We know that solving homelessness will require smart public policies that advance proven solutions and get to the root causes of our crisis. While our public policy and advocacy work encompasses a wide range of issues, a major focus is on accelerating the development of more supportive and deeply affordable housing in our community.
Thanks in part to our advocacy:
- In 2015, the Santa Clara County Continuum of Care officially adopted the Housing First approach and centered the first countywide Community Plan to End Homelessness around a goal to connect 6,000 homeless individuals to permanent housing.
- The 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond is primarily focused on permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness – with 3,400 of the envisioned 4,800 new units allocated towards Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Rehousing.
- The Santa Clara County Housing Authority adopted a policy aligning its Project Based Voucher allocation criteria to support the production of more permanent supportive housing units.
- In 2018, the City of Mountain View adopted an affordable housing investment strategy that included a benchmark to create 200-250 permanent supportive or rapid rehousing units.
As a result of our advocacy:
- In April 2019, the City of San Jose adopted a first-of-its-kind affordable housing investment policy that allocates 45% of its total affordable housing funds towards ELI housing production. At the time of its adoption, the new investment policy was projected to generate an additional $80 million in funding for ELI housing over the next five years.
- Following the lead of the City of San Jose, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority set a goal to ensure that 45% of the housing units in its own housing development portfolio were reserved for Extremely Low Income households.
As a part of this work:
- We joined statewide partners in successfully advocating for new landmark streamlining laws – AB 2162 & SB 35 – which have helped eliminate several layers of government review for permanent supportive housing and affordable housing projects that meet certain criteria.
- We led a coalition of our non-profit supportive housing developers in advocating the City of San Jose to eliminate its commercial space requirements for 100% affordable housing developments. In December 2021, the San Jose City Council unanimously voted to approve the proposal, removing a significant barrier to new affordable housing development.