SV Housing Happenings

 

Thank you to all the members who attended the

SV@Home Holiday Members’ Party on Friday, January 28th.

 

Launch of SV@Home’ s 6 Year’s of Accomplishments

We were very excited to share the launch of SV@Home’s Six Years of Accomplishments project, which reflects on SV@Home’s successes and achievements since our founding.

 

It consists of an interactive map that highlights a number of critical SV@Home policy and advocacy successes over the organization’s first six years of operation, arranged by city and topic, that link to additional details about the individual policy success. It also includes the story of the founding and history of SV@Home.

 

Overall, our goal was to share with our partners, members, and supporters just a few of the highlights of our work. This is not an exhaustive list, but it seeks to cover the breadth and depth of SV@Home’s engagement over the years. And while SV@Home played a leadership role in advancing these issues we couldn’t have done it without our broad coalition of housers and advocates, both people acting in their personal capacity as residents and those working on behalf of our partner advocacy organizations.

 

We are looking forward to working with you all to keep expanding this map and growing our partnerships and relationships with you in advancing affordable housing across Silicon Valley.

 

SV@Home to Support the City of Mountain View’s Partnership for the Bay’s Future’s Breakthrough Grant

SV@Home is absolutely thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our engagement with the Partnership for the Bay’s Future in collaboration with the City of Mountain View and Housing Trust Silicon Valley on one of the Partnership’s Breakthrough Grants! We are excited to be working with the City of Mountain View to advance their comprehensive approach to housing policy that integrates all 3Ps: production, preservation, and protection.

 

The Breakthrough Grants are a follow up to the Partnership’s Challenge Grants, through which SV@Home is continuing to collaborate with the City of Palo Alto on developing and adopting tenant protection policies and programs.

 

The Breakthrough Grants are administered by the San Francisco Foundation, which co-manages the Partnership for the Bay’s Future along with Local Initiatives Support Corporation Bay Area (LISC). The $5 million in grants will support 11 government entities across the Bay Area over two years. The grants are focused on developing and advancing policies that preserve and produce affordable housing. Each awardee jurisdiction partners with one or more community organizations to meet their goals. The program also embeds a Housing Policy Fellow in each city to provide expertise on community-driven policy and act as a catalyst to advance policy innovation.

 

Interested in being one of those Housing Policy Fellows? Check out the application process here! This two-year, full-time, cohort-based, and salaried position is for experienced, entrepreneurial, and equity-minded affordable housing professionals interested in leading collaborative policymaking efforts in selected Bay Area cities. Fellows are embedded with one government jurisdiction for the duration of their two-year tenure through a matching process, while benefiting from the Fellowship’s ongoing training, mentorship, technical assistance, professional development, and networking. Applications are due on March 9, 2022!

 

RSVP for our February HAC: Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA)

Join SV@Home for a conversation about the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) and the plans to implement it in the city of San José.

COPA is a housing preservation tool for smaller rental properties, which requires a landlord who wishes to sell their rental property to first notify a Qualified Non-Profit, pre-approved by the city to convert properties to permanent affordable housing. These nonprofits, will then have the opportunity to express an interest in property, and then have a period of time to put together an offer for the property. The landlord is not obligated to accept the offer, but they usually must allow that nonprofit to match their preferred offer when it goes on the market.

The San José City Council asked for the development of this policy as part of the Citywide Anti-displacement Strategy in 2020. The policy development work for the COPA policy was supported by a “Challenge Grant” from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future with SOMOS Mayfair as a community partner. Through the Challenge Grant, the City has been able to create a draft framework for a COPA program. The policy has been developed through extensive community stakeholder meetings sponsored by the City, and a parallel series of community meetings sponsored by SOMOS Mayfair. With the feedback of these meetings, San José City Council are expected to decide on the parameters of a COPA program in April.

Come learn more about San José’s COPA proposal, and share your thoughts.

