Milpitas’ Demographics

Population: 81,067
Households: 25,162
Housing Units: 25,769
Source: California Department of Finance, 2023 Table E-5

Employed Residents: 41,862
Source: ACS 2022 5 year estimates

In 2022, 14% of Milpitas’ population was White while 4.3% was African American, 75.96% was Asian, and 13.25% was Latinx. People of color in Milpitas 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: 15.6%
Rate of housing unit addition, 2010 to 2020: 13.9%
Source: California Department of Finance, Table E-5

Over the same period, Milpitas grew more quickly 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 Milpitas 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 Milpitas

It is important to have a variety of housing types to meet the needs of a community today and in the future. In 2022, 52.4% of homes in Milpitas were single family detached (generally the most expensive type of home), 17.49% were single family attached, 6.29% were small multifamily (2-4 units), 22.05% were medium or large multifamily (5+ units), and 1.76% were mobilehomes. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of multi-family units increased more than single-family units. In Milpitas, 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 Milpitas

Jobs: 42,806
Employed Residents per Household:  1.66
Jobs per Employed Resident: 1.02
Jobs-Housing Balance Ratio: 1.70
Source: ACS 2019 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: 13.7 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 Milpitas, there are more than 10 low-wage workers competing for each affordable home.

Renting in Milpitas

Percent of population that rents: 42.16%
Source: ACS 2022 5 year estimates

Median Monthly Rent (1 bedroom apartment): $2,729
Rent Change Year over Year: -11%
Source: Zumper, December 2023

Cost Burden in Milpitas

Cost-Burdened (30% – 50% income spent on housing)
Renter Households: 31.86% of renter households (3,062)
Homeowner Households: 25.21% of homeowner households (3,729)

Severely Cost-Burdened (more than 50% of income spent on housing)
Renter Households: 16.41% of renter households (1,577)
Homeowner Households: 10.9% of homeowner households (1,625)
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 Milpitas

2022 Unhoused people: 274 people, 249 unsheltered and 25 sheltered (+119% from 2019)

2019 Unhoused people: 125 people, all unsheltered (+89% from 2017)
Source: 2019 and 2022 Homeless Point In Time Count

Overcrowding in Milpitas

Total Rental Homes: 11,595
Overcrowded Rental Homes: 741
Severely Overcrowded Rental Homes: 467
Percent of Rental Homes, Overcrowded: 10.5%
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. 

2023-2031 Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) 

  • Every eight years, the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process is used to assign each city and county in California their “fair share” of the region’s housing need, by income level. These homes are intended to address the housing shortage, meeting the needs of existing residents and accommodating projected growth in the region. 

The RHNA process is critical because state law requires each city and county to make a specific, actionable, and measurable plan, called a Housing Element, that complies with state law and addresses housing needs. It must identify enough sites to hold the RHNA, by income level, and create programs that remove barriers to housing production and protect residents vulnerable to displacement. Local jurisdictions must also take significant steps to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH), addressing racial and economic segregation and disparities in access to resources, and meeting the unique housing needs of residents in protected groups. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is responsible for certifying Housing Element compliance with state law.

In the past, many cities and counties have fallen far short of their RHNA targets, as the Bay Area’s housing crisis continues to grow. In this planning cycle, new laws give HCD additional tools to provide technical assistance and hold jurisdictions accountable to their plans. Each spring, jurisdictions are required to complete an Annual Progress Report on the Housing Element, including the number of homes permitted by income level, program actions taken, and outcomes achieved. The table below shows Milpitas’ target in the sixth cycle and progress to date in permitting new homes.

Milpitas’ 2023-2031 RHNA TARGET AND PERMIT PROGRESS AS OF 12/2023
Affordability LevelRHNA TargetPermits IssuedProgress to Target
Very Low Income1685130.7%
Low Income97040.4%
Moderate Income1131151.3%
Above Moderate Income2927321.1%

Permitting progress as of December 2023. HCD 2023 Housing Element Implementation and APR Data Dashboard.

2014-2022 Regional Housing Needs Allocation

The table below shows Milpitas’ final progress toward meeting the 2014-2022 RHNA.

Affordability LevelRHNA TargetPermits IssuedProgress to Target
Very Low Income100427227.1%
Low Income5709015.8%
Moderate Income5656812.0%
Above Moderate Income11513713322.6%

Permitting progress as of December 2022. HCD 5th Cycle Housing Element Implementation and APR Data Dashboard.

Current Affordable Housing Stock

Milpitas’ 2023 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 through 2023 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 in the Development Pipeline

As of January 2022, Milpitas has 1.45 jobs in the development pipeline for every 1 housing unit in the development pipeline.

Milpitas Development Pipeline as of January 2022
Applications SubmittedApproved ProjectsUnder ConstructionTotal
Anticipated New Jobs07751,8522,627
New Housing Units485101,2481,806

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

Milpitas ADUs Permitted: 2017 – 2023

HCD 2023 Housing Element Implementation and APR Data Dashboard.

Affordable Housing Policies

Housing Element Policies

The Housing Element of Milpitas’ General Plan has several policies encouraging the production of affordable housing, including:

  • A range of financial incentives for developers who agree to provide affordable units, including loans, grants, and fee reductions or waivers.
  • Relaxation of development standards in order to achieve more intensive land utilization and, as a result, lower per-unit land costs.  Such modifications include reduced parking requirements, increased height limits, density bonuses, and reduced setback requirements.
  • Production of units affordable to extremely low-income households is encouraged in affordable housing developments, with financial subsidies provided to developers to achieve affordability to ELI households.
  • Milpitas has adopted a density bonus ordinance to encourage affordable housing development.
Inclusionary Housing

On June 12, 2018, the City Council passed an Affordable Housing Ordinance (AHO), which included a Inclusionary Housing program that requires residential developers to set aside 15% of the units in any new development of 10 units or more.  The AHO allows developers to meet this 15% inclusionary housing obligation by providing affordable rental units for very low or low income households and affordable ownership units for very low, low or moderate income households.  On March 5th, 2019, the Council adopted an In-Lieu fee of $31 per square foot, as an alternative to incorporating inclusionary units into new developments.  Cities are required by State law to provide alternative ways of addressing inclusionary requirements.  Milpitas requires that developers wanting to pay this fee will have to receive council approval.

Affordable Housing Impact Fees

On March 5th, 2019, Council voted to adopt Affordable Housing impact fees for non-residential development as part of their affordable housing ordinance. These fees matured over the next 2 years to $4 per square foot for new R&D, manufacturing and warehouse development, and $8 per square foot for office, retail, and hotel.

Additional Resources