Transit Oriented Communities Build Housing, Transportation and Environmental Justice and Other Housing Happenings!
June 17, 2022
SV Housing Happenings
June 2022 Policy in Action @ Home:
Updating the Region’s Transit Oriented Communities Policy for Housing, Transportation, and Environmental Justice
Join SV@Home on Friday, June 24that noon for our June 2022 Policy in Action @ Home event focused on Transit Oriented Communities. We will have an interactive conversation about what the regional Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Policy is, why it is so important to bringing affordable housing to the Bay Area, and how you can get involved in its adoption to ensure that it goes far enough to meet the goals laid out in Plan Bay Area 2050.
We will have Kara Vuicich, Principal Planner/Analyst with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission present on the draft content and schedule of the TOC Policy Update. Erika Pinto, SPUR’s San José Planning Policy Manager and Amiel Leaño Atanacio, Enterprise Community Partners’ Program Officer, State & Local Policy Solutions will discuss their robust regional advocacy work to strengthen the TOC Policy and what you can do about it!
Plan Bay Area 2050 calls for a strong regional commitment to connected transit, housing, and equity goals. In order to reach these goals, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are advancing an updated regional Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Policy (formerly the Transit Oriented Development Policy) with guidelines for future funding of qualifying transportation projects. Updates to the TOC Policy could include requirements in parking management, station access, housing and job densities, and adopting affordable housing and anti-displacement policies. The TOC Policy could be a step up from the former TOD Policy, with deeper and more equitable solutions to bring both transit and housing justice to the Bay Area. The final TOC Policy is scheduled to be considered at the MTC Commission Meeting on July 27th.
SV@Home’s Policy in Action @ Home series (PIA, formerly the Housing Action Coalition or HAC) is a monthly, informal brownbag discussion convening Housers to engage on hot housing topics. Every month, we select a topic or current event, bring in an expert to give a brief presentation, and then open up the discussion to ask questions, float new ideas, and identify potential areas for shared action.
SV@Home strives to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please email Kenneth Rosales at email@example.com
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 Jose Removes Minimum Parking Requirements and Implements Traffic Demand Management Strategies
On Tuesday night – late on Tuesday night – the San Jose City Council passed a critical parking policy that is good for housing. The new policy, which removes mandatory minimum parking limits; updates the City’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) requirements; and develops a program for ongoing monitoring and compliance for the citywide TDM program, was developed through a robust, multi-year engagement process. The policy passed unanimously.
To be clear, the new policy lifts minimums but does not completely eliminate parking. Parking requirements have a significant impact on the financial feasibility of housing development – both market-rate and affordable. Requiring more parking than needed is a tremendous burden on residential development. At $45,000-90,000 per spot, parking can account for more than 10% of the costs of constructing each new home. It raises rents for new residents and takes space that would otherwise be available for more affordable homes. Over-parking also burdens small businesses and, of course, incentivizes auto travel over transit or alternative mobility options. The environmental and sustainability benefits are at the core of this new policy. The range of benefits and policy outlines are well summarized in this presentation from city staff
The staff recommendation that the policy be applied citywide received strong support from a five-signature memorandum submitted by Mayor Liccardo, Vice-Mayor Jones, Councilmembers Peralez, Carrasco, and Foley, calling for a carefully-crafted TDM policy on an aggressive timeline to ensure the final ordinance comes back by the end of the year.
SV@Home joined a strong coalition of environmental, transit, urbanist, equity-driven community sustainability, and housing advocates in submitting a letter supporting the staff recommendation. This new policy is a significant step for the urban future of new homes in new communities in San Jose.
Draft Housing Elements Begin to Emerge: Where to Find Them and How to Engage
The cities of Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Morgan Hill, Campbell, and Saratoga have released Draft Housing Elements for a 30-day public comment period. Feedback received at each city during this period will be incorporated into a Revised Draft Housing Element, which will be presented to the city council for approval before going to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for review. At this time, Sunnyvale’s and Mountain View’s public comment periods have ended. However, if residents and stakeholders still need to submit comments on these Draft Housing Elements, SV@Home encourages you to send them directly to HCD at HousingElements@hcd.ca.gov and copy city staff.
Morgan Hill’s, Campbell’s, and Saratoga’s Draft Housing Elements are all currently open for comments to the city. We expect Draft Housing elements to be available in the next few weeks from San Jose and Santa Clara, and from other jurisdictions in the months to follow. Find more information, meeting dates and times, and resources for advocacy at SV@Home’s Housing Element Toolkit.
