Population: 152,770
Households: 56,103
Employed Residents: 88,149
Housing Units: 59,024
Source: ACS 2019 5 year estimates

Jobs: 100,318
Employed Residents per Household: 1.45
Jobs per Employed Resident: 1.24
Jobs-Housing Balance Ratio: 1.72
Source: ACS 2017 5 year estimates

Low-Wage Jobs-Housing Fit Ratio: 4.71
Source: 2015 LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics

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

2019 Homeless Count: 624 Persons, including 477 unsheltered and 147 sheltered (+147% from 2017)
Source: 2019 Homeless Point In Time Count

Average Monthly Rent: $2,486
Rent Change Year over Year: -18%
Source: Rent Cafe, April 2021

Sunnyvale’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.

Sunnyvale Development Pipeline as of January 2021
Applications SubmittedApplications ApprovedUnder ConstructionTotal
Anticipated New Jobs6,55915,18221,27943,020
New Housing Units1,5431,3942,6245,561

Pipeline as of January 2021. Information reported from City of Sunnyvale.  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 Sunnyvale’s progress.

Sunnyvale’s 2015-2022 RHNA Permit Progress as of 12/2020
Affordability LevelRHNA TargetPermits IssuedProgress to Target
Very Low Income16401328%
Low Income906617%
Moderate Income93227730%
Above Moderate Income19742859145%

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.

Sunnyvale ADUs Permitted: 2017 – 2020
2017201820192020Total% of Countywide Total

Affordable Housing Policies

Housing Element Policies

The Housing Element of Sunnyvale’s General Plan includes a number of policies and programs to encourage affordable housing development, including:

  • A Below Market Rate (BMR) inclusionary program requires that 15% of all new for-sale developments be affordable, though there is an in-lieu fee option available to developers.
  • Density bonuses are available for affordable housing projects.
  • Several provisions in its Zoning Code to lower the cost of development, including: enabling mixed-use neighborhoods; allowing conversion of industrial lands to residential use; and reduced parking requirements for affordable housing projects.
Housing Strategy

In 2017, the Sunnyvale City Council identified the Housing Strategy as a Study Issue. This project, scheduled for completion in 2020, will review the current housing context and identify potential improvements to existing programs as well as new approaches to addressing housing affordability and availability in Sunnyvale. The analysis will include the following:

  • Rent stabilization programs for Sunnyvale mobile home parks
  • Age-friendliness of housing in Sunnyvale
  • Strategies to increase the affordable housing supply, such as a land acquisition financing program for non-profit developers and reinstating an updated rental inclusionary ordinance consistent with AB 1505
  • Strategies to help with the demand for affordable housing, such as homebuyer, tenant, and financial literacy education programs

SV@Home is actively engaged in conversations on Sunnyvale’s Housing Strategy. We believe it is important to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing such as mobilehome parks and produce affordable housing through mechanisms such as inclusionary housing ordinances.

Inclusionary Housing and Affordable Housing Impact Fees

Sunnyvale has updated its inclusionary housing policy that requires for-sale residential developments with 7 or more units to include 15% percent of the total units be affordable to moderate income households (up to 110% AMI), or pay an in-lieu fee. The ordinance is updated to align with state density bonus regulations and will have various alternative compliance options to allow developers to request certain ways to meet the city’s requirement at the discrestion of council and will take effect in August 2021.

Sunnyvale also charges affordable housing impact fees on new residential rental development and Commercial Linkage Fees on non-residential development.

City of Sunnyvale FY 2019-20 Fee Schedule

Rental Residential Development: Sunnyvale Municipal Code Chapter 19.75, Section 19.75.040

  • 4-7 units: $9.00/sf
  • 8+ units: $18/sf

Non-Residential Development: Sunnyvale Municipal Code Chapter 19.75, Section 19.75.030

  • Office, R&D, Industrial: $8.00/sf for first 25,000 sf; $16/sf for remaining square footage
  • Retail, Hotel: $8.00/sf

Additional Resources

Photo: Fair Oaks Plaza, MidPen Housing