Population: 1,027,690
Households: 325,114
Employed Residents: 562,588
Housing Units: 338,509

Source: ACS 2019 5 year estimates

Jobs: 414,195
Employed Residents per Household: 1.62
Jobs per Employed Resident: 0.80
Jobs-Housing Balance Ratio: 1.25
Source: ACS 2017 5 year estimates

Low-Wage Jobs-Housing Fit Ratio: 4.45
Source: 2015 LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics

For more information about the jobs/housing calculations visit our jobs and housing page.

2019 Homeless Count: 6,097 persons, including 5,117 unsheltered and 980 sheltered (+41% from 2017)
Source: 2019 Homeless Point In Time Count

Average Monthly Rent: $2,526
Rent Change Year over Year: -9%
Source: Rent Cafe, April 2021

San Jose 2020 Affordable Housing Inventory
Extremely Low-IncomeVery Low-IncomeLow-IncomeModerate IncomeTotal UnitsAffordable % of Total Housing Stock

SOURCE:  City staff. The percentage of the total housing stock in the community is based on the California Department of Finance’s Table E-5. San Jose’s first-time homebuyer programs (including both those involving a second mortgage and those provided through an inclusionary housing program) have typically included a City first-right-of-refusal clause to buy back an ownership unit at the time of sale, with the intent of assigning that right to another income-qualified buyer. In practice, the City does not exercise that right and, instead, collects an equity-share payment (in addition to repayment of the City loan, if any). Since these units do not have deed-restricted affordability at that point, they are not included in the affordable housing inventory above.

See more information on our affordable housing assets page.

Visit the City of San Jose’s Affordable Rental Housing Finder.

San Jose’s Development Pipeline

The table below summarizes the development activity, as of November 2021,  in San Jose. Overall, San Jose has just over 4 jobs in the pipeline for each housing unit. While there is no one scientific standard to the ratio of employed residents to housing units, SV@Home recommends a proportion of 1.4 new jobs to new homes.

Approved projects may take years to be completed.  Some, like Google’s proposed development at Diridon Station in San Jose, will take up to a decade to build out. 

Anticipated New Jobs, San Jose Development Pipeline as of November 2021
Pre-Application*Application Submitted Approved Projects Under Construction Total Jobs
Downtown (except Diridon + Google) & N. 1st St. Urban Village14,96947,73814,9297,08684,722
Diridon + Google + The Alameda (East) Urban Village11,97229,3236483,92945,872
North San Jose & Alviso19,14210,87212,1892,61344,816
Other Areas of the City8,5117,3353,0261,38520,257
Anticipated New Homes, San Jose Development Pipeline as of November 2021
Pre Application*Application SubmittedApproved ProjectsUnder ConstructionTotal
Downtown (except Diridon + Google) & N. 1st St. Urban Village2,6022,1063,9851,2699,962
Diridon + Google + The Alameda (East) Urban Village4,4055,8791,23114811,663
North San Jose & Alviso2,5090002,509
Other Areas of the City9,1443,3153,2352,23817,932

*”Pre-Application” means that no application was on file as of January 1, 2021 but the project was in the news.

** “WESTSIDE” includes: all of West Valley west of Highway 17/880; the W. San Carlos St., Race Street Light Rail, South Bascom (North), and Southwest Expressway Urban Villages; and the Midtown Specific Plan area.

Jobs and Residential Development Pipelines as of September 2021 from the City of San Jose: San Jose’s website includes only “major” projects: 50+ dwelling units; 25,000+ square feet for commercial development; and 75,000+ square feet for industrial/office development. San Jose is the only jurisdiction for which the data is broken down into subareas, reflecting the City’s much larger geographical area as compared with other jurisdictions.

2014-2022 Regional Housing Needs Allocation 

Every eight years, the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process is used to assign each city and county in California their “fair share” of new housing units to build. These units of housing are intended to accommodate existing need and projected growth in the region. The RHNA process is critical because it requires all cities and counties to plan for the housing needs of their residents, regardless of income, in an effort to plan for future growth and ease the Bay Area’s acute housing crisis. 

Many cities and counties regularly fall short of their RHNA targets, as the Bay Area’s housing crisis continues to grow. Each spring, jurisdictions are required to provide an Annual Progress Report to show how effective their efforts have been in achieving housing development targets by income level. The table below shows San Jose’s progress.

San Jose’s 2015-2022 RHNA Permit Progress as of 12/2020
Affordability LevelRHNA TargetPermits IssuedProgress to Target
Very Low Income9233152517%
Low Income54283366%
Moderate Income6188246640%
Above Moderate Income142311410999%

Permitting progress as of December 2020. Source: HCD 2020 Housing Element Annual Progress Report Permit Summary.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

All California cities and counties are mandated to permit ADUs and JADUs according to state law. The Legislature further updated ADU and JADU law effective January 1, 2021 to clarify and improve various provisions in order to promote the development of ADUs and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs). These include allowing ADUs and JADUs to be built concurrently with a single-family dwelling, opening areas where ADUs can be created to include all zoning districts that allow single-family and multifamily uses, modifying fees from utilities such as special districts and water corporations, limited exemptions or reductions in impact fees, and reduced parking requirements. Please see the Accessory Dwelling Unit Handbook (PDF) for more information for local government bodies and homeowners interested in adding an ADU or JADU to their property. Our partner, the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley has kicked-off a major initiative, Small Homes, Big Impact to support ADU development throughout Santa Clara County, including outreach and education, and potential new financing mechanisms.

