Palo Alto City Council Candidate Forum
August 26, 2022

SV@Home Housing Happenings Aug. 25 Newsletter


Housing Happenings


Palo Alto and Sunnyvale Council Candidate Forums Kick Off Action Fund Election Season

SV@Home Action Fund announces its first voter education forum next month to highlight the candidates and housing issues affecting important local races. The November 8 General Election is less than 90 days away, and our housing crisis presents multi-layered challenges for Silicon Valley’s key decision makers. Our forums allow candidates to explain their views on a range of housing issues: from housing production and renter protections to ending homelessness and affordable housing preservation. Election hopefuls will field questions on the intersection of housing with transportation, climate change, and equity. Many policies responsible for the housing crisis began at the city level, and these forums underscore the opportunity to see where solutions start.

Palo Alto City Council Candidate Forum on Housing

Thursday, September 15th at 6:00PM

The Action Fund, the Palo Alto Renters Association, and Palo Alto Forward will co-host a Forum on Housing for the Palo Alto City Council Candidates. This free public event will be held via Zoom. All seven Palo Alto City Council candidates have been invited: Alex Comsa, Brian Hamachek, Lisa Forssell, Ed Lauing, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Doria Summa, and Vicki Veenker. Please RSVP to learn more about each candidate’s ideas, experiences, and plans for the future of housing in Palo Alto. You can register for free at this link.

Livable Sunnyvale Presents City Council Candidate Forum

Wednesday, September 7th at 6:30PM

Additionally, our friends at Livable Sunnyvale are hosting their candidate forum for Sunnyvale City Council. This forum will be held over Zoom and will cover housing, sustainability, and transportation. You can register for this online forum on Livable Sunnyvale’s website at


Deep Dive Covers Affordable Housing Finance in September

Join SV@Home on September 27 from 12 – 1:30 pm for our bimonthly in-depth new event series: A Deep Dive on Affordable Housing. The focus of this upcoming event is on affordable housing finance as we offer you an opportunity to understand the challenges and opportunities involved, and how housers can help push projects to completion. How is affordable housing financed? What factors shape financing and project decisions, and ultimately what gets built? This new series of events is designed to empower advocates on how to engage and drive our collective needs.


Housing Podcast Features SV@Home’s Policy Expert

SV@Home’s Mathew Reed joined San Jose Spotlight’s Podlight Podcast to lend his perspective on the city’s housing plan calling for the construction of tens of thousands of new homes in the next eight years. Also on the podcast is Sandy Perry of the Affordable Housing Network of Silicon Valley. Replay the podcast with host Nick Preciado to see how the experts believe the city might change its housing approach. You may access the recorded podcast at this link.


Connecting with Sacred Heart’s ‘Pack-a-Back’ Program

Sacred Heart Community Service kicks off every school year with an initiative called “Pack-a-Back.” Members and sister organizations are asked to show up to ensure that local school kids from TK through high school have the supplies they need to learn. This year over 3,800 backpacks stuffed with school supplies were distributed to students and families. According to Sacred Heart, the program supplies the equivalent of ten elementary schools.

“Pack-a-back” starts with a challenge: Do we understand that poverty amid great prosperity is a systemic failure? And can we commit to a collective effort to mobilize the community to address the causes and consequences of poverty so that we may learn that we have the power and responsibility to transform our community?

The SV@Home team took an afternoon to be a part of this effort. While we work with Sacred Heart on housing policy, “Pack-a-Back” was a real opportunity to connect with this key partner on a different level. “Pack-a-Back” is not just about service opportunities, team building, and donated backpacks. Instead, our investment was a part of a network of connected resources that work together for an equitable and just vision of the future – One where everyone has access to adequate food, housing, education, healthcare, safety, and a living wage regardless of race, gender, or immigration status. This vision depends on a great education for our children because they will make decisions in the future that will impact us all.

