September 21, 2023

San Jose Affordable Housing Strategies Study Session


On September 7, 2023, the City of San Jose held a City Council Study Session focused on Affordable Housing Strategies. The session included insights from San Jose city staff regarding the current implementation of an affordable housing framework that focuses on producing more, preserving the existing, and protecting residents in San Jose, along with learnings from a panel of experts. 

A Panel of Affordable Housing Leaders

The study session featured a panel of industry leaders with extensive experience in the affordable housing sector. Panelists included Regina Celestin Williams from SV@Home, Khanh Russo from the San Francisco Foundation, Chris Neale from the Core Companies, Cindy Wu from Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Anil Babbar from the California Apartments Association, and Stephen Lewis from the California Rent Stabilization Network. These experts covered a wide range of topics related to affordable housing, including an introduction to the Three P’s approach. Below you will find timestamps from the presentation; click the links to watch the specific sections. 

The Three P’s Approach to Affordable Housing

The “Three P’s” approach to affordable housing emphasizes three key strategies to address housing affordability challenges:

–        Production: This strategy focuses on increasing the overall supply of affordable housing units. It includes initiatives such as building new affordable housing developments, rehabilitating existing housing stock, and promoting mixed-income housing projects. 

–        Preservation: Preservation involves safeguarding and maintaining existing affordable housing stock through acquisition and/or rehabilitation. Efforts aim to prevent the conversion of affordable housing units into market-rate housing, extend affordability restrictions on existing properties, and invest in the upkeep of aging affordable housing developments. 

–        Protection: This component centers on protecting the rights and interests of vulnerable populations in the housing market. It encompasses measures such as tenant protections, rent control policies, and anti-discrimination laws to prevent housing instability and discrimination. 

Council Dialogue and Public Input

During the extended session, San Jose’s mayor and council members engaged in a discussion with city staff and panelists. Councilmembers shared varying perspectives with some expressing support for further policy implementation and others questioning the need for changes and additional resource allocation.

The discussion extended to members of the public, who had the opportunity to express their views in person and online. The public responses reflected diverse opinions, with some advocating for increased Production, Preservation, and Protection policies in the city, while others expressed opposing viewpoints.

As San Jose explores strategies to address affordable housing challenges, the Three P’s approach provides a comprehensive framework for guiding future policy decisions. The outcome of these ongoing discussions will play a pivotal role in shaping the city’s approach to affordable housing.

San Jose Study Session Timestamps

13:40 – Introduction of Agenda

14:05 – San Jose City Staff Presentation Begins

  • 14:14, Data Slides
    • Speaker: Kristen Clements, Acting Deputy Director, Policy
  • 28:12, Three P’s: Production
    • Kemit Mawakana, Division Manager, Residential Development Division
  • 34:46, Three P’s: Preservation
    • Josh Ishimatsu, Acting Division Manager, Policy
  •  43:42, Three P’s: Protection
    • Emily Hislop, Division Manager, Rent Stabilization Program

 55:18, Panel Interview

  •  55:18, Regina Celestin Williams SV@Home
    • Moderator who framed the issue of affordable housing in San Jose
  • 1.01:36, Khanh Russo, San Francisco Foundation
    • Discussed further information on the three P’s approach
  • 1.11.32, Chris Neale, Core Companies
    • Discussed Development process
  • 1.25:10, Cindy Wu, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
    • Discussed LISC and preservation financing
  • 1.34:36, Anil Babbar, California Apartments Association
    • Discussed tenant protections from the view of an owner
  • 1.47:13, Stephen Lewis, California Rent Stabilization Network
    • Discussed tenant protection from the perspective of the tenants

02.02:06, Questions from the council

2.43:55, Public Comment

3.19.35, Study session is closed