Santa Clara County and to other parts of the Bay Area faces a significant jobs-housing imbalance. Every day, 100,000 Santa Clara County workers leave the County for work in surrounding counties, and 200,000 people come in, a net 100,000 people. While there are no requirements that people live near their jobs, the fact that so many more workers travel into Santa Clara County than travel out illustrates that many of our workers have no choice to live near work. We simply don’t have enough housing for the jobs.
Map: Which cities in Santa Clara County have the greatest jobs-housing imbalance?
Answer: Palo Alto (3.54 jobs for every housing unit), Santa Clara (2.58 jobs for every housing unit), and Mountain View (2.51 jobs for every housing unit). This map shows the jobs-housing balance ratio – calculated by dividing the number of jobs by the number of housing units – for each city in the County. Click on the map to discover the jobs-housing balance ratios for other cities.
Sources: 2017 ACS analysis completed by SV@Home
Jobs-Housing Balance and Jobs Housing Fit
The jobs-housing balance ratio and other similar ratios like housing to employed worker are used frequently by cities in developing plans for growth.
- Jobs Housing Imbalance: The mismatch between the number of jobs and the number of homes within a community. In Santa Clara County, some cities have two to three times as many jobs as homes.
- Jobs-Housing Balance: A measurement used by planners that assumes that a balanced community is one where people can both live and work. Therefore the jobs-housing balance ratio compares the number of jobs in a community to the number of housing units.
- Jobs-Housing Fit (Low-Wage Jobs-Housing Fit): the mismatch between wages and housing affordability. The UC Davis Jobs-Housing Fit Ratio considers the right fit between the housing stock and the income level of households in a community. In Santa Clara County, some cities have as many as 19 low-wage workers competing for each affordable home.
- SPUR, How the Retirement Wave Will Impact Bay Area Jobs and Workers, 2019
- Bay Area Council Economic Institute Bay Area Job Watch, 2018
- Santa Clara County Grand Jury Report: Density is our Destiny, June 2018
- California Planning Roundtable: “Deconstructing Jobs-Housing Balance,” 2008.
- Non Profit Housing Association of Northern California: “Jobs/Housing Fit and the Effects on Bay Area Health, Equity and Environment,” 2015.
- Chris Benner, Wayne Chen, Pilar Lorenzana, Belen Serea, and Vikrant Sood: “Tools for Achieving Jobs-Housing Fit and Avoiding Displacement in Smart Growth Areas” (2016 NPH Conference Presentation), 2016.