July 14, 2022

Welcome Jessica, Housing Element Engagement, El Camino Real SP, Executive Director’s Note and More in SV@Home’s Latest Newsletter!


SV Housing Happenings


We are thrilled to introduce you to Jessica Martin, our new Housing Production Senior Associate. She comes to SV@Home after graduating with a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. There she focused her academics on housing and land use policy as well as the impacts of gentrification and displacement of Black communities. During her time at UCLA, Jessica was a research fellow at California Housing Partnership, working on COVID-19 impacts on renters in California. 


Prior to pursuing her graduate degree, Jessica was a Project Administrator for Eden Housing, working to bring a number of affordable housing developments to communities around the Bay Area. She also credits her time as an Americorps member working at Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco for igniting her drive and deep commitment to undoing the harmful effects of exclusionary housing policies on marginalized and underserved BIPOC communities. 


“Everyone deserves a safe and decent place to call home, and I am so excited to join the outstanding policy team of SV@Home, where I can develop and practice my housing and policy research skills to bring affordable housing to the most vulnerable residents of Silicon Valley.” 


Jessica enjoys practicing ceramics, reading, and hanging out at Lake Merritt in her spare time.  You can reach Jessica at Jessica@siliconvalleyathome.org.


July Policy in Action @ Home:

Housing Elements – Stay Engaged After

Cities Submit Plans to the State

Join SV@Home on Friday, July 22nd at noon for our July 2022 Policy in Action @ Home event to explore the important role housing advocates play once cities have released their Draft Housing Elements for public comment. Our program will cover how advocates can be effective in providing input after housing elements have been submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for an initial review. We will conclude with a discussion about the long-term process of staying engaged in leveraging and monitoring the Housing Elements once they have been adopted. 


To date the cities of Sunnyvale and Mountain View have submitted their drafts to HCD, and Morgan Hill, Campbell, Los Altos, and Saratoga have all released their Draft Housing Elements for a 30-day public review comment period. San Jose is expected to release their draft next week. Public comments directed to local jurisdictions and HCD continue to be important are still valuable. 


As we move into these new phases of review and public comment, what can we do as housing advocates? Many believe cities have outstanding issues that have not been addressed during the local engagement and public comment period. So far, we have been advised to share everything with HCD and send our comments to an assigned HCD reviewer, but what else is possible to further leverage our input, and how do we stay engaged over the long term?


This is part of SV@Home’s monthly Policy In Action series, a rebranding of our long-running “HAC” series. We hope you like the new name as much as we do!

Policy in Action @Home (formerly 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 kenneth@siliconvalleyathome.org

This event is open to SV@Home members and the general public. Interested in supporting ongoing SV@Home programming, advocacy, and policy work? Become a member and/or renew your membership today here.

Housing Element Engagement: Making an Outsized Impact in Your Community?

Right now, we have a once-in-a-decade chance to address current housing needs in our communities through the Housing Element, your local jurisdictions’ long-range housing plan. Housing costs don’t just affect where we’re able to live – they impact the economy of our whole region. The places that succeed over the next decade will be those that invest in housing so that essential workers can make ends meet, employers have a stable workforce, and local businesses can connect with their loyal customer base. Learn more, see what’s happening in your city, and find out how to get involved. Click through the link below:


At this moment, there is a tremendous opportunity to foster new leaders to join us in the work of ensuring that everyone in this region has a safe, healthy, and stable home. Complex challenges require leadership that leverages the vast range of perspectives and myriad of solutions that comes with having leadership that is from and reflects the diversity of our communities. 


At SV@Home, we are starting by encouraging every person on our team to become a leader within the organization and in their communities. The hope is that we become better at developing leadership throughout the community through coalition building, knowledge sharing, and partnerships. 


We know that the dearth of housing affects BIPOC and low-income communities disproportionately. That means we must not only center equity but seek out community members traditionally excluded from decision-making in the development of our cities and encourage their leadership, making sure to establish the equitable infrastructure for their success. 


We all have a role to play in expanding leadership and engagement in our communities. How have you stepped into your own leadership role and supported others in their leadership journeys? 


In solidarity,

Regina Celestin Williams

Executive Director, SV@Home 


#MembershipMatters – Become a Member Today!


Become a member today to help us expand the coalition of housing advocates to be more inclusive and representative of the

communities we serve.


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


Santa Clara City Council Approves Funding for New El Camino Real Specific Plan

Courtesy: City of Santa Clara

On June 21st, the Santa Clara City Council finally approved the funding necessary to update the El Camino Real Specific Plan (ECRSP) after the original plan was rejected by the city’s elected officials more than a year ago.  In its June 2021 rejection, the council turned away from a multi-year planning process, when a number of councilmembers pushed for a major scaling back of the proposed plan that would have capped building heights to two stories across much of the plan area. These proposed changes to building heights rendered the plan unviable, and the council left without resolving what steps it would take to move forward. 


