Population: 127,721
Households: 44,669
Employed Residents: 72,534
Housing Units: 47,251
Source: 2019 5 year estimates

Jobs: 117,696
Employed Residents per Household: 1.54
Jobs per Employed Resident: 1.76
Jobs-Housing Balance Ratio: 2.58
Source: 2017 5 year estimates

Low-Wage Jobs-Housing Fit Ratio:9.84
Net In-Commute of Workers: 46,964
Source: 2015 LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics

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

2019 Homeless Count: 326 Persons, including 264 unsheltered and 62 sheltered (+20% from 2015)
Source: 2019 Homeless Point In Time Count

Average Monthly Rent: $2,565
Rent Change Year over Year: -14%
Source: Rent Cafe, April 2021

Santa Clara’s 2020 Affordable Housing Inventory
Extremely Low-IncomeVery Low-IncomeLow-IncomeModerate IncomeTotal UnitsAffordable % of Total Housing Stock

SOURCE: Units reported in the Housing Element Annual Performance Report that received building permits in 2019 were added to the unit counts in the previously reported 2018 Base Year table.  This methodology necessarily means that any ELI units, if any, are included in the VLI category since that is how HCD has required production data to be reported.  The RHNA data on new units relies on self-reporting by jurisdiction and can include units for which building permits were issued that never got built.  The percentage of the total housing stock in the community is based the California Department of Finance’s Table E-5.

See more information on our affordable housing assets page.

Santa Clara Development Pipeline as of January 2021
Applications SubmittedApplications ApprovedUnder ConstructionTotal
Anticipated New Jobs26,5552,85621,55950,970
New Housing Units9,0895,8274,15119,067

Pipeline as of January 2021. Information reported from City of Santa Clara.  The employment projections are derived by applying square-footage-per-employee factors to building floor areas by four building types: 250 square feet for office/R&D; 1,500 feet for hotels; 550 feet for retail/restaurant; and 2,500 feet for manufacturing/warehouse. All are figures applied to a building’s gross square footage.

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 Santa Clara’s progress.

Santa Clara’s 2015-2022 RHNA Permit Progress as of 12/2020
Affordability LevelRNHA TargetPermits IssuedProgress to Target
Very Low Income105016816%
Low Income69517926%
Moderate Income75510514%
Above Moderate Income15934370274%

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.

Santa Clara ADU Permitting: 2017 – 2020
2017201820192020Total% of Countywide Total

Affordable Housing Policies

Housing Element Policies

The Housing Element of Santa Clara’s General Plan includes a number of policies promoting affordable housing development, including:

  • Encouraging high densities in new housing development.
  • Assisting affordable housing developers in getting access to funding and in assembling parcels.
  • Expediting the entitlement process for affordable housing development proposals.
  • Providing subsidy financing, when available.
  • Providing a density bonus for affordable housing.
  • Examining other means of promoting affordable housing development, including: leasing City-owned property to developers at nominal rates; subsidizing City fees; matching financial support provided by the Housing Trust; and purchasing land on behalf of nonprofit developers.
Inclusionary Housing and Commercial Linkage Fees

In December 2017, the City of Santa Clara established new affordable housing requirements, including a new inclusionary housing requirement for both ownership and rental housing, as well as commercial linkage fees for non-residential development.  

City of Santa Clara Affordable Housing Requirements Ordinance

Residential Development

  • Ownership: 15% inclusionary (in-lieu fees for fractional units – $30.00/sf for single family homes, $25.00/sf for townhomes, and $20.00 for condominiums)
  • Rental: 15% inclusionary (in-lieu fee of $20.00/sf for fractional units)

Non-Residential Development

  • Office 20,000+ sf : $20.00/sf.
  • Office under 20,000 sf: #10.00/sf.
  • Industrial 20,000+ sf: $10.00/sf.
  • Industrial under 20,000 sf: $5.00/sf.
  • Hotel, Retail 5,000+ sf, Other: 5.00/sf. (retail <5,000 sf is exempt)
  • Low Intensity Uses: $2.00/sf.

Additional Resources