February 27, 2020

Policy Rundown – February 27th, 2020


Welcome to SV@Home’s Policy Rundown, your need-to-know overview of important housing policy actions and developments from the past two weeks.

San Jose City Council Priority Setting

Tuesday was the annual Priority Setting meeting of the San José City Council.  Much of the over 50 public comments revolved around regulating E-cigarettes — which made the final list, and new money for public art – which apparently did not.  While no new housing items were added to the list, a number of important work items currently in progress moved to higher priority positions.  These include: Mobilehome Conversions, Development of a Soft-Story Retrofit Program, Commercial Linkage Fee for Affordable Housing (which will be coming to Council for a final vote on April 14, more here), Universal Development Fee/Deferred Payment Program for Housing, and the Anti-Displacement Preference Ordinance.

A proposal to study Community Land Trusts, nominated by Councilmember Carrasco, was “green lighted” by the Housing Department Staff, and didn’t require a vote.  Nominated items to create a special density bonus for affordable housing, failed to make the cut, as did a proposal to study a way of regulating the Short Term Rental industry in the city.  For the original staff memo for the session, which identified the top ten items ahead of the vote see here.  For descriptions of all of the items nominated by council members for priority see here.

Sunnyvale Approves Financing for 320 Affordable Homes

Earlier this week, the Sunnyvale City Council approved $26m in city affordable housing funds to support the development of two new 100% affordable proposals and to rehabilitate and expand an existing affordable housing development. In total, the three projects will create 290 net new affordable homes and rehabilitate 30 existing affordable homes:

  • MidPen Housing’s Sonora Court is located near Caltrain in the Lawrence Station Area and will provide 147 new homes for families with extremely low-incomes all the way up to low-incomes.
  • Related Companies’ Block 15 is in Downtown Sunnyvale on City-owned land and will create 90 new homes for low-income to extremely-low income families, including 23 homes set aside for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • First Community Housing’s Orchard Gardens will rebuild one apartment building and rehabilitate another to make all of the units permanently affordable. It will create 115 new units (53 net new) and rehabilitate 30 homes while ensuring their affordability to extremely-low through low-income families.

SV@Home thanks the City of Sunnyvale for its leadership in building new affordable housing city-wide as well as MidPen, First Community Housing, and Related Companies for moving these important developments forward.