We greatly appreciate being part of the process for Sacred Heart Community Service’s initiative, and we look forward to ongoing opportunities to strengthen and support this vision and the relationship we have with this core partner. Learn more about Sacred Heart and how to get involved here.


#MembershipMatters – Become a Member Today!


Bay Area Cities March Through Big Housing Element Updates

San Jose: The public comment period for the city’s Draft Housing Element closed on August 21st. Several organizations and coalitions of organizations provided detailed written comments. Based on the engagement we have been involved in, we expect this will be the middle of the process, and there will be ongoing coordination in response to forthcoming revisions and comments from HCD. You can review the comments submitted by a coalition of organizations focused on policies and programs to prevent displacement at this link. and a comment letter from the Race Equity Action Leadership (REAL) Coalition at this link. SV@Home values its partnership with the City of San José and is pleased to have been invited to provide feedback on the Draft Housing Element. Read our letter to San Jose here.

Palo Alto: City Council held a study session on their housing element on Monday. Some essential items included their anti-displacement policies that stem from the Partnership with the Bay’s Future program we took part in. These included relocation assistance, eviction reduction program, rental survey program, security deposit limit, fair chance ordinance, and right to counsel with anticipation to begin implementation in December 2023. They also included a 90-day notice for a rent increase above 6%. They also reviewed their site inventory, which has been undergoing many changes. View the recording of the meeting at this link.

San Francisco: It has been clear from watching what is happening in regions ahead of us in the housing element process that the expectations for this process are high, and jurisdictions throughout the state have struggled to generate compliant housing elements for this planning cycle. Most are going through multiple cycles of creating housing element drafts, submitting them to HCD, receiving and incorporating feedback from HCD, and resubmitting new drafts for further evaluation. The City of San Francisco was one of the first in the Bay Area to submit its Draft Housing Element to the state, so advocates have been watching closely to see what feedback HCD would provide. Earlier this month, San Francisco received its first HCD guidance letter, with 14 pages of recommendations for changes necessary to bring the housing element into compliance with government code. As with many cities, HCD’s feedback to San Francisco is heavily focused on compliance with the details of the process guidance HCD has provided to cities, including the requirements for:

  • Meaningful, frequent, and ongoing community participation, consultation, and coordination throughout the entire housing element process;
  • Accurate and detailed analysis of the feasibility of sites planned for development;
  • Concrete, actionable steps with clear timelines and measurable outcomes for programs to remove barriers to development and meet housing needs.

The feedback from HCD to San Francisco provides a valuable learning opportunity for cities and advocates here in the South Bay, as we can expect our cities to be held to the same high standard. Meeting these requirements before submitting a draft housing element to the State will shorten the process, speed up the ability to take advantage of new housing opportunities, and save cities time and money.

Milpitas plans to release their Draft Housing Element later this week or early next week, Gilroy in early October, Unincorporated Santa Clara County in mid-October, and Palo Alto in November. SV@Home’s Housing Element Toolkit can help you stay up to date on all the latest Housing Element news and connect you with the tools and resources you need to understand and engage with your city’s Housing Element.


Sunnyvale Explores Tenant Protection at September

The City of Sunnyvale is exploring two tenant protection policies: Tenant Relocation Assistance and Right-to-Lease. The relocation assistance would be given when a tenant receives a no-fault eviction, meaning they are being evicted for causes like the unit is being renovated, the owner would like to move into the unit, or if the owner wants to remove the unit from the market. A Right-to-Lease ordinance requires landlords to offer a minimum one-year lease to tenants. Read the proposed ordinance here.

These ordinances will be reviewed by the Planning Commission on Monday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. Join on Zoom or call at 833-548-0276 (Meeting ID: 918 2739 0357). The City Council will then review the ordinance on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. Join on Zoom or call at 833-548-0276 (Meeting ID: 961 1158 0540).


Enterprise Community Partners Launches Preservation Next

Preservation Next is a multi-dimensional initiative launched by Enterprise Community Partners to support developers and housing providers in preventing resident displacement and advancing the preservation of unsubsidized affordable homes through capacity building and technical support. You can read more about Enterprise’s approach at this link posted by Carolyn McCormack, Director of Preservation.

