We know that housing ends homelessness, but our region’s homelessness crisis remains entrenched because we have a severe lack of affordable housing – particularly for our lowest-income and most vulnerable residents.
That’s why a major focus of our work is to secure the funding needed to spur more deeply affordable and supportive housing developments. We have not only helped champion efforts to generate new public funding for this critical need, we’ve also raised and invested tens-of-millions of private dollars into new housing developments geared towards those experiencing or most at-risk of homelessness.
A Focus on Affordable Housing for Our Most Vulnerable Residents
While our community has a variety of affordable housing needs, solving our homelessness crisis requires the production of housing that’s specifically geared towards those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. That’s why Destination: Home is focused on steering public and private investments to these urgently-needed types of affordable housing in our community:
Extremely Low Income (ELI) units, which are reserved for people who make less than 30% of the area’s median income, and thus are most likely to be experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
Supportive Housing units, which combine affordable apartments with on-site services, and have a proven track record in helping chronically homeless individuals stay housed.
Bringing More ELI & Supportive Housing to Santa Clara County
Starting with the adoption of the 2015-2020 Community Plan to End Homelessness, we’ve taken important steps to invest in new ELI and Supportive Housing production. A key milestone came in 2016, when the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors placed a $950 million affordable housing bond on the ballot. With the help of Destination: Home, and dozens of other key community partners, the bond measure passed with just over the required ⅔ threshold.
While Measure A has been critical to catalyzing new ELI & Supportive Housing development, it also became clear that there were several other barriers to get new developments moving. So, one of Destination: Home’s most important roles has been to raise and leverage private dollars to catalyze new housing development for those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
Cities are another crucial partner in implementing these types of proven strategies to end homelessness, and thanks to the leadership and political will demonstrated by city leaders, our community has a growing group of jurisdictions working collaboratively to solve this crisis with the urgency it deserves.
Stemming from their endorsements of the Community Plan, these cities are taking further action to drive long-term solutions that have impact beyond their borders.