 

Two great new grant opportunities for groups working on creative affordable housing solutions

 

The United Way Bay Area is looking for applications for its community housing grants, as part of its Housing Justice Initiative launched in 2021. The goals are to increase access to stable and affordable housing, prevent homelessness, and address the racial wealth gap through programming, grantmaking, partnerships, and policy advocacy.

 

This round of grants are clustered in three categories:

  • Support Local, Grassroots, BIPOC-Led Housing Organizations
  • Support innovative housing solutions
  • Redressing racial wealth through pathways to homeownership

 

More details can be found in the Request for Proposals, and the grant application itself.  Proposals are due to UWBA by February 25, 2022. 

 

The County of Santa Clara has launched its Community Development Corporation Grant Program, and will be accepting applications from non-profit organizations until March 4th. The intention of the Grant Program is to help community-based organizations (e.g., Community Land Trusts, Community Housing Development Organizations, etc.) play more substantial roles in acquiring, developing, rehabilitating, and/or managing properties to increase affordable rental and/or ownership housing opportunities (collectively, “affordable housing development”) in economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods, communities, or municipalities within Santa Clara County. Application can be found here. You must register to get access to the full application, but the registration is free.  

 

Learn more, and find lots of great jobs in housing!

 

#MembershipMatters – Become a Member Today!

 

Developing good public policy that creates opportunities for affordable housing in our community is a marathon, not a sprint. Your sustaining membership is critical to supporting our policy campaigns that have pivotal impacts on local government decision-making.

 

Ultimately, our ability to play a key role a variety of important, multi-year policy campaigns depended on the support of sustaining members who recognized the investment of time and expertise necessary for affecting systemic change and are committed to supporting housing for the long run. Become or renew your membership today!

Welcome to SV@Home’s Policy Rundown, your need-to-know overview of important housing policy actions and developments from the past two weeks

 

555 Middlefield Nears Finish Line; Needs Houser Support to Get There

Next Tuesday, the Mountain View City Council will consider the Environmental Planning Commission’s recommendation to advance the proposed 323-unit addition project to an existing 402-unit apartment project at 555 Middlefield Road. Originally proposed in 2016, the project would create hundreds of new homes, including 48 new deed-restricted affordable homes, without displacing current residents. The developer has worked with the city and community for 6 years to incorporate input into the design and SV@Home is excited to see the project advance.

Join SV@Home next Tuesday February 8th at 6pm to express your support for bringing more homes and affordability to Mountain View without displacing current residents.

 

CRP’s 59-unit ‘The Meridian’ Project Moves Forward in Santa Clara

Last week, the Santa Clara City Council adopted a resolution to support CRP Affordable Housing and Community Development’s 59-unit Meridian project, advancing it forward as a future affordable housing solution for the city. The project will offer a mix of 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom homes helping to serve a wide variety of families. SV@Home endorsed the project and was happy to support the 100% affordable mixed-use development located at 3941 Stevens Creek Boulevard. We look forward to celebrating its groundbreaking!

 

Victory for Palo Alto Renters’ this Week!

On Tuesday, the Palo Alto city council passed an urgency ordinance, and a permanent ordinance, to expand their Tenant Relocation Assistance to cover properties with 10 units or more. This action lowered the cap from units of 50 units or more, doubling the number of apartments covered. The Tenant Relocation Assistance Ordinance (TRAO) requires that tenants who are being evicted due to redevelopment receive between $7-17,000 in financial assistance to mitigate the impact of displacement. The Palo Alto City Council first passed their TRAO in response to the mass eviction at the Hotel President in 2018.

 

This urgency ordinance was a response to a number of no-fault eviction proceedings happening at multiple properties at Layne Court. It required a supermajority vote by the council, and allows the relocation benefits to take effect immediately. The permanent ordinance will come back for a second reading and take effect at the end of the month. 

