Cupertino’s Demographics

Population: 59,154
Households: 20,744
Housing Units: 21,787
Source: California Department of Finance, 2023 Table E-5

Employed Residents: 29,011
Source: ACS 2022 5 year estimates

In 2022, 22.94% of Cupertino’s population was White while 1.18% was African American, 70.88% was Asian, and 3.16% was Latinx. People of color in Cupertino comprise a proportion above the overall proportion in the Bay Area as a whole.
Source: ACS 2022 5 year estimates

Rate of population growth, 2010 to 2020: 1.6%
Rate of housing unit addition, 2010 to 2020: 0.1%
Source: California Department of Finance, Table E-5

Over the same period, Cupertino grew more slowly than Santa Clara County, which had a 9.2% population increase, or the nine-county Bay Area region, which had a 8.6% population increase.

The number of new homes built in Cupertino and Santa Clara County has not kept pace with demand, resulting in longer commutes, increasing prices, and exacerbating issues of displacement and homelessness.


Housing Types in Cupertino

It is important to have a variety of housing types to meet the needs of a community today and in the future. In 2022, 56.96% of homes in Cupertino were single family detached (generally the most expensive type of home), 12.59% were single family attached, 9.51% were small multifamily (2-4 units), and 20.92% were medium or large multifamily (5+ units). Between 2010 and 2020, the number of multi-family units increased more than single-family units. In Cupertino, the share of the housing stock that is detached single family homes is higher than the average of other jurisdictions in the region.
Source: California Department of Finance, 2023 Table E-5

Jobs & Housing in Cupertino

Jobs: 51,888
Employed Residents per Household: 1.40
Jobs per Employed Resident: 1.79
Jobs-Housing Balance Ratio: 2.38
Source: ACS 2022 5 year estimates

Note: Jobs-Housing Balance is a measurement used by planners that assumes that a balanced community is one where people can both live and work. This ratio compares the number of jobs in a community to the number of housing units.

Jobs-Housing Fit: 17.7 low wage jobs per low-cost rental unit
Source: Jobs from LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics 2021; households from U.S. Census, American Community Survey B25056, B25061

Note: Jobs-Housing Fit measures the mismatch between wages and housing affordability as the ratio of low-wage jobs (less than $3,333/month) to the number of low-cost rental units (less than $1,500/month). In Campbell, there are almost 12 low-wage workers competing for each affordable home.

Renting in Cupertino

Percent of population that rents: 38.9%
Source: ACS 2022 5 year estimates

Median Monthly Rent (1 bedroom apartment): $2,850
Rent Change Year over Year: -6%
Source: Zumper, December 2023

Cost Burden in Cupertino

Cost-Burdened (30% – 50% income spent on housing)
Renter Households: 29.54% of renter households (2,415)
Homeowner Households: 21.51% of homeowner households (2,705)

Severely Cost-Burdened (more than 50% of income spent on housing)
Renter Households: 15.07% of renter households (1,232)
Homeowner Households: 9.86% of homeowner households (1,240)
Source: ACS 2022 5 year estimates

Note: Current standards measure housing cost in relation to gross household income: households spending more than 30 percent of their income, including utilities, are generally considered to be overpaying or “cost burdened.” Severe cost burden occurs when households pay 50 percent or more of their gross income for housing. The impact of high housing costs falls disproportionately on extremely low-, very low-, and low-income households, especially renters. While some higher-income households may choose to spend greater portions of their income for housing, the cost burden for lower-income households reflects choices limited by a lack of a sufficient supply of housing affordable to these households.

Homelessness in Cupertino

2022 Unhoused people: 102 people, all unsheltered (-36% from 2019)

2019 Unhoused people: 159 people, all unsheltered (+25% from 2017)
Source: 2019 and 2022 Homeless Point In Time Count

Overcrowding in Cupertino

Total Rental Homes: 8,174
Overcrowded Rental Homes: 647
Severely Overcrowded Rental Homes: 336
Percent of Rental Homes, Overcrowded: 12.02%
Source: ACS 2022 5 year estimates

  • The U.S. Census defines an overcrowded unit as one occupied by 1.01 persons or more per room (excluding bathrooms and kitchens). Units with more than 1.5 persons per room are considered severely overcrowded.