San Jose ADUs Permitted: 2017 – 2020
2017201820192020Total% of Countywide Total

Affordable Housing Policies

Housing Element Policies

The Housing Element of San Jose’s General Plan has a number of policies and programs that encourage affordable housing, including:

  • San Jose allows for significant densities in residential developments – be they market-rate or affordable – especially in designated Urban Villages within proximity to transit or major employment centers.  In many cases, the maximum density is not dictated by the City but rather by the developer due to the costs associated with higher density housing products.
  • Additional policies have sought to support affordable housing development, including: setting a target of 25% affordable housing in all Urban Villages, and some streamlining of the development approval process.
  • Relaxation of parking, set-back and other development standards are allowed to facilitate affordable housing development.

In recent years, San Jose has directed significant energy on spurring housing and affordable housing development, culminating in the adoption of the multi-dimensional Housing Crisis Workplan in 2018.   In contrast, the City has strengthened its Employment Lands Policy to preclude any conversions of planned commercial/industrial lands to residential use through either the rezoning or General Plan amendment processes.

Inclusionary Housing

The City of San Jose has an inclusionary housing ordinance that requires for-sale residential developments with 20 or more units to designate 15 percent of the total units as affordable to households with restricted incomes.  For rental developments, 9% must be affordable to households with incomes at or below 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), and 6% must be affordable to households at or below 50% of AMI.  In some cases rental developers may meet their inclusionary requirements by building affordable units in another location – off-site.  In these cases the number of affordable homes must be equal to 20% of total in the market rate development.  Developers may also be allowed to pay an In-Lieu Fee of $125,000 per inclusionary unit in 2019.  Developers of homes for sale must sell their inclusionary homes at prices affordable to moderate-income household with incomes at or below 110% AMI. These developers may also pay an In-Lieu Fee rather than build homes for sale — 2019 fees are $167,207 per home.

Affordable Housing Impact Fees

The City of San Jose previously had an affordable housing impact fee policy hat required rental housing developments with 3 or more units to pay a per square foot impact fee, which was used to fund the creation of affordable housing for low and moderate income households.  This program was absorbed into the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance in 2017.

Measure E

On March 3, 2020, San Jose voters approved Measure E with 53.45% of the vote. Measure E increases the city’s existing Real Estate Property Transfer Tax and only applies to an estimated 5% of all properties in San Jose— those valued at $2 million or more. It is expected that, on average, the tax will raise $50 million a year. While this is a general tax that is deposited into the city’s General Fund, the Council adopted a spending plan that directs 100% of the revenue raised in the first year to affordable housing. Future spending will be determined during the city’s annual budget process.

For additional information, visit the SV@Home Action Fund page.

Commercial Linkage Fees

On Tuesday, September 1st, 2020, the San Jose City Council approved a Commercial Linkage Fee (CLF) Ordinance, joining all of the other major cities in the South Bay that have already adopted fees. CLFs require commercial developers to pay a fee to address the affordable housing needs created by future employees.

While this was most definitely a win for the hundreds of people in the city who have advocated for this measure over the last few years, the adopted fees are the lowest in the county and exclude some types of development. The council acknowledged that the adopted fees were place-holders until another feasibility analysis could be completed in two years. The ordinance is by far the most complicated in the Bay Area.  The fee levels are reported in the table below.

*$3 sf of which the first 40,000 pays no fee – 100,000 sq ft = $1.8 sf, 50,000 sq ft = $0.6 sf.
**Initial payment at COO, following payments at Tenant Occupancy COO as space is leased.

The ordinance will be applied retroactively to all projects approved after September, 2019. The fee level will be set at the rate that is in place when developers receive their building permits, but fees will not be due until construction completion, unless the developer chooses to delay payment as described in the table above. In most cases developers will also have the option of building or purchasing affordable housing instead of paying the fee.

To add to complexity of the discussion, the council directed staff to explore a number of additional policy options and to come back with a new feasibility analysis in two years that considers different fees for projects over one million square feet and a geographic analysis of submarkets similar to that included in the study released in July.

SV@Home is committed to tracking the progress of the ordinance’s implementation, and advocating for significantly higher fees in 2022 if they are reflective of the feasibility analysis.

Housing Preservation

San Jose’s Housing Department has a long standing program to preserve existing income-restricted affordable housing developments that are at-risk of being converted to market-rate apartments.  In addition, the department is developing policies and pursuing opportunities to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH), rental housing in the private market that is currently more-affordable to moderate- and lower-income households.

Tenant Protections

In 2016, San Jose updated its Tenant Protection programs to include an Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO), which caps allowable rent increases at 5% per year; and a Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO), which includes a rent registry and Just Cause eviction protections.

Other Affordable Housing Programs – Annual Action Plan

The San Jose Housing Department also manages a number of programs with a variety of federal program funds.  These programs — which range from emergency rent vouchers and homeless prevention, to preservation of existing affordable housing and land acquisition for affordable development – are described in the Annual Action Plan.

Additional Resources

Photo: Archer Studios, Charities Housing