 

This was a great organizing effort by the Palo Alto Renter’s Association, who also shined a spotlight on a number of no-fault evictions their neighbors were facing. You can read the news coverage of the vote in Palo Alto Online andSan Jose Spotlight. SV@Home also submitted a letter supporting the council action.

 

This is the first policy to pass from the package of tenant protection policies developed through the city-initiated grant from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future (PBF). This partnership included a Challenge Grant Fellow, also funded by PBF, to provide additional staff capacity to the city to explore and develop anti-displacement and tenant protection policies. It also helped develop the organizing capacity to create the Palo Alto Renter’s Association. SV@Home is proud to be the community partner with the city for this program. 

 

We thank the Palo Alto City Council and staff for moving quickly to protect the renters in their community!

 

California Strategic Growth Council Approves Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Round 6 Awards

 

Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grants are a critical state program that helps build affordable homes in coordination with transit and transit infrastructure. We are excited that two SV@Home Endorsed projects were selected to receive $41.5M in Round 6 award funding!

 

Funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), Affordable Housing and Sustainable Community grants are administered by California’s Strategic Growth Council and implemented by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to fund land preservation projects that support compact infill development. Half of available funds are set aside for affordable housing projects and half are set aside for projects that benefit Disadvantaged Communities. 

 

Selected projects can accomplish one or both of the set asides requirements, not only helping address California’s immense need for affordable housing, but also promoting equitable advancement of historically disadvantaged communities with projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions through place-based plans and designs. 

 

The AHSC program closely aligns with SV@Home’s core mission, vision, and values, so we are excited to see the program support projects that help us achieve our mutual goals.

 

Congratulations, First Community Housing and CORE Affordable Housing for your Dupont Apartment and Tamien Station projects being selected! We look forward to these homes becoming part of our community.

 

APPLICATIONS DUE NEXT WEDNESDAY for San José’s $150M Affordable Housing NOFA

 

The City of San José will be accepting applications for developers looking to build new affordable housing projects in the city for five more days. To review and apply, visit the Housing Department’s NOFA page. To submit proposals, visit the City’s Biddingo page to submit applications before Wednesday, February 9, 2022 by 3:00pm PST.

 

Developers Wanted! Palo Alto Invites Community Input to Crafts Objective Standards and Design Guidelines

 

Earlier this week, the City of Palo Alto invited community members to learn, ask questions, and comment on the development of the City’s upcoming Objective Standards and Design Guidelines.

 

Objective Standards will essentially provide a checklist that affordable housing developers can comply with to streamline projects. The City is proposing that when a project cannot meet the objective standards it can ‘opt-out’ of the by-right, ministerial process and revert to the conventional discretionary process to ‘maintain opportunity for input’ on potentially negotiable elements of the project. 

 

The City is also updating its Design Guidelines to make them objective. These objective Design Guidelines will apply to multi-family projects with three or more units, mixed-used projects with at least two-thirds residential, and transitional or supportive housing. 

 

Together, the city is proposing to lay out objective standards that will set the stage for affordable housing project compliance. Council has asked staff to host two community meetings to present the plan and gather feedback . It is extremely important that affordable housing developers participate in these meetings!

 

If you have an affordable housing project in Palo Alto, email jodie.gerhardt@cityofpaloalto.org to sign-up for updates and meeting invitations. Also, mark your calendars to participate in the final community meeting on March 22, 2022 before council reviews and adopts standards that will affect your projects in April. 

 

For more information on Palo Alto’s Objective Standards process, visit the city’s website.

 
 

More Affordable Housing in Mountain View: 555 Middlefield Road

Tuesday, February 8th, 6:00PM

AvalonBay’s 555 Middlefield Road property in Mountain View is home to 402 families, several of which benefit from deed-restricted units. A proposal to expand the number of homes by 323-units, 48 of which will be new deed-restricted units, offers a viable affordable housing solution for current and future residents. AvalonBay has worked with the City and Community to create, review, and updated plans.

