March 21, 2016

San Jose Mercury News: Roadshow—San Jose neighborhoods’ parking woes mount


Silicon Valley at Home Executive Director Leslye Corsiglia notes that San Jose’s neighborhood parking woes are related to the lack of affordable housing in a write-up by San Jose Mercury News columnist Gary Richards.

See the original story at the San Jose Mercury News.

San Jose neighborhoods’ parking woes mountby Gary Richards

Q Boy, did your column on overflow parking in residential areas hit a nerve. I live off Branham Lane and around the corner are several fourplexes, a low-income apartment complex and a townhouse development. And now the city wants to make our overflow parking situation worse by allowing five buildings of 25 three-story townhouses on a 1.3-acre lot where a preschool is being closed.

Kelly Katsuyama

San Jose

A That column hit a very raw nerve. Dozens of messages roared in, including this from Leslye Corsiglia, the executive director of SV@Home, a policy and housing advocacy group working to tackle the affordable housing crisis in the South Bay.

I’m not surprised to hear that neighbors are finding more cars lining their streets. The reason is easy to pinpoint, but harder to solve. Sky-high housing prices and the lack of available and affordable housing have resulted in families doubling and tripling up. People are now renting rooms, garages, even cordoned-off parts of living rooms.

A housing report from RealtyTrak found San Jose’s vacancy rate to be the tightest in the nation at 0.2 percent. According to the San Jose Housing Department, it takes a wage of $54 an hour, or $112,500 a year, to afford the average two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in San Jose.

As families try to stay here, they are faced with driving long distances, paying more of their salary toward housing and forgoing other needs, or overcrowding in order to afford to stay.

Leslye Corsiglia

A And more people per unit equals more cars in the driveway and on streets. So, what’s the solution? Or is there a solution?

Q We need to invest in affordable housing options to ensure that working households can continue to live here. They can’t all move away. We need people to work in our service and retail sectors. We want manufacturing workers to live and work here. Not all of the people who add value to our community have incomes that match the cost of housing we now have.

Leslye Corsiglia

A San Jose’s general plan calls for 120,000 new units by 2040. They’ll be needed as 120,000 new millennials are expected to move to the city by 2035. And less than a quarter of San Jose’s workers can afford to rent or buy median-priced housing.

Q I live in a residential area on Harmony Lane and my next-door neighbor mentioned that another neighbor had asked to rent HIS garage. Mind you, this same neighbor is already renting out his garage. I’ve lived here for over 20 years and there has never been a parking problem like this. We are desperate to find a solution; if not, we will be forced to move from our home.

Bianca Lucero

San Jose

A Later this week, more folks comment on the scramble to find parking near where they live.