rent Stabilization Ordinance at the September 14 meeting. The Sunnyvale City Council’s action on July 3 was a compromise between mobilehome residents and mobilehome park owners, who negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that caps annual rent increases, the total amount that rent can be increased when a current tenant moves out, and the amount that the park owners can charge residents for park-wide improvements. The Council also instructed city staff to begin developing a Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) that would hold parks owners accountable in case they do not sign on to the new MOU. The next steps are to finalize the MOU and get both park owners and residents to sign it. Learn more about how these two cities approach mobilehome rent stabilization.

Featuring:

Bruce Stanton, Golden State Manufactured-Homeowners League Corporate Counsel

Emily Ann Ramos, Protection and Preservation Associate, SV@Home


July 2021 HAC: San Jose’s Affordable Housing Siting Policy & Assessment of Fair Housing

How should cities use housing policy to address the longstanding disparate impact of patterns of racial and economic segregation? How should we think about the dual fair housing goals of expanding affordable housing opportunity to prevent displacement and increasing affordable choices in wealthier parts of our cities that haven’t traditionally been where we build affordable housing? This is a critical public discussion, and we are pleased to share it with you.

The City of San Jose is exploring ways of changing where it will fund affordable housing development in the city. While the updated “Siting Policy” will not come to the City Council for approval until the fall, the outlines of the recommended policy show significant changes. The new policy incorporates a number of specific goals: to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH) consistent with Federal and California fair housing laws; to increase affordable housing in higher opportunity neighborhoods, and to mitigate residential displacement.

Meanwhile, last month the department released its federally required Assessment of Fair Housing, which outlined major barriers to housing choice and stability facing Black, Latinx, and some Asian communities, and presented clear patterns of residential segregation in the City from east to west. Policy proposals in response to the Fair Housing assessment are also expected back in the Fall. Learn more about how these two separate but related housing policies are coming together.

Featuring:

Jacky Morales-Ferrand, Director, San Jose Housing Department

Josh Ishimatsu, Senior Development Officer, Policy Group, San Jose Housing Department


June 2021 HAC: Project Homekey: Innovative Solutions for Housing the Homeless

Join SV@Home for a conversation about the ways local cities are using Project HomeKey to quickly house people experiencing homelessness. Building on the success of Project Roomkey, Governor Newsom in July 2020 announced the availability of $600 million in funding for Homekey, the next phase in the state’s response protecting Californians experiencing or at risk of homelessness, following approval by the Legislature as part of the 2020-21 annual state budget. To date, more than $835.6 million has been awarded to 48 jurisdictions for 93 projects totaling 6,055 units. The average per-unit cost to Homekey is $138,512 – well below the average cost in California to build new housing units. Project Homekey is known for turning hotels and motels into homeless housing, but it also provided funds for innovative new build projects that could pull together resources and deliver housing under a very tight deadline. Learn more about how project Homekey has been used to quickly and efficiently provide new homes for people experiencing homelessness.

Featuring:

  • Sasha Hausewald (Project Homekey, California Department of Housing and Community Development)
  • David Meyer (SV@Home, Director of Strategic Initiatives)
  • Wayne Chen (Assistant Community Development Director, City of Mountain View)

April 2021 HAC: Opportunity Housing- Creating Neighborhoods for All

Right now, 94% of San Jose’s residential land is zoned only for single-family housing. According to the US Census Bureau, only 50% of San Jose residents live in a single-family home. That means that the remaining half of our San Jose residents are excluded from 94% of San Jose’s residential land. Opportunity housing can reverse this lasting effect of exclusive zoning polices.

What is opportunity housing? It’s San Jose’s unique term for allowing duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes across all our city’s neighborhoods. Once common in San Jose, these homes have been prohibited over the last few decades, even as we have faced a shortage of new homes and rising housing costs, pricing more families out of the city. Opportunity Housing typically creates more affordable housing by design since units are usually smaller than a single-family home.

The City’s General Plan 4-Year Review Task Force, made up of stakeholders and community leaders from every council district, has recommended that the city develop a policy to allow opportunity housing in neighborhoods currently restricted to single family homes in neighborhoods across the city.

Join SV@Home to learn more about this proven strategy to create homes of all shapes and sizes, integrated into communities, and more affordable for working families, seniors, or young families — and how you can get involved!