After a number of follow-up sessions stretching into the fall of last year, a majority of the council, following the leadership of Councilmember Sudhanshu “Suds” Jain, did agree to update the Specific Plan and conduct a feasibility study to address some of the Councilmember’s concerns without abandoning the prior work. Unfortunately, opponents of the council refused to fund the new study. Tuesday’s action came as the Capital Improvement portion of next year’s budget came up for approval.


The ECRSP planning process stretched over a four-year period and included extensive community outreach, the emergence of Santa Clara Community Advocates as a leading voice, formal community and technical advisory committees, and multiple study sessions with both the Planning Commission and the City Council. An integrated vision of the plan area emerged from this process that combined sustainable economic and residential development strategies, investment in transit and multi-modal transportation infrastructure, and a commitment to public and open spaces.  


We have every expectation that a new, updated plan can be both functionally intentional, realistic and responsive to many of the Council’s concerns, and stand ready to continue to work with the many partners who have kept this process alive.


Planning for the future of El Camino Real in Santa Clara County has not been easy. Santa Clara’s decision to resuscitate its ECRSP came just a week before Sunnyvale City Council approved its plan for its stretch of El Camino Real after nearly six years of halting efforts, a development we covered in our June 30 newsletter under Sunnyvale City Council Adopts the El Camino Real Specific Plan with Increased Number of Unit.


Website Highlight: SV@Home Resources Inspire Affordable Housing Leadership

Here at SV@Home, we are passionate advocates for affordable housing done well! But what do we mean when we say affordable housing? Who benefits, and what does it look like? If you had to buy your home again today, could you afford it? Find the answers to all these questions and more at the Understanding Housing Affordability page in the SV@Home Resource Hub, a valuable collection of knowledge and resources available to you anytime, anywhere!


County of Santa Clara Housing Element Update Community Workshop #1 – Rural Community


July 19th at 6:00PM

The County will introduce the Housing Element Update process and seek input on the key issues in the County that should be addressing in this update. This community workshop will focus on the South County, San Martin, and other rural areas in the county.


NPH Presents: Focus Group Meeting 2022 on California Building Code Chapt. 11 (Housing Accessibility)


July 20th at 9:00AM

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is providing notice of a virtual focus group meeting on


July 20, 2022, to seek feedback on changes to the 2022 California Building Standards Code, part 2, California Building Code, Chapter 11A (housing accessibility). The changes are proposed as part of the 2022 Intervening Code Adoption Cycle and will be effective July 1, 2024, if approved by the California Building Standards Commission.


For reasonable accommodations, contact Laura Turner at Laura.Turner@hcd.ca.gov or 916-820-1222.


For more information, visit HCD’s Building Code Development and Adoption webpage. Additionally, documents will be posted to the website prior to the meeting. For questions, or to submit your comments, contact Emily Withers at Emily.Withers@hcd.ca.gov or 916-263-2998.


Conference call- 916.535.0998

Conference ID: 698 304 652#


Online- Microsoft Teams


County of Santa Clara Housing Element Update Community Workshop #2 – Urban Community


July 21st at 6:00PM

The County will introduce the Housing Element Update process and seek input on the key issues in the County that should be addressing in this update. This community workshop will focus on County Islands within cities; neighborhoods that are with Urban Service Areas.


City of Mountain View Human Relations Commission Presents: Understanding the History of Housing in Mountain View


July 26th at 6:30PM

A community dialogue event that explores the history of racism in housing & shares stories of exclusion & inclusion in Mountain View housing


The City of Mountain View Human Relations Commission invites you to a community conversation about:


Understanding the History of Housing in Mountain View: Stories of Racism, Anti-Discrimination, and Movement Towards Inclusion


SV@Home Presents- July Policy In Action: Engaging with HCD’s Housing Element Review Process


July 22nd at  12:00PM

Join us to learn more about the critical role housing advocates play in making sure Housing Elements produce more housing, preserve existing affordable housing, and protect vulnerable residents!


Terner Center and USC Lusk Present ADU Construction Financing: Opportunities to Expand Access for Homeowners


July 15th at 10:00AM

Expanding the construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs)—a secondary, often backyard home on a single-family lot—offers benefits to individual homeowners and has the potential to increase the supply of affordable homes and bridge the racial wealth gap in the U.S. A new paper ADU Construction Financing: Opportunities to Expand Access for Homeowners, co-authored by the Terner Center and the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, maps the current landscape of financing options available to homeowners for the construction of an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and offers recommendations for improving existing mortgage products that could help more homeowners build an ADU.