Stephen Weilbach of Spring Hill Housing Partners presented on ONX Homes has construction technology finishes 400 homes in as little as 90 days, as they did at Redland Shores in Miami above. (Photo Credit: ONXhomes.com)
ULI San Francisco: Housing Momentum Grows and Indicates More Work Needed
When the Urban Land Institute San Francisco (ULI) convened its “Housing the Bay Summit” on June 9th, panelists emphasized to the audience of real estate professionals and urban developers that the momentum for building more housing is real. Much of the day’s program focused on the successful work in the field and highlighted some near-term solutions that will keep the momentum going.
Panelists in the “Housing the Homeless: Solutions at Scale” session commented that those working on solutions need to amplify their successes.
“We’ve got to do a better job showing the impact of our efforts and our gains,” in keeping people out of homelessness said Ray Bramson, COO of Destination:Home. Approximately 20,000 people have been averted from experiencing homelessness in Santa Clara County by engaging with the County’s services, and Bramson noted that 94 percent of them have stayed housed over the last two years. “People do not see the effects of our work. We need to raise the voices of the people with lived experience so we can do a better job of showing our impact.”
The Potrero Power Station is an example of one mega-project winding its way through the planning progress to add hundreds of additional units to the Bay Area inventory.
ULI San Francisco: Housing Momentum Grows and Indicates More Work Needed
There were signs at the conference that Bay Area mega-projects coming into fruition will add thousands of units to the housing inventory. The 5M Project on the former San Francisco Chronicle property, The Potrero Power Station on the waterfront, and the Brooklyn Basin area in Oakland were examples of mega-projects. In Silicon Valley, SV@Home is encouraged by the positive impacts of the Diridon Station Area Plan and the North Bayshore Plan. Many at the conference commented that community engagement on these projects was critical in moving projects forward.
On an interesting note, ULI SF explored new property technologies that are accelerating the completion of new housing development.
Stephen Weilbach, founder of Springhill Real Estate Partners, has invested in a company called ONX that builds dwelling units off-site to reduce construction times to as little as 30 days. The company recently completed a 26-floor, 400-unit “sea-front” Redland Shores property in Miami, which just started leasing in March. ONX seems to offer possibilities in accelerating housing construction through volumetric modular and pre-fab construction technologies, and Silicon Valley, known for its technological innovations, continues to seek construction technologies that will revolutionize the construction industry, allowing developers to meet the housing needs of the Bay Area.
SV@Home Proudly Partners with NPH, a Leading Affordable Housing Policy Expert for State-Level Issues
For this edition of SV@Home partner highlights, we recognize the outstanding work of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH). NPH is the regional voice for affordable housing across the entire Bay Area and Northern California. They are policy experts, advocates, and educators who help coordinate housing policy issues for our region. The SV@Home team works incredibly closely with our colleagues at NPH on the full range of affordable housing advocacy issues, especially at the state and regional levels.
For example, we just came off of working with NPH to coordinate Affordable Housing Month events and activities at the regional level. The SV@Home Action Fund, SV@Home’s affiliated 501(c)4 organization, also collaborates with NPH on legislative and budget advocacy in Sacramento. NPH is a leading affordable housing policy expert for all state-level issues, which you can learn more about here.
NPH also has a wide number of programs that support affordable housing across the Bay Area. These include the Bay Area Housing Internship Program (BAHIP), which helps build the next generation of diverse affordable housing leaders in development, and the Shift the Bay initiative, which is helping drive the narrative around affordable housing issues region-wide.
We are also very excited about NPH’s Annual Conference, which is coming up on October 3rd in San Francisco. The Conference is a great opportunity to meet fellow housing advocates and learn about the latest policy issues and developments. Learn more here.
And, last but not least, NPH’s Executive Director, Amy Fishman, is a member of SV@Home’s Board of Directors!
Thank you to the whole NPH team for all of your excellent work to advance affordable housing in California and for being such excellent advocacy partners!
City of Sunnyvale Draft Housing Element Hearing at City Council
June 21st at 7:00PM
The City of Sunnyvale City Council will hold a hearing on the Draft Housing Element released on Friday, May 6th, 2022 for a 30-day public comment period. To view the Draft Housing Element, please visit the City of Sunnyvale’s Housing Element Update website:
Town of Los Gatos: Planning Commission Review of Draft Objective Standards
June 22nd at 7:00PM
On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, the Los Gatos Planning Commission will review and make recommendations on the Draft Objective Standards to the Town Council. More information, including the draft document, is available online at https://www.losgatosca.gov/2729/Objective-Standards.
