Our current housing crisis and the resulting levels of homelessness are evidence of a housing market that’s failed to produce the number of homes our community needs. The largest deficit of housing is at the deepest affordability levels – fueling high rates of homelessness and putting tens of thousands of households at-risk of losing their homes.
This is why one of our key strategies at Destination: Home is increasing the supply of housing that is affordable to extremely low-income households, and why we’re fighting to preserve funding for permanent housing in San Jose.
With private sector dollars, we recently invested in three new housing communities, located throughout the county in Mountain View, San Jose and Campbell. Our portfolio of housing investments now total roughly $54 million in 33 developments, which will help create more than 3,300 new deeply affordable and supportive homes, through our Supportive Housing & Innovation Fund, seeded by Cisco and Apple.
The Supportive Housing & Innovation Fund has invested over $54 million to spur the development of deeply affordable housing.
Importantly, we’re not driving this impact alone. These projects would not be possible if it weren’t for the availability of public funding sources such as the Measure A housing bond, San Jose’s Measure E transfer tax, Housing Authority vouchers and state and federal affordable housing funds.
Private Funds Help Us Fill a Key Housing Gap
Through the Supportive Housing & Innovation Fund, we’re infusing private dollars into housing for extremely low-income households for two key reasons:
- This is the type of housing our community lacks most and filling that gap will help end and prevent homelessness; and
- In our profit-driven housing market, deeply affordable housing just won’t be produced without intentional action.
Additionally important to this deeply affordable housing is the inclusion of onsite services for those who need them, which is why we also invest in permanent supportive housing.
To drive the creation of this vital housing, we invest early, when funding is considered riskier and often isn’t available to developers. The loans and grant funding we’re able to provide act as a market incentive, unlocking sites that might otherwise sit undeveloped, as it allows local jurisdictions and developers to explore the full potential and costs of a project.
One of our new investments in Mountain View is a shining example of the catalytic power of our private funds in creating housing that ends homelessness.
A prime downtown parcel on Montecito Avenue, known as “Lot 12,” will soon be transformed into approximately 120 new homes for residents earning some of the lowest incomes in our community, including people experiencing homelessness. In addition to our investment of private funds, this site is utilizing the county’s Measure A housing bond.
Without the strategic use of these funding sources, this development would have been built for residents with higher incomes, doing little to help address homelessness.
The alignment of these public and private resources also stretches scarce public dollars further. In fact, the county reports for every $1 in Measure A funds spent by the county, over $4 has been utilized from other funding streams.
Private funds are also speeding up the production of deeply affordable and supportive housing, and increasing local capacity to create these much-needed homes.
- We helped shave 20% off the planning review time in San Jose by funding a planner dedicated to expediting the review of extremely low-income and supportive housing developments.
- $2.5 million in capacity-building grants to eight local nonprofit developers are helping them build their pipelines, advancing construction of another 1,600 new supportive and extremely low-income homes in the next three years.
- We’re also partnering with the cities of Morgan Hill & Mountain View, leveraging our private funds to help them increase the production of affordable and supportive housing, and expand services to help meet the needs of their unhoused residents.
Permanent Affordable Housing is Key to Ending Homelessness
Today we’re focusing on the pivotal role of private dollars in driving the most-needed housing production, though it’s crucial to note that no one funding source, sector, or solution has an impact on addressing our housing and homelessness crisis on its own.
Private funds are a critical bridge to solutions, but without the funding partnership of local jurisdictions, it’s a bridge to nowhere. We’re seeing this very real risk in San Jose, as the 12th largest city in the country debates divesting in permanent affordable housing to fund shelters (scroll down for more information).
Our collective action in Santa Clara County is simultaneously building more permanent, affordable and supportive housing, increasing shelter options and quickly supporting households at-risk of homelessness every day. These effective, evidence-based strategies our community has underway are ending and preventing homelessness for tens of thousands of our neighbors, and helping to turn the tide on this crisis. It is clear our work is far from done, but we know what works.
To reduce overall homelessness in our community, we all must work together to resource these solutions with the urgency they deserve.
Critically-needed affordable housing funds are at-risk in San Jose! The City’s FY 23-24 proposed budget includes a new Measure E spending plan that drastically shifts funding away from affordable housing production. This short-sighted proposal represents a huge departure from the balanced approach presented to the voters in 2020, and will set back our collective efforts to address our housing and homelessness crisis.
If this proposal goes through, it will eliminate funding for any NEW affordable housing developments – putting dozens of projects at risk, including one of the three new Destination: Home funded projects referenced in this email newsletter (to be located at 5885 Santa Teresa Boulevard, and which would include new homes for both extremely low-income households and those who’ve experienced homelessness).
We are currently working with a broad coalition of partners to advocate for changes to this ill-advised plan and need YOUR help ahead of the final City Council vote on the budget on June 13th.
Read the recent Action Alert to learn more about this campaign and how you can get involved.