March 2021: Diridon Station Affordable Housing Implementation Plan

The redevelopment of San José’s Diridon Station, including Google’s Downtown West project, promises to transform this major transportation hub into a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood that directly connects to downtown San José. Key to the Station Area’s future is the addition of up to 15,000 new and existing homes, and the City Council’s direction that 25% of these homes be deed-restricted affordable. In order to meet the city’s ambitious affordable housing goal, the Housing Department is developing an Affordable Housing Implementation Plan that will guide and incentivize affordable housing development and help prevent displacement in the surrounding neighborhoods. Join SV@Home and our special guests, City of San José Housing Department Director Jacky Morales-Ferrand and Division Manager Kristen Clements, for a discussion on how the City of San José plans to use the redevelopment of Diridon Station to create housing for people of all incomes and abilities. We’ll discuss the opportunities and challenges of implementing a 3Ps (production, preservation, protection) approach, how cities can harness development to create funds for new affordable housing, and how Diridon’s affordable housing plan supports San José’s broader anti-displacement and affordable housing goals and policies. The HAC is a monthly, informal brownbag discussion convening Housers to engage on hot housing topics. Every month, we select a topic or current event, bring in an expert to give a brief presentation, and then open up the discussion to ask questions, float new ideas, and identify potential areas for shared action.


February 2021 HAC: How is housing policy connected to climate change?

Our housing policy decisions are directly tied to our ability to meet our climate goals. Wildfires, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change are already shaping how we think about the future of housing in California. At the same time, rising housing costs in jobs-rich regions like the South Bay have pushed working people into longer and longer commutes, forcing them to rely on driving further distances and contributing to one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. What actions can we take to address our regional housing crisis that also help us meet our climate goals? What are examples of cities where they’ve already been taking these steps? How is housing justice connected to climate justice? SV@Home is excited to be joined by Mountain View City Councilmember Pat Showalter and Greenbelt Alliance Advocacy Manager Justin Wang for a discussion about these questions and more. Join us as we explore the intersection of housing and climate change as well as how housing advocates and environmental advocates can collaborate to take on the biggest issues of our time.[spacer height=”20px”]


January 2021 HAC: Will the Eviction Moratorium Be Extended?

PLEASE NOTE: This event was recorded on January 22, 2021. Details about eviction moratoria at the state, county, and city levels may have changed since this time. —- In August 2020, the California legislature put a statewide eviction moratorium into place that expires on February 1st. With COVID-19 cases and deaths in California higher than ever before and a shelter-in-place order in effect, legislators have introduced multiple bills to extend the eviction moratorium. What is unclear is how long an extension would last, and to what extent it will follow the blueprint of the previous moratorium. As landlords and tenants anxiously watch for the results, Governor Newsom has also called on the legislature to extend the eviction moratorium, though he did not say for how long. Given the looming choice of passing a new bill before Feb 1st or allowing the moratorium to expire, the eviction moratorium extension debate will almost certainly be the most prominent issue in the California legislature this January. To discuss, SV@Home is excited to be joined by Graciela Castillo-Krings of Sacramento Advocates, who previously served as an advisor to former Governor Jerry Brown, and Michael Trujillo, Staff Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.[spacer height=”20px”]


November 2020 HAC: Looking Ahead with Senator Jim Beall

On Friday, November 20, we enjoyed chatting with outgoing California State Senator Jim Beall about the future of financing housing, his advice for newly elected officials, and why providing affordable housing for all is a fiscally responsible moral imperative for society. SV@Home was pleased to present him with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his unwavering commitment to housing. With over 40 years of public service — starting out as a housing advocate at San Jose State University, serving on the San Jose Planning Commission, then being elected to San Jose City Council, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, the California State Assembly, and finally, the California State Senate — Senator Beall has been a lifelong advocate for affordable housing. Thank you, Sen. Beall! With special words from SV@Home Board Member Shiloh Ballard, SV@Home Executive Director Leslye Corsiglia, County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez, and County Supervisor and CA Senator-elect Dave Cortese.


