Join Affordable Housing Month 2022 in Reimagining Home! Throughout the entire month of May, SV@Home and our housing partners convene dozens of virtual workshops, webinars, and creative community engagement opportunities to educate, and activate advocates around the housing challenges facing our community and the solutions we can pursue together. Our theme this year, Reimagining Home, invites participants to think outside of the box, deepen their knowledge, and join together to shift the collective perspective on building equitable, inclusive, restorative communities.
Our Affordable Housing Month Sponsors are essential to helping SV@Home produce a robust, engaging events program for all members of our community. We offer sincere and heartfelt gratitude to our Sponsors shown here for supporting the affordable housing community in producing this month-long effort to raise awareness, educate, engage, activate, and unite around critical housing issues.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for Affordable Housing Month 2022. To find out more, please see our sponsorship packet for details on sponsor levels, benefits and how to engage. Questions? Contact Sonia Avitia at Sonia@siliconvalleyathome.org
TONIGHT: SV@Home Action Fund San José City Council District 3 Candidate Forum,
part 3 of 5 in the Forum Series
The SV@Home Action Fund’s five-part series of Candidate Forums is off to a great start. We’ve already heard from candidates for CA Senate District 10 (SD10) and San José Mayor. In case you missed it, the SD10 forum is already on line at the SV@Home Action Fund YouTube channel here, and the Mayoral forum recording is coming soon. Be sure to subscribe to the channel and check back regularly for more videos.
In the meantime, you can register for free for the upcoming forums here:
The massive economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a potential eviction crisis in Silicon Valley and across the country. In response, a variety of eviction moratoriums, eventually tied to emergency rental assistance programs, were implemented to prevent mass displacement by addressing both the tenant and landlord sides of the crisis. But many applications for emergency rental assistance have yet to be processed and paid by the state, and the uneven economic recovery left many unable to pay full rent beginning on April 1st, when the moratorium expired. While a last-minute action by the state legislature extended protections for those with outstanding assistance applications, the inability to pay April rent or any rent moving forward was left unaddressed.
This month’s HAC will look at how the original moratoriums were implemented by answering the following questions: What outcomes did we see in the eviction court when protections were in place? As these protections are peeled back, what limits are exposed and how are the courts dealing with the eviction cases coming forward? What’s happening with local eviction mitigation efforts?
The rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants promise to be complicated but will be clearer by the time we meet than they are today. Join us as we untangle all these laws and processes, and get an update on the landscape faced by people at risk of eviction.
Erin Neff is a staff attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley where they fight for housing rights through policy advocacy, affirmative litigation, and defending tenants in eviction cases.
Director of Development
SV@Home is seeking a passionate and entrepreneurial Director of Development to strategically cultivate partnerships with funders, manage and expand SV@Home’s membership base, and pursue fundraising opportunities to support the financial sustainability of the organization and attract funding into this work for the broader ecosystem of affordable housing and housing adjacent nonprofits.
For this newsletter, we are thrilled to highlight the critical work of Housing California, one of our most important partners advocating at the state level of government.
Housing California is a California-wide advocacy group focused on changing and driving affordable housing policy at the state level. We are proud to partner with them on a number of important state-level issues, including affordable housing financing, land use legislation, and working with the state agencies that implement state-wide housing policies. Housing California’s Renters United Network (RUN) is a grassroots network that seeks to engage residents and staff of affordable housing in advocating for housing policy changes in Sacramento and their communities.
Housing CA’s Annual Conference is the largest event of its kind in the state and is always an important opportunity for SV@Home staff to learn more about pressing affordable housing topics and connect with other affordable housing professionals. This year’s conference, titled “A Roadmap to a Better California” took place last week. A number of SV@Home staff attended conference events virtually and we even had two staff: Executive Director Regina Celestin Williams and Protection and Preservation Associate Emily Ann Ramos, who attended in-person!
Our staff had a lot of great takeaways from the conference, and left energized and ready to advocate for cutting edge policies and build new, exciting partnerships! Here are some of their takeaways:
“I attended a number of panels about preserving affordable housing and learned from people who are doing that work statewide and locally. My favorite panel was the second plenary where Sacramento councilmember Kate Valenzuela and Oakland councilmember talked about how their cities are finding preservation and tenant protection solutions on the local level.”
