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December 15, 2021

San José Eliminates Commercial Requirements for 100% Affordable Housing!


Last Tuesday, affordable housing won a major victory in San José. After years of SV@Home advocacy and coordination with Destination: Home, the San José City Council unanimously voted to support the General Plan Task Force’s recommendation to eliminate commercial space requirements in 100% affordable housing developments.

This is a major step toward making affordable housing more feasible in San José. Commercial requirements for affordable developments have caused developers to stop pursing viable opportunity sites, walk away from projects, identify alternative funding sources to support commercial build-outs, and carry vacant commercial space. For these reasons, Councilmembers Davis, Arenas, and Jimenez as well as Councilmembers Cohen and Foley released memos that supported adopting the Task Force recommendation. SV@Home participated in the General Plan Task Force and supported these memos during public comment and by submitting a letter.

Staff is slated to return to Council on January 11th, 2022 with a policy that formally removes commercial obligations for 100% affordable developments. In addition to returning with a new policy, staff will explore key employment sites identified by the City for potential conversion from mixed-use to commercial as well as a subsidy program to incentivize commercial space in affordable developments. As staff prepares a new map and commercial incentive program for affordable developments, SV@Home is committed to collaborating with the City as it works through how best to maximize affordable housing solutions throughout San José.