Solving the Affordable Housing Crisis

October 21, 2017


The supply of affordable housing units is significantly shrinking in San Jose and Santa Clara County. The City of San Jose, Santa Clara County, and surrounding cities have added far fewer housing units needed to balance the growth of new jobs, and anyone who wants to live and raise their family here. A lack of enough affordable housing in San Jose simultaneously harms our growing economy, local businesses, and working families.

 

In 2016, I joined thousands of my neighbors to pass Measures A and B. Measure A, the historic Santa Clara County Affordable Housing Bond, allocates $950 million towards affordable and supportive housing infrastructure. Measure B, the Transportation Improvement measure, will generate $6-$6.5 billion for transportation upgrades throughout Santa Clara County. Both measures, coupled with Senator Holly J. Mitchell’s bill to implement the Housing First model at the State level and Senator Jim Beall’s $4 billion bond for affordable housing projects across California, represents a substantial step towards solving our problem. 

 

 

I believe that taking a regional approach is the only viable solution to solving the affordable housing crisis. We must understand that actions taken by our local cities affect our surrounding communities. Cities must collaborate to design and implement a process to rapidly disburse Measure A funds, create appropriate locations for new housing, and initiate innovative policies that move beyond our limited existing programs. 

 

Some of these actions include:

 

  • Implementing strong Housing First policies,

  • Placing homeless individuals and families in stable supportive housing,

  • Subsidizing housing costs for families,

  • Researching and investing in our aging and outdated transportation infrastructure,

  • Encouraging companies and developers to help build affordable housing projects close to their locations to allow employees to live within walking distance to work.

 

Since 2015, our homeless population rose 13 percent (7,394) across the County, which is one of the worst homelessness problems throughout the entire country. This population includes youth, families, veterans, and individuals with health and mental health challenges. When I am elected to represent San Jose’s District 9 residents on the San Jose City Council, I will tenaciously undertake this problem as my top priority. Solving this crisis will grow our economy; benefit our environment by shortening our commutes to work, and removing the water pollution that occurs when individuals live next to our creeks and watersheds; and will reduce the occurrence of homelessness and the resulting costs on our public programs and services 

 

I look forward to working with our local cities, businesses, stakeholders, and residents to achieve innovative solutions and agreements that will resolve this crisis in the coming years.

 

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