Emily Ann Ramos, Protection and Preservation Associate
“During Housing CA, I attended ‘Ending Homelessness 101: Building the Foundation’ and learned that Virginia, Connecticut, and other states eliminated almost all homelessness for veterans with a focused, effective plan that can be adopted elsewhere.”
Thomas Murphy, Communications Manager
“I learned that, in order to help unblock the multifamily housing funding funnel, HCD’s Super NOFA will start taking applications April 20th and will be hosting a series of workshops to help applicants in May! The NOFA is structured to remove the incentive for applicants to apply for every program and limits HCD loans to two with a $35M maximum loan per project. The Super NOFA should make a meaningful impact on removing the funding gridlock!”
Rick Gosalvez, Housing Production Senior Associate
“I discovered a subculture of Housers that focus on Environmental Justice and they are ensuring that affordable housing is sited in areas habitable to all!”
Kenneth Rosales, Planning Senior Associate
“I found the conversations at the end of panels and in-between sessions extremely valuable. It was so good to meet, see, and connect with fellow colleagues in the affordable housing sector. The community I felt was a breath of fresh air, providing renewal that I needed to continue in this work.”
Regina Celestin Williams, Executive Director
SV@Home Joins San José COPA March!
On Tuesday, March 29th, SV@Home joined the COPA (Community Opportunity to Purchase Act) Coalition in a march from the Mexican Heritage Plaza to City Hall, where marchers rolled out a banner remembering those who have been displaced from San Jose. COPA is a preservation policy designed to give community-based organizations a right of first offer on rental projects coming up for sale and convert them to permanent affordable housing. SV@Home remains committed to supporting the adoption of COPA policies and educating the public on community-led preservation policies, like COPA, that prioritize centering existing residents and their needs in anti-displacement work. This innovative policy is expected to come before the San José Council in the Fall for a vote.
#MembershipMatters – Become a Member Today!
Become a member today and help us develop and equip the next generation of affordable housing leaders.
Welcome to SV@Home’s Policy Rundown, your need-to-know overview of important housing policy actions and developments from the past two weeks
San José puts off further study of Commercial Linkage Fee
A couple of weeks ago on March 29th, the San José City Council did not move forward with updating the Feasibility Study for the Commercial Linkage Fee (CLF) by the end of the year, as it originally directed city staff to do in 2020. Commercial linkage fees for affordable housing are collected from commercial developers to address a portion of the increased demand for affordable housing generated by new jobs. Commercial Linkage Fees are the primary source of local affordable housing funding around the region, and San Jose has the lowest fees. When the fees were adopted, six months into the pandemic, they were set well below feasible levels studied by an outside consultant with the understanding that additional analysis and reconsideration would take place this year.
In early March, a number of council members and a broad coalition of community serving organizations co-coordinated by SV@Home, raised concern that the work to update the Feasibility Study had not yet begun and asked that the city prioritize completing the study within the original timeframe. (Read our coalition letter here.) San Jose has over 9 million square feet of new development ready to break ground as the economy recovers, which could generate tens of millions of dollars in additional affordable housing resources if fees were increased.
Despite what seemed like momentum to ensure that the fee discussion happened on schedule, the Council voted unanimously to delay further study of fee levels until a) 1 million square feet of office space has been newly leased downtown, or b) an additional 18 months goes by, whichever comes first. Council also extended payment deadlines and increased fee exemptions for developers of mid-sized office buildings, rejecting efforts to create a more equitable fee collection process.
Feasible but robust Commercial Linkage Fees are essential for generating funds for affordable housing development. SV@Home and the CLF coalition partners were successful after years of advocacy in getting a fee established in San Jose, but the current policy in place is well below its full potential. We know that commitments only have meaning when advocates keep the pressure on, so we will continue prioritizing the reevaluation of the commercial linkage fee in the City of San José, tracking the market, and mobilizing support in the run up to the new study.