Join SV@Home on Tuesday February 8th at 6:00 pm to express support for increased affordability in Mountain View!

For more information, see the city’s project page here. For Council meeting details and a Zoom link to join, see the city’s page here.

 

Morgan Hill Housing Element Town Hall (English & Spanish)

Thursday, February 12th, 5:30PM

Come join the City of Morgan Hill staff for a Town Hall on Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom, that will discuss the housing needs of the city, the cities Sites Inventory, existing and upcoming Housing Element, housing policies, and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) requirements.

Please click on the  link below to participate in the pre-meeting survey. Please take the survey even if you cannot attend the hearing.  The more diverse and equitable ideas shared, the better the Housing Element for our community!

https://www.morgan-hill.ca.gov/2063/33161/Housing-Element-Update

Zoom link to join: https://bit.ly/Communtytownhall

 

City of Cupertino: City Plan to End Homelessness Community Meetin

Thursday, Febraury 10th, 7:30PM

The City of Cupertino is drafting a City Plan to End Homelessness, and we want to hear from you. Join the virtual community meeting to help create a roadmap that will help guide the City. This City Plan will help direct the decisions that will be made about funding, programs, and needs. Learn about the City Plan to End Homelessness and give your input on how we can serve those experiencing homelessness in our community.

This free community meeting will be held on Thursday, February 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and is open to all.

If you have additional questions or would like more information, contact Homebase at cupertino@homebaseccc.org or (415) 788-7961.

 

Palo Alto: Architectural Review Board Study Session for Mitchell Park Place (525 E Charleston)

 

Thursday, February 17th, 8:30AM

In December, Eden Housing submitted a planning application to the City of Palo Alto, which is being processed at the staff level under streamlining.  Now the City has until March 2022 to approve the project’s entitlements.

City staff have decided to hold an Architectural Review Board (ARB) Study Session for the project on Thursday, February 17 at 8:30am to give ARB members and the public the opportunity to provide feedback on our latest proposed design. We need supporters like you to voice support for the project during this session or by writing letters to the Architectural Review Board (arb@CityofPaloAlto.org). The agenda for the meeting on February 17 has not been published — we will share it once it is available.

Located at 525 East Charleston Road near Mitchell Park in Palo Alto, the Mitchell Park Project is a mixed-use development that will contribute to the vibrant neighborhood around Mitchell Park with a new office space for public social services as well high-quality affordable housing for lower-income households, including special needs housing for the intellectually and developmentally disabled community. In this excellent location, we propose to build a 2,700-square-foot office space and 50 rental apartments for individuals and households earning at or below 30% to 60% of the area median income, equivalent to an annual income of $35,000 to $70,000 for a one-person household.

If you are interested in receiving updates on the project in the future, please visit our project website and sign up for project alerts.

 
 

RSVP for our February HAC: Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA)

Join SV@Home for a conversation about the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA) and the plans to implement it in the city of San José.

COPA is a housing preservation tool for smaller rental properties, which requires a landlord who wishes to sell their rental property to first notify a Qualified Non-Profit, pre-approved by the city to convert properties to permanent affordable housing. These nonprofits, will then have the opportunity to express an interest in property, and then have a period of time to put together an offer for the property. The landlord is not obligated to accept the offer, but they usually must allow that nonprofit to match their preferred offer when it goes on the market.

The San José City Council asked for the development of this policy as part of the Citywide Anti-displacement Strategy in 2020. The policy development work for the COPA policy was supported by a “Challenge Grant” from the Partnership for the Bay’s Future with SOMOS Mayfair as a community partner. Through the Challenge Grant, the City has been able to create a draft framework for a COPA program. The policy has been developed through extensive community stakeholder meetings sponsored by the City, and a parallel series of community meetings sponsored by SOMOS Mayfair. With the feedback of these meetings, San José City Council are expected to decide on the parameters of a COPA program in April.

