Affordable Housing Month Women's Brunch
June 1, 2023

Newsletter: Housing Happenings, June Updates from SV@Home


Housing Happenings


As we close out Affordable Housing Month this year, SV@Home extends a big thank you to our sponsors, co-hosts, partners, speakers, and panelists for their unwavering commitment to combating our housing affordability crisis. 


We invite you to take the time to reflect on how our theme of “Building Community” will help us continue the momentum of building diverse, affordable, equitable, and accessible communities for everyone in Silicon Valley.


Missed an event? You can find a full list of recordings below! 

Want more? Be sure to check out SOMOS Mayfair’s Co-op Conference at the Mexican Heritage Plaza this weekend! Make sure to RSVP here!


#MembershipMatters – Become a Member Today!


San Jose’s ongoing budget battle to save Measure E for Affordable Housing

Recently in San Jose, we joined with partners throughout San Jose and asked our community for support in protecting Measure E for Affordable Housing and exposing the short-sighted approach to addressing the housing crisis and ending homelessness. Last week, we saw the impact of this collective effort. Multiple councilmembers are proposing budgets that come closer to keeping the expenditure plan for Measure E in place for the next fiscal year, but there is still no budget that ensures we can address the full breadth of housing needs in our communities.


This is not over, and we can not let down. The council will hold another public hearing on Monday, June 12th, and it is essential that we show up to hold them accountable.


The current proposed budget released by the City Manager would take all of the Measure E money from the coming year, and all of the uncommitted funds from prior years, and redirect it to emergency interim shelter development, staffing, and expanded prevention programs. Shelter-only approaches have been proven ineffective around the country for decades, and this singular focus is an irresponsible use of affordable housing funds. 


Our message was clear: the only equitable path forward is a “yes and” approach that supports all forms of housing, ensuring people transitioning out of homelessness have access to permanent, affordable homes as they move from temporary shelters, and that rent-burdened families, most at risk of becoming unhoused, have increased access to affordable homes. Permanent housing is the solution to homelessness and we can not allow short-term solutions to replace what we know works. Measure E is our tool to increase the availability of permanent housing solutions for those who need them most. 


San Jose’s housing crisis reaches deep into our communities – the result of housing costs that outpace incomes, and a severe shortage of homes that people can afford. Over 150,000 people in San Jose live in households that pay over half of their income on housing, many just one emergency or unexpected life change away from losing their homes. Roughly 1:4 households who are displaced in San Jose become functionally homeless, bouncing between family and friends, doubling or tripling up, renting garages and basements, living out of cars, or struggling to survive on our streets and creek beds. Housing instability and displacement disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and Latinx families and communities, just as these groups are overrepresented among the close to 7,000 people experiencing homelessness in San Jose.


Currently, there are three affordable projects that were waitlisted for funding in 2021 – planned for nearly 600 affordable homes including permanent supportive housing to bring people out of shelters and off the streets.  There are at least an additional 3 developments currently ready to apply for city funding, and a dozen total in an active pipeline ready to bring an additional 3000 new affordable homes to San Jose. Disrupting this pipeline and redirecting critical resources will derail the future permanent homes we need to make interim shelters work and address the depths of the housing crisis which is driving displacement and homelessness.


When the City dedicates local Measure E funds to affordable housing development each dollar leverages $4 to $5 of additional federal, state, and county resources and commercial bank loans – these resources are available because we already paid for them through local, state, and federal taxes.  Failure to commit the local resources we have means leaving money on the table that could be brought into San Jose to provide a long-term resource for generations of those with real needs. When the city makes a one-time investment of $70-100,000 per bedroom at an affordable housing development, it supports a self-sustaining development for at least 55 years.


In contrast, the City of San Jose carries the financial burden of the ongoing costs of operating and maintaining Emergency Interim Shelters – over $40k per year per bedroom.  As we build out the interim shelters planned for the next few years the costs to the general fund will rise to over $50 mil per year.  This may be a cost we should commit to, but it isn’t cheap and it needs a source of funding that doesn’t starve the city of the permanent supportive and affordable housing we need.  

This is a moment to reinforce and clarify what the true solutions are: a comprehensive approach and a home for everyone. We are looking to leadership within City Council to step up and recommit to real affordable housing and be proactive in finding funds for interim housing that do not upend the intent of Measure E.

In the coming days, we will be sharing opportunities to take action ahead of the public hearing on Monday, June 12th.  We will be asking you to sign letters, make calls, and show up.  We are being heard. We are seeing movement. But it is going to take persistence to get this done.


Housing Bills Advance

The California State Legislature is keeping up the momentum of the last few years, focusing on the Three Ps of housing: Preservation, Production, and Protection. Alongside progress at the local level, these legislative changes at the state level are essential to achieve housing justice.


This week is the deadline for this year’s bills to make it out of their house of origin — i.e. for Assembly Bills to be passed by the Assembly and sent to the State Senate, or vice versa. Among the many housing bills introduced this year, below are ones which have moved out of their house of origin and are supported by our sister organization, the SV@Home Action Fund.