In compliance with recent State legislation, the Town of Los Gatos is developing Objective Standards for the streamlined review of qualifying multi-family housing and mixed-use development applications.
The meeting will be held virtually via a Zoom webinar. The community is welcome to submit written comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. The public is encouraged to attend the June 22, 2022 Planning Commission hearing at 7:00 p.m. If you are interested in providing oral comments in real-time during the meeting, you must join the Zoom webinar at:
Or telephone dial: USA 636-651-3141 US Toll , USA 877-408-9753 US Toll-free. Conference Code: 602463
Milpitas Housing Element Workshop #2
June 28th at 6:00PM
Please join the City of Milpitas’s second Housing Element Community Workshop. The Housing Element is part of the City’s General Plan. Its purpose is to facilitate the production of a variety of housing types, at different income levels, to accommodate all households and family types. Cities are required by state law to update their Housing Element every eight years, and the City of Milpitas is now updating its Housing Element to plan for the City’s projected housing needs during the next eight years between 2023 and 2031.
This workshop is an opportunity to learn about the Housing Element and provide your thoughts and ideas on potential new housing locations and programs to meet the City’s housing needs and eliminate constraints to its housing production and preservation.
Join SV@Home on Friday, June 24th at noon for our June 2022 Policy in Action @ Home event focused on Transit Oriented Communities. We will have an interactive conversation about what the regional Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Policy is, why it is so important to bringing affordable housing to the Bay Area, and how you can get involved in its adoption to ensure that it goes far enough to meet the goals laid out in Plan Bay Area 2050.
SPUR Presents Fixer Upper: How to Repair America’s Broken Housing Systems
June 21st at 12:30PM
Housing prices in communities across the country are on the rise, reducing the number of affordable homes available for middle- and low-income families. Legislators and policy experts throughout the United States have been tirelessly working to alleviate the widening housing crisis through the implementation of new zoning policies, the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and by investing in the development of our cities’ urban cores. However, as described in her new book, Fixer Upper: How to Repair America’s Broken Housing Systems, Brookings’ Senior Fellow Jenny Schuetz argues that most discussions about how to address the housing crisis miss a key notion: that the nation’s housing systems have been constructed to be fundamentally unequal in nature. Join us to explore the arguments posed in her book and learn what it will take to create more affordable, and more widely available, housing stock across the country.
Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies Presents: The State of the Nation’s Housing 2022
June 22nd at 1:00PM
Housing markets had another record-shattering year in 2021. With demand far outstripping supply, both home prices and rents rose at their fastest pace in decades. New construction also picked up sharply in a race to catch up with demand. But rising interest rates have already taken some heat out of the homebuying market, and the historically large pipeline of new housing units under construction should bring some relief to tight housing markets. For lower-income households and households of color, though, the pressure of high housing costs is unlikely to relent. The surge in prices for gas, food, and other necessities has made matters worse, especially now that emergency government supports are ending. The housing stock itself is in dire need of reinvestment to meet the demands of a rapidly aging population and the threats posed by climate change.
SCANPH Presents Asset & Property Management Workshop: Understanding the Mindset of Affordable Housing Residents
June 28th at 10:00AM
Asset and property managers face no shortage of decisions to make when handling resident needs. But what if you could better understand the mentality of residents and have a clearer vision of their needs? The mindset of residents – particularly when shaped by generational poverty – requires empathy, understanding, and proactive relationship-building from staff of housing providers. During this training, you’ll get grounded in key definitions, learn about patterns in generational vs. situational poverty, how “hidden rules” can shape behavior, and ways to develop mentoring and bridging opportunities so that appropriate resources are cultivated for residents. This session’s learning objectives are to provide a new lens for housing provider staff to view and serve residents with concrete steps to improve relationships among staff and residents and what it means to have an active vs. passive role to support successful communities where all residents can thrive. Don’t miss this important training!
Quetzal Gardens is a mixed-use, new construction development that provides 71 new apartments for low-income households, including several that previously experienced homelessness. SOMOS Mayfair was a critical partner in shaping this community and we are thrilled to welcome SOMOS Mayfair, Excite Credit Union, and the Latino Business Foundation to their new facilities on the ground floor.