Come learn more about San José’s COPA proposal, and share your thoughts.

 

ICYMI: January HAC on Tenant Protections

Thank you to everyone who came to our Tenant Protections HAC event on January 28th! We had a great conversation about organizing and anti-displacement policies with Angie Evans from the Palo Alto Renter’s Association and Lauren Bigelow from Partnership for the Bay’s Future and the City of Palo Alto! If you missed it, you can still catch the recording here…

 

Recap from CoHo Event on Inclusive Design

We had a great lunchtime panel exploring DEI within the affordable housing ecosystem hosted by our Coalition of Housers or CoHo.

 

Inclusive design is central to building affordable and accessible housing but is often viewed as a matter of compliance, rather than an opportunity to strengthen every aspect of a project.

This is the first of several panels the CoHo working group hopes to have regarding diversity and inclusion in affordable housing. Sign up for the mailing list to hear when the next one happens.

 To learn more about upcoming CoHo events and how you can get involved, visit the CoHo page.

 

The ABC’s of ADU’s: A Virtual Tour of In-Law Units

 

Monday, February 7th, 5:30PM

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), sometimes known as in-law units or casitas, are a growing part of the housing landscape across Silicon Valley. Whether you’re considering building one in your own backyard or are simply curious to learn more, come peek into some of the products on the market in our communities right now. Join us for virtual tours of what firms like Abodu, Soup, Action ADU, Symbihom and Mayberry Workshop are building in backyards across the Bay Area.

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies Presents: HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge Delivering 21st Annual Dunlop Lecture

SAVE THE DATE!

Tuesday, March 8th, 3:30PM 

This year’s Dunlop Lecture will feature Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, the 18th Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Secretary Fudge believes the country’s housing issues do not fit into a one-size-fits-all approach. We need policies and programs that can adapt to meet a community’s unique housing challenges. She is committed to making the dream of homeownership – and the security and wealth creation that comes with it – a reality for more Americans. Under her leadership, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is working to eradicate the growing homelessness issue, put an end to discriminatory practices in the housing market, and ensure that our fair housing rules are doing what they are supposed to do: opening the door for families who have been systematically locked out for generations to buy homes and have a fair shot at achieving the American dream.

 

SPUR Presents: Build Back Better and the Economic Recovery of the Bay Area

Tuesday, February 8th, 5:00PM

The Build Back Better Act has the potential to help the nation grow, as framed by the White House, “from the bottom and middle out” by providing families with funding for childcare, expanding access to affordable housing, education and health care and enforcing tax laws on the extremely wealthy. If the law was passed, the Bay Area, with its vast income inequality, one of the largest unhoused populations in the United States and a high cost of living, would be able to make dramatic improvements to the lives of lower and middle income households. However, the Build Back Better Act is in danger of not being passed. Come learn about why this legislation is important for the Bay Area, and how we could use this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a more equitable Bay Area.

 

SPUR Presents: Planning (Literally) the Future of California

Tuesday, February 15th, 12:30PM

As California continues the fight against climate change and the growing housing crisis, leaders across the state are looking at a number of ways to address both challenges. The California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) is a vital player in this undertaking, with a wide purview that includes land use, community development, climate resilience and economic development, and is tasked with studying future research and planning needs across the state. In the fall of 2021, the agency brought on a new director, Samuel Assefa, to lead OPR’s efforts towards planning for an affordable, equitable and sustainable California. Join him in conversation with SPUR’s Chief Policy Officer, Nick Josefowitz, to learn how California plans to address its monumental challenges in 2022, and beyond.

  • Nick Josefowitz/ SPUR
  • Sam Assefa/ California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
 

Saratoga Area Senior Center Talks w/ Senator Dave Cortese: SB 9 & Housing

Tuesday, February 15th, 6:00PM

Senator Dave Cortese will be joining the Saratoga Area Senior Center for a Q&A conversation with about local housing bills, senior issues, and more.

