Welcome to SV@Home’s Policy Rundown, your need-to-know overview of important housing policy actions and developments from the past two weeks. While there was a lot of activity on state legislation this week, other jurisdictions were also addressing housing:

San Jose Anti-Displacement Study Session

On October 1st, the San Jose City Council held a study session to discuss the Housing Department’s ongoing work to develop a comprehensive set of policy recommendations to address displacement.

The staff presentation focused on social equity and reinforced the City’s commitment to developing responses to displacement. The staff provided an assessment of displacement in the city, which has been felt most by communities of color, and presented maps that detailed those areas with rising rents and changing demographics.

While the staff is still working on more detailed policies, they did lay out some solutions and emphasized the importance of a comprehensive 3Ps—Production, Preservation, and Protection– approach. A panel of community advocates and property owners agreed that displacement was happening, with the community advocates emphasizing solutions that protect current residents and the providers emphasizing the need for more housing.

Staff is expected to come back to the council next spring after more community outreach. Look for updates and recommendations from SV@Home as the policy proposals come together.

Santa Clara County – Homes for People with IDD

On October 8th, the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the allocation of $10 million in loan financing to three developments that will provide much-needed homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the County. The three developments, located in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, will provide 211 new affordable homes, of which 60 will be specifically reserved for persons with IDD and their families. Two of these developments have already received financial assistance and approval from their respective cities and the third is in the process of receiving similar support.

These are the first results of the Board’s September 2018 commitment to identify $40 million in financial support to facilitate the development of homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which SV@Home pushed for. President Simitian reaffirmed this commitment as part of his motion to pass the staff recommendation, directing staff to look for the second $10 million tranche as part of the next budget.

SV@Home was proud to stand with the coalition, led by Housing Choices, that made these resources a reality. Read our letter here. We look forward to working with the County to help identify the remaining $30 million for supporting additional important housing developments for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Stanford GUP – Study Session #2

Also on October 8th, the Board of Supervisors held a second study session on Stanford’s General Use Permit application where housing was the hot topic. Several supervisors expressed concern that Stanford’s latest housing proposal was not aligned with County staff recommendations for mitigating the University’s proposed growth. Central to this concern is Stanford’s request to partially count nearly-completed graduate student housing as part of their mitigation of future growth. County staff stated that this graduate student housing, while laudable, is not related to Stanford’s future needs. A majority of supervisors made clear that they expect the University to increase its affordable housing commitments. Stanford, for their part, stated that they would be happy to further discuss their housing commitments as part of a Development Agreement process, which they contend will allow them to better plan for their growth and permit them to front-load affordable housing development.

The next public meeting on the Stanford GUP will be held in Palo Alto on October 22nd, when supervisors will be expected to weigh in more substantively with their thoughts and positions. SV@Home is continuing to track the GUP process and engage with both sides to explore ways forward that will maximize the amount of affordable housing produced.

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