  • AB-12 (Asm. Matt Haney) would prohibit landlords from charging a security deposit larger than a single month’s rent.
  • AB-671 (Asm. Christopher Ward) would help community land trusts (CLTs) access state funding to develop accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by amending the CalHome ADU Program to explicitly permit the financing of projects owned by CLTs.
  • SB-4 (Sen. Scott Wiener) would make it easier for religious institutions and colleges to build 100% affordable housing on their properties.
  • SB-225 (Sen. Anna Caballero), would establish the Community Anti-Displacement and Preservation Program (CAPP), which will allow mission-driven organizations to prevent displacement and create stable, permanently affordable homes across California through the acquisition and preservation of unsubsidized affordable housing. 
  • SB-466 (Sen. Aisha Wahab) would reform Costa-Hawkins, which has obstructed rent control on any property built since 1995. SB-466 would allow local rent control ordinances to apply to rental units older than 28 years while maintaining exemptions for single-family homes and condominiums.

State Budget 

It is also budget season in Sacramento, with the governor recently releasing his revised budget proposal (the “May Revise”), and each house of the legislature working on its own proposal. The Assembly and Senate will negotiate with each other, and then with the Governor, before the final budget is passed by June 15th. Given much lower state revenue this year compared to last, many critical housing programs are on the chopping block at a time when we need to invest more in affordable housing. If housing is a priority for you, now is a good time to let your legislators know!


Mountain View’s Housing Element Certified by HCD!

On May 26th the City of Mountain View became the second jurisdiction in Santa Clara County, after Milpitas, to earn Housing Element Certification from HCD! HCD’s review letter points out that “the City must continue timely and effective implementation of all programs,” as with every jurisdiction, Mountain View must keep the commitments they have made in the Housing Element. With a compliant housing element, the City now meets housing element requirements for competitive State and regional funding sources.


What is the Housing Element?

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. Housing Elements must be certified as compliant with state housing law by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for cities to avoid loss of local land use authority, fines, and loss of access to important pools of state funding. Only 2 jurisdictions in Santa Clara County have adopted a Housing Element that HCD has deemed compliant with state law, despite the January 31, 2023 deadline. Learn more about what can happen when cities fail to adopt a compliant Housing Element by the deadline. 


Housing advocates can read the HCD review letter for their city’s Housing Element and suggest solutions that meet local housing needs and respond to the issues raised by HCD. You should submit your comments both directly to your city and also to the assigned HCD reviewer. Find all the information you need in SV@Home’s Housing Element Toolkit.


City of San Jose’s Housing Element Progress

On May 17th, the City of San Jose released a new Draft Housing Element, which is now moving quickly through the public review and approval process. One of the most important components of the Housing Element are the programs (called Housing Goals & Strategies in San Jose) that will implement policies to reduce barriers to production, promote the preservation of existing affordable housing, protect vulnerable tenants from displacement, and expand access to affordable housing in historically exclusionary parts of our cities. When the City submitted its first Draft to HCD last year, staff acknowledged that they were working to provide more detailed timelines, processes, and impact metrics for many of the proposed policies addressing displacement and streamlining development. However, the new Draft still has opportunities for stronger, more specific metrics and timelines to measure how well the programs are working to achieve housing goals. The SV@Home team is recommending that staff strengthen program metrics to improve outcomes.


There will be two more public hearings at City Hall, which will provide formal opportunities for verbal and written comments:

The agenda, staff report, and current version of the Draft Housing Element will be posted at the links above 7 days in advance for Planning Commission and HCDC and 10 days in advance for City Council. 


Save the Date: Happy Housers in June


Deep Dive: Tenant Protections- Wednesday, June 14

Join us to learn more about tenant protections so you can better understand the challenges and opportunities of advocacy. In addition, information on the very real impacts these laws and ordinances can have in our community will be shared. What are the specific risks and hardships facing tenants? How do different policies address different parts of the problem? 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.

Previous topics in the Deep Dive series are Deep Dive on Affordable Housing: A How-To Guide for Advocates, Deep Dive on Affordable Housing: Affordable Housing Finance, and Deep Dive on Affordable Housing: Fair Housing. Click here to view recordings of previous Deep Dive sessions.


Save the Date! June 2023 PIA: Tenant Right to Counsel

Friday, June 30, 2023, at noon.


The City of San Jose will be exploring a Tenant Right to Legal Counsel program to prevent evictions and displacement. Speakers will be announced soon!


ELPN Presents: Finance for Affordable Housing Closings (June 8th). Join ELPN and representatives from affordable housing financial consultants, lenders, and investors for a guide on what to think about to ensure you close before your deadline. We’ll discuss the process of updating and distributing your project’s financial projections, assembling due diligence items, and getting your financing team what they need to approve your project.

NPH Presents: The Story We Need to Tell about Homelessness (June 8th). Homelessness is a top concern in the Bay Area, and it’s closely tied to our work for housing and economic justice. It can also be hard to talk about—persistent myths and misperceptions, strong emotions, and lack of clarity on solutions can all be a challenge. Together we’ll discuss STB’s newest messaging resource, How to Talk about Homelessness, and unpack what’s working and what’s not in our conversations and communications about homelessness. This workshop will focus on discussion and practice. 

South Bay YIMBY & Livable Sunnyvale Present: Happy Hour Meet and Greet (June 10th) The event will be held in Downtown Sunnyvale at the Metro City Restaurant and Bar from 2 pm – 4 pm on Saturday June 10. Food and drink will be self-ordered for this event. Downtown Sunnyvale is easily accessible via Caltrain, VTA, bike and plenty of parking is available on the surface and in covered garages in the area. Come meet your fellow advocates and local elected officials!

For a full list of upcoming events, visit our Events Calendar. We look forward to seeing and connecting with you throughout the month.

SV@Home Updates

Our opening for the Policy Manager position closes TOMORROW so be sure to submit your application ASAP.

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