Note: Overcrowding increases health and safety concerns and stresses the condition of the housing stock and infrastructure. Overcrowding is strongly related to household size (particularly for large and very-large households) and the availability of suitably sized housing. Overcrowding impacts both owners and renters; however, renters are generally more significantly impacted. 

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 Cupertino’s progress.

Cupertino’s 2015-2022 RHNA Permit Progress as of 12/2022
Affordability LevelRHNA TargetPermits IssuedProgress to Goal
Very Low Income3564813.5%
Low Income207199.2%
Moderate Income23115868.4%
Above Moderate Income270321118.9%

Permitting progress as of December 2022. Source: HCD 2022 Housing Element Implementation and APR Data Dashboard.  

2023-2031 RHNA Allocation

In January of 2023, about a year after local jurisdictions are given their final RHNA numbers, the local planning process will culminate in the Housing Element. This is a pivotal document that serves as a Constitution for land use planning and accounts for how and where the jurisdiction will accommodate allocated housing units. It must identify adequate sites for the full RHNA and all types of housing, including emergency shelters, rental housing, and ownership housing, and commit to policies and programs aimed at removing barriers to housing production, addressing racial and economic segregation and disparities in access to resources, providing for the unique housing needs of residents in protected categories, and protecting residents vulnerable to displacement.

Cupertino’s 2023-2031 RHNA by Income Level
Very Low Income Low IncomeModerate IncomeAbove Moderate IncomeTotal Allocation

Source: ABAG Approved Final RHNA Plan: San Francisco Bay Area, 2023-2031 (Dec 2021)

Current Affordable Housing Stock

Cupertino’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.

Jobs & Housing Development Pipeline

As of January 2022, Cupertino has 2.39 jobs in the development pipeline for every 1 housing unit in the development pipeline.

Cupertino Development Pipeline as of January 2022
Applications SubmittedApproved ProjectsUnder ConstructionTotal
Anticipated New Jobs678,22208,289
Housing Units273,43603,463

Pipeline as of January 2022. Information reported from City of Cupertino.  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.

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.

Cupertino ADUs Permitted: 2017-2022

Source: HCD 2022 Housing Element Implementation and APR Data Dashboard.  


Affordable Housing Policies

Housing Element Policies

The Housing Element of Cupertino’s General Plan identifies several policies that encourage affordable housing development:

  • Residential Development Standards.  Flexibility is allowed for floor area ratios, smaller lot sizes lot widths, and setbacks, particularly for higher density and attached housing projects.
  • Higher Densities.  Residential developments can exceed the planned maximum density in the case of special needs housing so long as neighborhood street capacities are not exceeded and there is no negative impact on neighborhood character.
  • Funding Applications.  Cupertino will partner with and/or support affordable housing developers’ applications for funding at the regional, state and federal levels.
  • Parking Ratios.  Reductions in required on-site parking can be made, on a case-by-case basis.
Housing Mitigation Program

Cupertino has a Residential Housing Mitigation Program that requires for-sale residential development to include 20 percent of the total units be affordable to median (100% AMI) and moderate (120% AMI) income households, of which the total units are broken down into 50% of units for median income and 50% of units for moderate income households. Similarly, Below Market Rate rental units are made available to low income (80% AMI) and very-low income (50% AMI) households.

Qualifying projects may also pay an in-lieu fee rather than build inclusionary units. Housing Mitigation in-lieu fees for developments are as follows, effective July 3, 2021:

City of Cupertino Housing Mitigation In-Lieu Fees, Effective July 3, 2021
Residential – Ownership (per sq. ft.)
Detached Single Family Residence$19.28
Small Lot Single Family Residence or Townhome$21.21
Multi-family Attached Townhome, Apartment, or Condominium (up to 35 du/ac)$25.71
Multi-family Attached Townhome, Apartment, or Condominium (over 35 du/ac) $25.71
Residential – Rental (per sq. ft.)
Multi-family Attached Townhome, Apartment, or Condominium (up to 35 du/ac)$25.71
Multi-family Attached Townhome, Apartment, or Condominium (over 35 du/ac)$32.14
Non-Residential (per sq. ft.)
Office, Research and Development, or Industrial$30.47
Hotel $15.24
Self-storage, employee unit provided$0.57
Self-storage, employee unit not provided$1.20
Commercial/Retail $12.85

For more information on Cupertino’s affordable housing impact fee policies for both residential and non-residential development, visit these resources:

Additional Resources