SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. - Santa Clara County approved more than $47 million for six new affordable housing projects. The new projects are funded by the $950 million Measure A bond passed in 2016.
There’s been a delicate balance between providing immediate transitional housing for people and trying to build as much permanent housing as possible, especially here in San Jose. Now Santa Clara County says it’s taking another step to get people off the streets for good.
"I can’t sit through one more power point and one more vin diagram without understanding how we get to the people we see every day on the street that we’re not helping," said Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County Board Supervisor, Dist. 2.
On Tuesday, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved $47.4 million dollars to fund six affordable housing projects, moving towards its goal of creating 4,800 new rental units throughout the county.
"All the people that are struggling, all the people that have been displaced. There are people living in Merced that still work here that commute every day, and it just ruins your quality of life to have to do those kinds of long commutes. And it ruins the environment," said Sandy Perry, South Bay Community Land Trust President.
One hundred twenty-nine housing units will be in Palo Alto, 185 units in two locations in Mountain View and 400 units will be located in three San Jose locations. San Jose-based Sandy Perry has been an affordable housing advocate for over 30 years.
"What’s required is a massive investment of public money, whether social housing at the state level or the federal level, especially at the federal level. The federal level has drastically underfunded housing for going on 50 years now," Perry said.
County Executive James R. Williams released a statement, saying in part:
"There is much more work to be done and a real need for the resources to make that happen — but as we come towards the end of allocating Measure A funding, there is significant progress to celebrate as well."
"Well, 4800 units is housing something like 17,000 people who otherwise would’ve had to leave San Jose or become unhoused. It’s not nearly enough, but they need to get credit for what they have done," Perry said.
Santa Clara County says so far, it’s allocated $648 million of Measure A funds, creating 4,749 units. The County also says 42% of those units were set aside for previously unhoused people and families.