A key component of Preservation Next in this region will be the launch of the “Preservation Academy” in California this November. The academy is a series of publicly available, no-cost, virtual training sessions designed to assist affordable housing developers and housing providers with guidance and best practices to acquire, rehabilitate, and preserve the affordability of homes located in small to medium multifamily properties and prevent displacement of residents at risk of eviction.

The Preservation Academy will also provide a cohort of up to 10 organizations with deeper-dive training, technical assistance, and catalytic grants to build their capacity and advance their preservation projects. Applications for this cohort opportunity are coming soon.

SV@Home is really excited about this program. Preserving existing, affordable housing in the private market, which houses the vast majority of lower-income households in our communities, has been a core challenge as we tackle the multiple dimensions of our housing crisis. Recently, local community-driven work here in the South Bay, increasingly active regional coalitions, major players like Enterprise and the Bay Area Housing Finance Agency, and increasing attention and momentum in Sacramento are reaching what we believe is a tipping point. We will continue to provide updates but recommend that partners take advantage of these capacity-building opportunities as they become available.


Register to Vote Today — 2022 General Election on November 8

Now’s the time to make sure you and your friends and family are registered to vote! It’s easy to do online at the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters’ website here.

Register or re-register at the same website. Turned 18? Moved? Changed your name? Want to change your party affiliation? Became a citizen? Not sure when you last registered and just want to double check everything is up to date? Follow the same link.

The outcomes of local elections will determine how our county and cities tackle housing affordability, and your vote could be the deciding one in a close race. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Register today.


August Policy in Action @ Home: Anti-Displacement in Housing Elements

Friday, August 26th at 12:00PM

Join SV@Home for a conversation about the purpose and need for anti-displacement policies in local housing elements to affirmatively further fair housing.

We will have an interactive conversation about what policies local cities have placed in their housing element, what is missing, and how you can get involved to push for more in the housing element and ensure that your city follows through on adopting its proposed policies to affirmatively further fair housing.


The Casita Coalition Presents: Achieving Equity in ADU Production

Friday, August 26th at 11:00AM

Join Casita Coalition, the Terner Center for Housing Innovation and Center for Community Innovation are co-hosting a webinar looking at the barriers to ADU construction among low- and moderate-income BIPOC homeowners in California. The Terner Center and Center for Community Innovation will present findings from their recent paper on the topic followed by a panel discussion with practitioner organizations.


Community Social for VTA’s BART Silicon Valley – Phase II Project

Saturday, August 27th from 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Come Join the Celebration at VTA’s Downtown San Jose Customer Service Center, 55-A W. Santa Clara Street). Learn about the project, connect with staff working on it, hear about other related efforts (including Diridon Station Area projects), share your feedback, and enjoy the activities!


Housing First Series Presents Strategies to End Homelessness

Monday, August 29th at 11:30AM

Join National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities for a 4-part series on homelessness and Housing First.


SPUR Presents: All-Use Buildings for Equitable, Resilient Communities

Tuesday, August 30th 6:00PM

Proponents of “all-use buildings” argue that designing flexibility of use is critical to build truly sustainable, equitable, elastic and economically-strong communities. Come learn more about these radically innovative buildings in an online event and see how they might serve as the foundation of tomorrow’s neighborhoods. Register below:


How Redlining Persists Today – Greenlining Institute Presents Now & Next

Thursday, September 8th at 10:00AM

We think of redlining as a past practice. But in reality, the shameful legacy of redlining lives on today. It’s embedded into our data – our health outcomes, education, zip codes, wealth – and increasingly, into new technology. This session is designed for anyone with an interest in understanding the changing landscape of structural racism and the creative solutions advocates are advancing in this online event.


350 W. Julian St. #5 • San José, CA 95110  •  408.780.8411  •