The solution to our housing crisis is right in front of us.
Politicians don’t always get it – but the people do. We need to dramatically increase the supply of housing, particularly housing that is near transit, near existing jobs, and affordable to nurses, teachers, firefighters, mechanics, chefs, bus drivers and many other working people who make our communities work.
That’s why as housing advocates we have joined Solutions San José’s call to end the threat of lawsuits from the City of Santa Clara that is stopping the construction of vitally-needed new housing in North San José.
We are part of a grassroots coalition that includes many of the region’s most prominent housing advocates, affordable housing developers, service providers, and Silicon Valley officials who share a commitment to balanced and sustainable development that addresses our region’s staggering lack of housing that people of all incomes can afford.
In 2005, the City of San José planned for the construction of thousands of homes along the light rail corridor specifically to minimize the impact on traffic and the San José City Council has since committed that 20% of those homes will be affordable to lower-income residents. However, a 2005 lawsuit from the County cities of Santa Clara and Milpitas, resulted in a court settlement that has since constrained the pace of housing construction. Although Milpitas and the County have since agreed to allow San José housing construction to move forward, home builders still cannot get shovels in the ground due to the threat of lawsuits from the City of Santa Clara. To build the homes we need to alleviate our ever-worsening housing shortage, Santa Clara simply needs to agree that they will not sue to block new housing. San José and Santa Clara residents are in strong agreement that it is long past time for San José and Santa Clara officials to work together to create a Silicon Valley for everyone.
The “smart growth” focus of San José’s General Plan will ensure the construction of new housing within walking distance of light rail and BART stations to mitigate regional traffic concerns and ensure that a substantial number of affordable homes will be built in North San José. Additionally, San José continues to move forward on planning, design, environmental clearance, and road improvements that will benefit North San José, Santa Clara, and our entire region.
Residents of both Santa Clara and San José want to see a Valley made more affordable for their children. They want their cities to work together to support innovative development near vital job centers and transportation hubs to lessen the impact of commuting on our environment, traffic congestion, and quality of life.
Our coalition of pro-housing stakeholders embraces the value of working together—Santa Clara, San José, and our communities—to unlock new residential opportunities in San José and our Valley. We invite you to join our coalition.
Leslye Corsiglia, Executive Director of SV@Home
Todd David, Executive Director of Housing Action Coalition
Cassandra Matter, Executive Director of Solutions San José