October 11, 2018

Mountain View: Council Moves Forward on Affordable Housing on Lot 12


On October 10th, the Mountain View City Council held a study session on the redevelopment of Lot 12, a 1.5 acre city-owned parcel in a prime, downtown Mountain View location. This would be the City’s second attempt to redevelop the property, and City Staff put forward a detailed analysis of the potential options for fulfilling the City Council’s goal of achieving a high level of affordable housing at the site.

SV@Home, along with the League of Women Voters Mountain View-Los Altos Chapter and several other local activists, advocated that the Council prioritize a 100% affordable housing development. SV@Home believes that cities have a responsibility to take maximum advantage of publicly-owned land like Lot 12 to produce standalone affordable housing and meet the regional housing challenge head on.

During the Study Session, the majority of Councilmembers expressed their support for a 100% affordable housing development, as well as their openness to increased heights necessary for a dense development that maximizes the total amount of units.

City Staff will now draft a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) laying out the City’s priorities for the site and inviting developers to submit proposals. We’re pleased that the RFQ will include 100% affordable housing projects as an option for the site and will also allow the heights needed to achieve a high number of homes.

Acquiring land can be challenging for affordable housing developers, who must compete with market rate developers who have easier access to capital and can therefore act quickly to purchase property. Publicly-owned land, particularly if made available at a discount, is one of the most important tools in a local government’s affordable housing toolbox. We are pleased that Mountain View leaders have prioritized this site for housing and that they are seriously considering an affordable development.

SV@Home will continue to be engaged on this and other publicly-owned land opportunities across the County, working with partners to prioritize much-needed 100% affordable housing developments. We also continue to support legislative solutions at the State level that encourage or require public agencies– local, regional, and State- to make publicly owned property available for affordable housing development.