August 17, 2023

Newsletter: Housing Happenings, August Updates from SV@Home


Housing Happenings


Join us for Happy Housers TONIGHT! There is still time to register to join us alongside SOMOS Mayfair, Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley, and YIMBY Latinx for a wonderful evening of building community and solidarity.


This week, we are spotlighting our partner Wells Fargo, an Affordable Housing Month 2023 Sponsor and longtime SV@Home supporter.


“Wells Fargo believes everyone should have a place to call home, which is why we’re committed to developing solutions to increase affordable homes. Wells Fargo has donated $22.7 million over the past three years to help address affordable homeownership, available and affordable rentals, and housing stability in the Bay Area. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we helped keep more than 320,000 people housed nationwide through philanthropic support. Our partnerships with housing advocates like SV@Home are essential to ensuring that policies, community support, and funding sources align to support a robust ecosystem for affordable housing.” – Anina Tweed, Senior Community Impact Specialist, Wells Fargo

#MembershipMatters – Become a Member Today!


A Regional Housing Bond is Coming: Support Funding for Affordable Homes!

SV@Home is part of a regional effort to secure game-changing levels of funding for affordable housing through a regional housing bond measure on the November 2024 ballot. Bond funds will boost the production of new affordable housing, preserve existing affordable housing, and protect our residents most vulnerable to displacement, including those at risk for homelessness. The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA), established by the Legislature to increase resources and regional collaboration to meet our affordable housing needs, is bringing critical new funds, tools, and technical assistance to support affordable housing, including placing a $10 – $20 billion general obligation bond on the November 2024 ballot.


How much money could a regional housing bond raise for Santa Clara County?

The planned regional housing bond would deliver $2.2 – $4.5 billion to the South Bay!

  • A $10 billion regional bond would deliver $1.2 billion to Santa Clara County and $1 billion to San Jose.
  • A $20 billion regional bond would deliver $2.4 billion to Santa Clara County and $2.1 billion to San Jose.

The County of Santa Clara and the City of San Jose will each need to create spending plans to be approved by BAHFA. These plans must include funding minimums: 52% for housing Production, 15% for affordable housing Preservation, and 5% for renter Protections, leaving 28% flexible to meet local housing needs.


Learn more about the Regional Housing Bond at upcoming events (listed below) and show your support by endorsing this effort here!


Upcoming Events

Two upcoming virtual workshops will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about the proposed bond, provide feedback and ask questions.

  • Workshop #1
    Wednesday, August 16, 2023, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    Join via Zoom video Meeting ID: 879 0781 6698 Passcode: 307329

  • Workshop #2
    Thursday, August 24, 2023, 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Join via Zoom video Meeting ID: 819 8658 6787 Passcode: 683004


For those unable to attend, a meeting recording will be posted on the BAHFA webpage.


The League of Women Voters of the Bay Area will be hosting a regional issues forum with Kate Hartley, Bay Area Housing Finance Authority Director to discuss the progress BAHFA has made thus far and to help folks learn more about the upcoming regional bond measure.


Friday, August 25th from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM via Zoom. Register here.


An Important Proposed Constitutional Amendment Would Help Local Communities Increase Funding for Affordable Housing

Despite the depth of our affordable housing shortage, Cities and Counties struggle to fund the affordable housing our communities need. This lack of local resources is due in part to current state law, which requires a ⅔ majority of voters to pass local bond measures to fund affordable housing in the state. That high threshold means that a small minority of local voters, just 34%, can stand in the way of vital action on housing needs. We cannot allow this barrier to meeting our critical housing needs to remain unchanged!

Recognizing the urgency for action, a broad coalition of California advocates and policymakers held a press conference and rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento earlier today in support of Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 1. ACA 1 encourages local investment in deeply needed housing and housing-supportive infrastructure by lowering the vote threshold for bond and special tax measures from two-thirds to 55%. ACA 1 also mandates robust transparency and accountability measures, including specific expenditure plans, citizens commission oversight, annual audits, and public notice. Check out this recent CalMatters article, which does a great job of explaining why ACA 1 is so necessary!


Palo Alto Continues to Take Steps to Protect Renters – PBF Partnership Paying Off

During their August 7th meeting the Palo Alto City Council adopted the latest in a series of tenant protection ordinances. The action extended the protections from eviction without cause (Just Cause) to tenants as soon as they sign a lease, removing a loophole in state law that requires tenants to live in the unit for 12 months before they have this right.  These new protections come on the heels of council action in June expanding these same eviction protections to rental units built within the last 15 years. Together these actions extended Just Cause eviction protection rights to nearly every tenant in the city, significantly reducing the stress and vulnerability of losing their homes for many local residents.


Earlier this year, the City Council established a local limit to the amount of a security deposit that can be charged for unfurnished rental units in Palo Alto to one and a half times (1.5x) the monthly rent, which is lower than the limit of two times (2x) the monthly rent in current state law. This new limit went into effect on July 20th.


Last year, the council extended the right to relocation benefits to tenants in smaller rental properties in cases where an owner evicts tenants to redevelop or significantly rehabilitate their property. Relocation benefits include significant cash payments and apartment search support.


Expanding tenant protections and reducing the barriers tenants face to finding housing they can afford has been on the city’s agenda since 2018. SV@Home worked in partnership with the City of Palo Alto from 2019 – 2021 as a community partner in a city-initiated grant from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future (PBF). The grant provided financial support and supported a policy fellow in the city’s Community Development offices to research the vulnerability of lower-income tenants in Palo Alto and generate policy proposals to address the range of barriers and vulnerabilities. 