Informed by interviews with 30+ experts in the field and a literature review, the authors find that most homeowners who have built an ADU have used cash and a mortgage to finance construction, with home equity loans and cash-out refinancing the most common mortgage types. The authors find renovation loans backed by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the Federal Housing Administration, may be well-positioned to facilitate greater ADU construction, but specific reforms are needed to encourage greater uptake. These changes should include consideration of ADU rental income in underwriting, changes to how ADUs are appraised, and shifts in renovation loan eligibility requirements.


SPUR Presents: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It [In-Person Program]


 July 19th at 12:30PM

What if scrapping one flawed policy could bring U.S. cities closer to addressing debilitating housing shortages, stunted growth and innovation, persistent racial and economic segregation and car-dependent development? Zoning maps across the country have come to arbitrarily dictate where Americans may live and work, forcing cities into a pattern of growth that is segregated and sprawling. The new book, Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It, argues that it’s time for America to move beyond zoning as a necessary — if not sufficient — condition for building more affordable, vibrant, equitable and sustainable cities. Hear from the author as he lays the groundwork for this ambitious motion by clearing up common confusions and myths about how American cities regulate growth and examining the major contemporary critiques of zoning.


SCAPH Presents: Tips, Techniques, and Trends to Best Serve Senior Residents of Affordable Housing


July 19th at 1:00PM

The growth in the population of Americans aged 65 or older – projected to reach nearly 73 million in 2030, and more than 83 million in 2050 – will likely mean that senior households increasingly will be renters desperately in need of affordable housing. And senior renters, many of whom live on fixed incomes, are particularly vulnerable to the risks posed by skyrocketing rents and stagnant housing production.


Affordable housing providers serving seniors offer vital services that go beyond just housing. They provide care, comfort, and a sense of family to residents. So how are we preparing staff to interact with this ever-growing market segment? This session will help attendees learn how to best communicate to senior residents and improve relationships with the elderly, including common communication mistakes. This session will provide valuable insights on how to successfully navigate these conversations as well as understand the needs of seniors.


SPUR Presents: End Poverty, Make Trillions


July 21st at 12:30PM

Millions of people in America live in poverty, struggling to pay their bills, feed their families and make ends meet. That reality has a deeply harmful effect not only on those experiencing it, but also on the rest of America as a whole. The economic costs of childhood poverty alone are $1 trillion a year, and an estimated 170,000 people a year die from poverty in the United States. Darryl Finkton, Jr., the founder of End Poverty. Make Trillions, has a plan to end poverty at the federal level and generate massive economic growth at the same time. His proposal, called the Seed Money Act, would provide unrestricted seed money grants to Americans living below the federal poverty line. Over 10 years, these seed money grants would generate a return of over $8 trillion, save 1.7 million lives and lift 34 million Americans out of poverty. Join us for a one-on-one conversation about poverty, its effects on our society and economy and opportunities to end it once and for all.


Mountain View YIMBY Presents Inclusive Moffett 2031: Walking Tour and Picnic


July 23rd at 4:30PM

Join us as we imagine a Moffett Boulevard with more affordable homes and accessible transportation. We’ll learn together about how we can make an inclusive vision for this area a reality in the next decade.


We’ll start with a stroll down Moffett at 4:30, followed by a picnic at Jackson Park at 5:30! The walking tour will begin at the corner of Cypress Point and Moffett (near the 555 W. Middlefield apartments, across the street from the Mountain View Adult School) and will feature experts including Mountain View Vice Mayor Alison Hicks!


We anticipate that this tour will be about a mile of walking/rolling along ADA-accessible sidewalks. Please let us know if we can provide any accommodations at contact@mvyimby.com


YIMBY Action Presents: How to Make Housing Affordable for Everyone


July 24th at 11:00AM

Ever wondered why it’s so expensive to buy a home? Or why rent is so damn high?


You’re not alone. Housing has been expensive for a long time, and prices have only continued to rise in recent years. The good news is that we can make homes affordable for everyone, and you can join us!


Come learn how homes got so expensive and how you can join the fight for abundant, affordable housing.


MTC Hearing to Adopt Final TOC Policy


July 27th at 9:35AM

Plan Bay Area 2050 calls for a strong regional commitment for transit, housing, and equity. 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 Metropolitan Transportation Commission will vote on adopting the Final Transit Oriented Communities Policy. Materials and Zoom link TBP, but feel free to review the meeting agendas at the following link: https://mtc.ca.gov/meetings-events



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