Changes to Measure E Spending Priorities in San José
On Tuesday, the San José City Council held a second hearing, as required, to consider staff recommendation to adjust the spending priorities and percentage allocation for Measure E tax receipts. The proposed adjustment will reallocate a portion from each of the current spending categories to create a new Homeless Services Programs priority. As outlined in the staff memorandum, the changes are a response to the additional funding needed for the construction and ongoing service obligations of emergency interim housing and hotel acquisition projects undertaken to respond to the immediate shelter and service needs of those facing homelessness in the city. Final action, which will require a super-majority vote of council, was deferred due to the absence of the Mayor.
SV@Home, in coordination with other affordable housing advocates has supported this reallocation. We are committed to keeping faith with the voters who approved Measure E on the ballot in 2020 and urged the Council not to take this action lightly. We also believe that interim housing opportunities are important additional tools in the City’s homeless and displacement response, and their success depends on providing both shelter and supportive services. While the costs of these developments is significant, and the Measure E funds will not cover the full commitment, a portion of Measure E can be dedicated to homeless response resources without seriously undermining affordable housing production or homeless prevention efforts. The complexity of our affordable housing needs requires different tools for different challenges; the common denominator is the need for additional funding.
Eviction Moratorium Update
State bill AB2179 is now signed into law, providing temporary eviction protections for tenants who applied for rent relief from the state before March 31st. Distribution of those funds have been slow so this extension was necessary to prevent the displacement of people who are waiting for their applications to be processed. This extension of eviction protections does not cover any rent due after March 31st – April rent is due regardless of application status.
Santa Clara County has released the following flyers with steps to prevent eviction: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Chinese. These fliers include County points of contact, including a website and phone number. The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley also released 2-minute informational videos in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
SV@Home also hosted a webinar covering the changes to the eviction protections on the state level and how they affect us on the local level. You can view the recordings of the webinar in English, Spanish and Vietnamese (translated). The City of Mountain View is also hosting a number of useful webinars: one for landlords on April 19th and a bilingual (English and Spanish) one for tenants on April 20th. Register here with the City of Mountain View.
Moving forward, state and local governments are looking to transition from an emergency COVID state to a more permanent support system for tenants. Proposals to prevent displacement from evictions include: additional emergency rental assistance, expanded legal aid, and tenant and landlord education. SV@Home continues to monitor and advocate for these policies as they are being explored.
Take the Mountain View Housing Discrimination Survey
The City of Mountain View’s Human Relations Commission is conducting research on housing discrimination in partnership with Mountain View Historical Association and Stanford University. We need your help to find people to participate in our research via a short survey!
We are honored to include personal histories about housing discrimination, inclusion, and activism in our community and are looking for participants who have experiences in Mountain View from any period in the past (including many decades ago), up through the present time. We are inspired by the work of Richard Rothstein’s Color of Law.
Survey respondents can share direct experiences or reflections they have heard from friends and family members. Surveys can be taken until May 1st. The team is also looking for people to interview about their experiences. Contact IdaRose Sylvester if you would be willing to be interviewed: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you have a story to share or not, please forward the below survey links to others who may have a story of this kind. There is a tight deadline, and your help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for helping us document this important history! The City of Mountain View will present these findings at an event in early Q3 2022.
The 2-3 story 65-unit development will be built on city owned land and will include a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, setting aside 16-units for individuals with developmental disabilities.
SV@Home is proud to endorse and support this critical project for our community.
SV@Home Endorses Roygbiv’s 19th N 2nd St 100% Affordable Senior Project in Downtown San José
As part of its plans to bring more than 2,000 new homes to San José, Roygbiv is aiming to create affordable homes for current and future residents. The 19th Street project is well located between Santa Clara Street and Saint James Park and would bring 220 affordable homes to the downtown area. The proposed mix of units will serve seniors at a range of incomes from 50% extremely-low-, 20% very-low-, and 30% low-income to help them continue to call San José home. The project is expected to receive City Council consideration before Summer 2022.
SV@Home is excited to support Roygbiv bringing 220 100% affordable senior homes to Downtown San José!
Join us on April 19th for a moderated discussion to delve into the most pressing questions from housers for Assemblymember Wicks.