The result? Last year, Council approved seven new tenant protection ordinances and programs including: Tenant relocation assistance; a rent registry; reduced security deposit limits, closing eviction protection loopholes in state laws; right to legal counsel; and a “fair chance” ordinance that would make it illegal to inquire about prior legal convictions on apartment applications. We applaud the city council and city staff for their continued commitment and look forward to the council advancing new policies regarding the rent registry in the Fall.  


Developer Roundtable on San Jose’s Tenant Preference Policy

For several years now, the City of San Jose has been exploring creating a tenant preference policy for affordable housing units. This policy will require affordable housing developments to set aside a portion of units specifically for low-income people living nearby the development or from areas in San Jose with residents at high risk of displacement. Due to the policy’s direct impact on affordable housing developers, SV@Home organized a roundtable with these stakeholders for feedback on the policy and ways to improve it. We also took time to introduce them to Rosalynn Hughey, the person currently in charge of the housing department until a new Housing Department Director joins the City.

The city will be hosting two public meetings on this policy on August 24 (online) and 31 (in-person). 


Thursday, August 24th – Virtual

6 pm-7:30 pm



Thursday, August 31 – In-person

Mayfair Community Center

2039 Kammerer San Jose, CA, 95116

6 pm – 8 pm 



1560 Alum Rock Groundbreaking

Earlier this summer a number of major Affordable Housing developments broke ground in San Jose. These projects mark the growing impact of new housing funds in San Jose, as the fruits of the voter-approved Measure E real estate transfer tax continue to ripen. 


The two largest developments include the Charles, a 99-unit rental housing community serving very low-income households, which will have a mix of smaller apartments and larger 3-bedroom homes for families.  Located near Kelley Park and Happy Hollow, the building will include rapid rehousing units supported by the County’s Measure A funds, as well as educational programming and job placement support. The developer responsible for driving the creation of this housing is Charities Housing based in San Jose.


Charities Housing also led the development of the other new housing community breaking ground, 1860 Alum Rock Avenue, which includes 59 affordable units with a great mix of unit sizes and opportunities for families at-risk of homelessness. The county of Santa Clara utilized Measure A funds to support the production of these homes to address the dual housing affordability and homelessness crisis that many of our neighbors experience. This development also includes a partnership with Amigos de Guadalupe, a local community-serving nonprofit that will take over the ground floor commercial space as its new office. 


Both the Charles and 1860 Alum Rock received Measure E funding commitments from the city earlier this Spring.  In each case, the turnaround to shovels in the ground was a matter of months.  We saw major groundbreakings last year, and expect three to four additional projects with shovels in the ground in the next 9-12 months.  When we make commitments and invest in long-term opportunities it pays off, and our communities begin to see changes on the ground.  In the coming months, we will be reporting on a series of grand openings happening around the county.


Only four of the sixteen cities in Santa Clara County have Housing Elements that are certified by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), as required by state law. Because the deadline for certification has passed, cities with uncertified Housing Elements lose significant land use control and access to a variety of state housing and infrastructure grants. And, one consequence of not having an HCD-certified housing element is that cities only have until January 31st, 2024 to complete their rezoning, as they likely committed to in their draft Housing Elements. 


HCD has provided recent review letters for Housing Elements in Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara County. In each of these cases, HCD has notified the jurisdiction that they have not completed a thorough enough analysis to serve as the foundation for designing Housing Element programs. Instead of rushing through the complex process of creating a Housing Element to try to avoid the consequences of noncompliance, cities must take the time to do it right. Learn what is happening with your city’s Housing Element and how to contact both your city staff and HCD Housing Element reviewer at SV@Home’s Housing Element Toolkit.

The next 8 years hold unique promise for real progress on affordable housing. Some local jurisdictions are beginning to have their Housing Elements approved by the state with more to follow before the end of the year. Learn about the opportunity ahead and how to realize the potential of housing elements to meet the housing needs of all our communities. Catch up on SV@Home’s July PIA on The Next 8 Years: Keeping Housing Elements’ Promises.


August Policy in Action: A Shift Towards Community-Led Development

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 Policy In Action (PIA) @Home, we will 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. Join us to discuss community-led and community-based development models in Santa Clara County.



Vu-Bang Nguyen– Housing Strategist and Founder of NHA Strategy


Walter Wilson– Senior Project Supervisor, Silicon Valley African American Cultural Center


Spanish translation will be provided. Traducción al español estará disponible.


La producción y conservación de viviendas asequibles es esencial para poder transformar Silicon Valley en un lugar adonde todos pueden vivir y prosperar. Este mes en “Policy in Action (PIA) @Home” vamos a explorar cómo las organizaciones locales impulsan el desarrollo de viviendas en sus comunidades y la importancia de buscar soluciones dirigidas por las personas mas cercanas a la necesidad que existe. Únase a nosotros para examinar los diferente ejemplos de desarrollos en el condado de Santa Clara que son basados ​​en la comunidad y liderados por la comunidad.


SV@Home strives to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please email


Rescheduled to a new time! Deep Dive on Tenant Protections

Join us to learn more about tenant protections so you can better understand the challenges and opportunities and the very real impacts these issues and laws have in our community. How did laws such as rent stabilization, tenant relocation assistance, and just cause for eviction come about? And, who is protected? How are local cities adopting tenant protection actions into their long-range housing plans? We will explore these issues and more in this edition of Deep Dive on Affordable Housing. The Deep Dive series of events is designed to empower advocates on how to engage and drive their needs.


Wednesday, September 6 at 12:00 PM via Zoom

350 W. Julian St. #5 • San José, CA 95110  •  408.780.8411  •  Visit our website.