Housing Production

  • In 2015, Santa Clara County continued its decades- long pattern of adding many more jobs than housing units, adding 41,300 new jobs but only 5,353 new housing units. (Vital Signs).
  • As of 2017, Santa Clara County’s largest City–San Jose–met only 8% of its RHNA goal for affordable housing construction (HCD Annual Progress Report).
  • Santa Clara County met 97% of its market rate housing need in the last State Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) cycle versus only 22% of its lower income need (Association of Bay Area Governments).
  • The California Air Resources Board identifies housing as a key strategy to meet 2030 climate targets as part of SB 375 Sustainable Communities Strategy. Citing underdevelopment of housing as a major contributor to increased Vehicle Miles Traveled, as residents throughout California must drive farther and longer to access employment and goods and services. (CARB, 2018)

Housing Affordability

  • San Jose is expected to experience a 16% increase in median home value through the fall of 2019, the biggest home-price gain of the U.S.’s 30  largest cities (HBI, 2018).
  • Despite leading the nation in per capita economic growth, nearly 9 in 10 jobs in the Silicon Valley region pay lower wages today, adjusted for inflation, than they did 20 years ago. Lower wages and high housing cost burdens leave many households vulnerable.  (Working Partnerships, 2018)
  • Wages for all but the highest-paying workers in the Silicon Valley have fallen by 14% since 1997. Lower wages force many households to have to choose between longer commutes or relocating all together to more affordable areas.(Working Partnerships, 2018)
  • Only 11.6% of homes in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area are affordable for the median family income of $125,200 (NAHB, 2018).
  • Rents increased more than 60% in San Jose between 2010 and 2015 (City of San Jose/Real Facts).
  • The average rent in Santa Clara County was $3,516 as of September 2018 (Zillow).
  • The median-priced home in Santa Clara County, as of August 2018, was $1,110,000, up almost 28% year over year (NAHB, 2018).
  • While common thought is that Silicon Valley tech workers all make six figure salaries, blue collar contract workers make an average annual income of $19,000 and white collar contract workers make an average annual income of $53,200. These workers can afford rents of $475 and $1,330 respectively, far below the median rent of $2,850 (Working Partnerships USA, 2016).
  • San Jose renters spend 39% of their income on rent compared to 29% of income for renters nationwide (City of San Jose; Zillow Rental Affordability Index Q1 2017).
  • Median home prices in Santa Clara County are 10.6 times the median income vs. 3.7 nationally (Zillow, 2017).
  • Over the five years ending in 2016, the cost of rental housing has jumped by an average of roughly 9 percent annually in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Francisco Counties, while wages have risen by an average of 2.8 percent a year (SJ Mercury-News; Silicon Valley Institute).
  • The average monthly rent in San Jose for a 2-bedroom apartment is $2,522; renters must earn $48.50/hour ($100,880/year) to afford the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment (National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2017).
  • In Santa Clara County, a minimum wage worker would need to work 35 hours/day (40 hrs/wk at $11.00/hr) in order to afford an average, typical 2-bedroom apartment (National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2018).
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Santa Clara County may have been the most expensive place to be poor in the country in 2014-16; a family of four renting in the County would have to earn more than $37,400 a year to leave poverty, or $10,000 more than the national threshold (KQED News; U.S. Census Bureau, 2017).
  • If all San Jose renters paid only what they could afford on housing (30% of income), each renter household could save $8,500 per year to spend on other expenses, or a total infusion of $599 million into the local economy (PolicyLink).
  • Renters who are women of color face the steepest burden of housing costs, with 59% of this demographic paying more than 30% of their income on housing (PolicyLink).

Demographic Data

  • Between 2010 and 2016, For every household with an income of $200,000 or more that moved out of the Bay Area, there were six earning less than $100,000 that moved out of the Bay Area. (Terner Center, 2018)
  • Out migration of low income households out paces in-migration. In contrast, 24% more households earning between $100,000 and $200,000 are moving into the Bay Area than are moving out. (Terner Center, 2018)
  • Between 2010 and 2016, 40% of those moving out of the Bay Area came from households making $50,000 or less. These households are disproportionately Black and Hispanic. (Terner Center, 2018)
  • One third of the County’ 18-34 year olds live with their parents (Joint Venture Silicon Valley).
  • More than 7,400 people are homeless on any given night in Santa Clara County (2017 PIT Count, Santa Clara County).
  • Homelessness costs the County an estimated $520 million annually; when housing and on-site supportive services are provided, the annual cost of supporting a formerly homeless person is reduced by more than $47,000 (Destination: Home and the County of Santa Clara).
  • For every new engineer or high-paid worker hired, demand is created for five lower-wage jobs (Bay Area Council).
  • Santa Clara County is still reeling from the loss of affordable housing funds when the State’s Redevelopment Agencies were dissolved in 2011. The $60 million in annual funding for new affordable housing development that was lost has not been replaced. Combined with the loss of other State and federal funds, Santa Clara County lost an incredible $130 million in annual funds it relied on to meet its housing needs (California Housing Partnership Corporation).
  • In 2015, over 390,000 people employed in Santa Clara County commuted from homes outside of the County while over 271,000 workers living in the County commuted to jobs outside the County. In other words, 119,000 more workers traveled into Santa Clara County each day (U.S. Census Bureau).

Additional Resources