Santa Clara County approves $350M to build more affordable housing

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — In Santa Clara County, millions of dollars approved by the Board of Supervisors will help fund the construction of more affordable housing.  

The Board of Supervisors approved $350 million in the second tranche of Measure A, a housing bond passed by two-thirds of county voters in 2016. 

To date, $533 million has been allocated to help fund the construction of 34 housing developments.

“The majority of that money is really set aside for people who need low or very low-income housing who also need permanent supportive housing, so support services like mental health services or drug and alcohol counseling services,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez. 

“And the reason the second tranche is so important is our goal is to build 4,800 and to do it within 10 years and this second tranche will allow us to get closer to that goal.”

Currently, only four housing projects have been completed with 217 of the 2,969 total new apartments scheduled to be occupied this spring and summer. 

In addition, 618 units have been funded for renovation with 332 already renovated and occupied. 

Courtesy: Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing

“The county’s role in this is making money available to developers and local governments to be able to permit these homes in their communities,” says Chavez.

The second tranche of the housing bond will go towards buying more sites to build affordable housing with the goal of 4,800 new units over the next decade.

Consuelo Hernandez, director of the county’s Office of Supportive Housing tells KRON4 News the biggest challenge has been being able to meet the demand of affordable housing.

According to the county, more than 11,000 county residents are unhoused. 

“With this new tranche we actually get to have resources to buy properties in partnership with developers and what’s new about this funding is it’s really going to allow us to push the next phase,” says Hernandez.

“And the next phase includes a partnership with cities like Los Altos that don’t have the resources, don’t have housing staff per se, but they have a community development department, they have interest from their city council.” 

Courtesy: Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing

Hernandez says the Los Altos site will be the first affordable housing development in the community, with a potential 90 new units. 

In San Jose, the city council approved to fund the Kelsey Ayer Station Apartments, a fully inclusive mixed-ability, mixed-income housing community. 

Downtown resident Brian Preskitt tells KRON4 News it is important for local government to continue to find ways to build affordable housing before it’s too late. 

“This whole area has grown a lot in the last 10 years, a lot of new jobs have come about, and a lot of people have moved here, but we haven’t built as many homes as there have been new people,” says Preskitt. 

“I think the city has a role and a duty to make it simple for people to make space for themselves so that we don;t have these issues,” Preskitt added. 

“Projects like this are necessary because the people that get to live there 10 years from now really can be at a lot of risk of being homeless for example.”

Click here for a map of supportive housing around Santa Clara County.

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