About Assemblymember Buffy Wicks:
Assemblymember Wicks represents the East Bay in the California State Assembly. Elected in 2018 and re-elected in 2020, her district spans the communities of Oakland to Richmond, and includes the City of Berkeley.
Asm. Wicks’ work in the Assembly focuses on housing, expanding the social safety net, protecting consumers’ privacy, and championing the rights of women and working families. Governor Gavin Newsom signed eight of her bills in her first year in office, and – despite the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic – signed seven of her bills into law in 2020.
TechEquity Presents How to Be an Activist: A Practical Organizing Training
Thursday, April 21 at 12:00PM
What does being an activist really mean? To us, it means becoming a part of a campaign for tangible political change. It can mean calling your legislators to pass a key bill, knocking on doors to get a citizen-led proposition on the ballot, building a civic tech tool to help tenants know their rights, and so much more. Being an activist can take many forms, but in essence, being an activist means harnessing the people power that you hold.
Join us on Thursday, April 21st, 12-1pm PT, for a practical training on how to be an activist, TechEquity-style. We’ll give you an overview of all the different ways you can help win campaigns, the tools you need to do it, and how to get your friends involved. We’ll hear from longtime organizer Megan Abell, Director of Advocacy, as well as Navi Dhaliwal, Organizing Manager, and Matt Brooks, Senior Civic Tech Manager at TechEquity. After this lunch hour training, you’ll have everything you need to jump in and make real systemic change in your community!
NPH Presents Housing Elements: Effective Messaging Training
Thursday, April 21 at 12:00PM
Housing Elements can be a complicated, intimidating process — but with the right messaging, we can help break down barriers and motivate residents and advocates to get involved and shape better policy. This presentation will lay out an approach for what to say and how to say it to bring people in, communicate the essentials, and get them engaged in the process.
Greenbelt Alliance Presents: Envisioning Moffett Park as a Thriving, Walkable, & Affordable Neighborhood
Sunday, April 24 at 10:00AM
We are at a pivotal moment to tackle both the housing and climate crises together! Sunnyvale’s Moffett Park area presents the perfect opportunity to transform parking lots and office spaces into a rejuvenated, inclusive neighborhood. A place with homes people can afford. A place that leverages the area’s unappreciated baylands and marshes to create resilience to sea level rise and flooding.
This outing starts at Sunnyvale’s VTA Light Rail Crossman Station. We’ll then walk across the expansive office park to the East Channel. Along the way, we’ll check out renderings and posters that showcase Moffett Park’s full potential if designed to incorporate climate SMART—Sustainable, Mixed, Affordable, Resilient, Transit-Oriented—homes.
This is the second outing of our Moffett Park series where we’re sharing our vision with you of a place that can offer solutions to the affordable housing crisis while fostering a climate-resilient future!
Every year NPH recognizes inspiring leaders at the Annual NPH Affordable Housing Leadership Awards. This celebration is an opportunity to honor some very special Bay Area housers, who’ve worked to strengthen our affordable housing movement and have advanced our work forward with innovation, collaboration, and inclusiveness with a focus on COVID response and recovery around racial equity.
Explore last year’s event and learn about our awardees.
The Leadership Awards will be virtual, and we’re pretty sure this will be our final large event that is hosted remotely. I know you understand how important it is that we prioritize the health and safety of our community. Thank you for hanging in there with us for our virtual offerings!
SPUR Presents: Who Will Lead the Future of San José? (In-Person Program)
Thursday, April 28 at 6:00PM
This June, for the first time since 2014, San José residents will cast their vote for a new mayor. Four candidates with long histories of public service lead the race to guide the nation’s 10th largest city: Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and San José Councilmembers Dev Davis, Matt Mahan and Raul Peralez. Join SPUR, the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, the San José Downtown Association, San José State University, Seamless Bay Area and SOMOS Mayfair for a mayoral candidate forum, moderated by NBC Bay Area’s Damian Trujillo, to hear where the candidates stand on the city’s most pressing challenges, including homelessness, housing costs, transportation investments and the economy.
This program will be both held in-person and streamed live over Zoom.
Supervisor Cindy Chavez / Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
Councilmember Dev Davis / San José City Council
Councilmember Matt Mahan / San José City Council
Councilmember Raul Peralez / San José City Council