 

NPH Presents: Access And Programs For Affordable Housing Homeownership

Wednesday, February 16th, 2:00PM

While much of the affordable housing industry focuses on rental housing – homeownership offers opportunities to address inequities in wealth while also providing long-term stable housing to low-income households. This event will bring together policy leaders and practitioners to discuss different affordable homeownership policies and programs – as well as opportunities to support and expand these housing types. The discussion will also go over the history, advantages and challenges of affordable homeownership programs. Panelists will discuss community land trust, limited equity cooperative, sweat equity, and below market rate inclusionary ownership programs in California as well as their nuances and advantages in different situations.

Moderator: Leo Goldberg (Co-Director for Policy and Capacity Building, California Community Land Trust Network)

Panelists:

  • Sarah Scruggs (Stewardship and Education Coordinator/ Co-Director of Policy, Northern California Land Trust)
  • Shannon Way (Executive Director, Homeownership SF)
  • Tom Collishaw (President and CEO, Self-Help Enterprises)
 

League of Women Voters of The Bay Area Presents Solving for Housing: The Nexus of Housing Policy and Climate Policy

Saturday, February 19th, 10:00AM

As wildfires worsen, temperatures peak and air quality decreases, Bay Area communities are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. These challenges directly impact the caliber and number of houses available and to be built. This year’s LWV Bay Area annual educational day explores how we build more housing that is affordable while protecting critical natural and working lands. A resilient Bay Area requires the implementation of strategies at local and regional levels that can achieve multiple benefits. Our Solving for Housing webinar will take a holistic look at land-use strategies and decision-making involved in placing housing today at the federal, state and regional level.

Learn how leading environmental and housing advocates are coming together to create a more resilient California with nature-based solutions for how we use our land and equitably grow our cities. Hear state and regional experts like Thomas Silverstein (Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law) discuss Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (Chair of the Committee on Housing and Community Development) and Senator Dave Cortese (Senate Housing and Transportation Committees) discuss critical actions being taken to increase housing affordability and availability for all, while addressing climate challenges.

 

Greenbelt Alliance Presents: The Environmental Case for Housing, part of the Resilience Playbook Series

Housing Policy = Climate Policy.

Tuesday, February 22nd, 5:00PM

In this first webinar of the Resilience Playbook series, Greenbelt Alliance makes the environmental case for housing and connects the dots between infill housing, transit-oriented development, and future climate risks. Based on the concepts, research, and policies featured in the recently launched Resilience Playbook, we will lead audiences through the case for accelerating adaptation to climate risks and conservation through housing policy in the Bay Area.

Join our Executive Director, Amanda Brown-Stevens, in conversation with Dr. Karen Chapple, Director of the School of Cities, Professor of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto, and Professor Emerita of City & Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley to learn how cities can accommodate more housing while also conserving valuable lands that provide ecosystem services and the resources we need to adapt to climate change.

 

Greenbelt Alliance Presents: Housing Elements 101, part of the Resilience Playbook Series

 

Tuesday, March 1, 5:00PM

After this webinar, you will understand why the Housing Element of the General Plan is so important and how to get involved in the process.

For years, California has required that all local governments (cities and counties) adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. To meet this requirement, they adopt Housing Elements as part of their General Plan (also required by the State).

California’s Housing Element law acknowledges that, in order for the private market to adequately address the housing needs and demands of Californians, local governments must adopt plans and regulatory systems that provide opportunities for housing development. As a result, housing policy and inventory availability in California rests largely on the effective implementation of General Plans and, in particular, local Housing Elements.

As we face an unprecedented housing crisis and cities dive into their Housing Element update process(which happens every eight years), Greenbelt Alliance is excited to work with our partners to advocate for a more sustainable, equitable future. Join us as we chat with Aaron Eckhouse, Regional Policy Director at California Yimby, on why the Housing Element is so important and how to get involved!

 

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

 
 
 
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