October 2020 HAC: Policy Remedies to Racial Residential Segregation

Racial segregation remains the key driver of racial disparities in education, health care, housing, and employment. In a first-ever for the Bay Area, researchers from UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute mapped every jurisdiction in the region to show their proportion of single-family zoned housing. The illuminating set of maps of 67 cities across six Bay Area counties shows the regions and proportions of the cities that are zoned for single-family homes, other residential zoning, and non-residential zones. We are thrilled to be joined by special guest, report co-author Arthur Gailes, who will present on the remedies, solutions, and targets that his team identified to address the persistent problem of racial residential segregation in the San Francisco Bay Area, by applying novel research methods and fresh analytical tools.[spacer height=”20px”]


September 2020 HAC: Did California’s Legislature Fail?

Crying babies. Eleventh hour negotiations. A global pandemic. Raging wildfires. The last week of the California Legislature’s session was a wild ride. Against the backdrop of multiple crises and a ticking clock, many fewer bills were passed than in a typical year. In the end, many important housing policy issues went unresolved, leaving a lot to be done in 2021. So what should the leigslature’s top priorities be?

To discuss this topic, we are thrilled to be joined by Michael Lane of SPUR, a longtime housing advocate and expert on housing policy in the CA legislature, and Graciela Castillo-Krings of Sacramento Advocates, who previously served as a advisor to former Governor Jerry Brown. Join us to answer the question: did the legislature fail?[spacer height=”20px”]


August 2020 HAC: Proposition 15 Provides Funds for Affordable Housing & Community Services

Join SV@Home as we dive into Proposition 15—the Schools and Communities First Initiative– at the August HAC! Listen to leaders of the Proposition 15 campaign and find out what it has to do with housing. The Schools and Communities First Initiative, which is on this November’s ballot, is expected to raise billions of dollars a year by exempting commercial properties worth over $3 million from Prop 13 limits on property taxes. The SV@Home Action Fund has endorsed Prop 15 and we will be talking through the details and providing opportunities to get involved!

Speakers:

  • Nina Senn, League of Women Voters
  • JR Starrett, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH)
  • Moderated by our own Mitch Mankin, Policy and Advocacy Associate

July 2020 HAC: Funding Affordable Housing- San Jose’s Commercial Linkage Fee

A major opportunity for affordable housing funding in San Jose is approaching – the campaign for a Commercial Linkage Fee (CLF) The health and economic shocks of the pandemic have laid bare the vulnerability of communities of color and lower-wage workers in Silicon Valley where overcrowding and high housing costs have magnified the crisis. The greatest hurdle to developing the affordable housing needed to help stabilize families and communities is a lack of dedicated local funds. One of the standard tools to generate this funding charges a small fee to developers of non-residential properties– commercial and office space– to help provide affordable housing for the new employees, many of whom won’t be able to afford the high local rents. This tool – the Commercial Linkage Fee – helps respond to the pressure that new jobs put on an already strained housing market. San Jose is the last major city in Santa Clara County without such a fee.

Even in these uncertain times, big developments moving ahead around the city have the potential to raise hundreds of millions of dollars of critical affordable housing funding over the next 5-10 years. Please join us for an update on where we are at in the process, what moving pieces to look out for, and how this all relates to expanding opportunities for real people. Leaders of the campaign will report on the findings of city studies about the range of possible fee levels — set to be released on July 17th, and discuss opportunities to get involved as advocacy efforts ramp up over the coming weeks.


June 2020 HAC: How do we dismantle the racist legacy of homeownership policies?

Racist housing policies have historically, and up through the present day, prevented communities of color from enjoying the full benefits of homeownership, both in the Bay Area and across the United States. These policies have manifested themselves through practices including red-lining, racially-based covenants, and other forms of economic exclusion. With June officially designated as “National Homeownership Month,” this is an important opportunity to reflect on how systemic racism has shaped homeownership opportunities in California, especially in the Bay Area, and what actions are needed to dismantle this legacy.

We’re thrilled to welcome special three special guests:

  • John Gamboa, Vice Chair of The Two Hundred, a statewide coalition of community leaders, opinion makers, and minority advocates, working to mitigate the growing racial wealth gap through homeownership and home building in California.
  • De’Zhon Grace, Economic Equity Fellow at Greenlining Institute, a policy, research, organizing, and leadership institute working for racial and economic justice.
  • Kevin Coleman, Partner at Urban Farmers Inc., a real estate development firm that balances real estate fundamentals, architectural creativity, and social responsibility to develop quality workforce housing.

Our expert speakers will share their work to advance equitable housing and homeownership opportunities, as well as their expertise on what other actions need to be taken to improve racial equity in homeownership.[spacer height=”20px”]