San Jose: Electeds, Non-profits, Community Organizations Advocate for Regional Collaboration to Tackle Housing Crisis
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April 2, 2021

Media Contact:

Rachel Davis, Press Secretary, Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo, rachel.davis@sanjoseca.gov, 408.712.9149

SAN JOSÉ, CA - Today, Mayor Sam Liccardo was joined by 14 housing advocates including elected officials, non-profit affordable housing builders, and community organizations and leaders to call for more housing and affordable housing in San José, balanced with jobs and transportation improvements, and to support collaboration and shared solutions between San José and Santa Clara.

"Not a single unit has been built in North San José in more than half a decade, due to builders' fears of litigation from our neighboring city--despite longstanding plans for thousands more units." said Mayor Sam Liccardo. "Unless San José and Santa Clara work together to create a Silicon Valley for everyone, our housing crisis will worsen."

The region's most prominent housing advocates, affordable housing developers, and service providers, along with San Jose's Mayor and D-4 Councilmember wrote a letter addressed to Santa Clara City Manager, Deanna Santana, advocating for a more collaborative path forward for thoughtful development in North San José. In the letter, the coalition urges the city to prioritize agendizing a discussion for Santa Clara City Council to allow housing and development to proceed in the area.

Silicon Valley will continue to face an affordable housing crisis well after this pandemic, in part because the region has added six times as many jobs as homes over the last decade. San Jose's approved plans to build thousands more apartments, townhomes, and houses—with mandates to make at least 20% of those units affordable housing—have stalled as a result of legal gridlock.

Without collaboration between the cities, public plans to increase housing supply will remain stalled, exacerbating the region's housing crisis and depriving thousands of a future place to call home. Focusing on "smart growth" development within walking distance of light rail will help ease traffic along with other long-planned transportation improvements. Regional stakeholders worked together to pass Measure B in 2016 through voter approval to secure funds to continue these transportation infrastructure improvements that will benefit the entire region, particularly around mixed-use transit hubs.

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Residents want to see a Silicon Valley in which future generations can afford to live. They want to see regional collaboration supporting smart development near strong job centers and transportation hubs to lessen the impacts of traffic congestion on our environment and quality of life.

Councilmember David Cohen, San Jose D-4

"North San Jose is the economic engine for San Jose and has the potential to be the home for many of our essential workers as we build thousands of affordable homes in a vibrant mixed-use, transit-oriented environment. I look forward to a partnership with the City of Santa Clara as we proceed with this key work."

Sudhanshu Jain, Councilmember Santa Clara

"People and companies are leaving Silicon Valley because of the high cost of housing. Forty-five percent of renters are cost burdened so it's no surprise that 38 percent of California's 18-34 year olds live with their parents. Do they want to? You need only to ask my son.  It's simply supply and demand economics. We should have been building 180,000 housing units per year to keep up with population growth but California has built an average of only 80,000 over the past decade. I'm really pleased that San Jose is leading in the area of opportunity housing. San Jose and Santa Clara both have plans for tens of thousands of new housing units. Let's work together to get them built."

Anthony Becker, Santa Clara Councilmember

"This is the first step, by saying the need for equitable housing is greater than ever. We have the golden opportunity now for regional collaboration of housing production that goes hand in hand with transportation. I admire San Jose's efforts to provide affordable & equitable housing as in Santa Clara I am fighting for the same on the council. I am working class and know the struggles of finding housing that does not break the bank. All we want is somewhere to call home. This is the turning point and I feel together we can build a brighter future for all to inherit."

Geoffrey Morgan, President and CEO, First Community Housing

"I have witnessed in the lives of our residents in North San Jose how transformative North San Jose's growth can be for its citizens. The battle over traffic mitigations feels mostly resolved and irrelevant now in light of the dire need we all have for high density transit oriented housing."

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Gabriela Chavez-Lopez, Communications and Membership Manager, SV@Home,

"These housing opportunities in North San Jose have been closed for too long – the needs of families throughout the region are far too great, for continued delay.  We have a collective responsibility to open this up. There are a tremendous number of jobs in this area, with growing development pipelines promising more to come. But where will these jobs go to sleep at night? Everybody agrees. Jobs near housing, affordable homes near transit – this is smart policy, sustainable development, and ways of creating great places and regions that are accessible to people of all incomes and abilities."

Linda Mandolini, President, Eden Housing

"North San Jose represents a significant opportunity to ease the region's housing problem and create more affordable homes. We hope the cities can find a path forward to unlock this critical resource."

Jason Baker, Sr. Vice President, Transportation, Health & Housing Policy, SVLG

"Building more housing is critical for our business competitiveness as a region. Without enough housing, workers can't afford to live here and businesses will struggle to attract and retain top talent."

Corey Smith, Deputy Director, Housing Action Coalition,

"The single largest factor in our region's affordability and displacement crisis is the severe shortage of new homes for residents of all income levels. Our housing shortage is a decades-long regional problem that requires a robust and coordinated regional solution, and to successfully build enough homes to meet the growing need it's more important than ever that Bay Area cities collaborate with a shared sense of urgency."

Michael Lane, State Policy Director, SPUR

"The North San José Area Development Policy is a key component of the City of San José's housing and planning goals as it allows for the production of thousands of new homes near jobs and public transit. With a renewed commitment to cooperation and a mutually beneficial agreement, our contiguous cities can address the linked challenges of traffic circulation and housing affordability to improve the quality of life for our residents and drive economic recovery."

Aaron Eckhouse, Regional Policy Manager, California YIMBY

"Solving our housing crisis requires all of us to work together across city boundaries to address our shared challenges and build a California that is truly for everyone."

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About the City of San José

With more than one million residents, San José comprises the 10th largest city in the United States, and one of its most diverse cities.  San José's transformation into a global innovation center in the heart of Silicon Valley has resulted in the world's greatest concentration of technology talent and development.stats

Filed Under: Government, City

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