Well after this pandemic passes, we’ll continue to endure a more familiar crisis: a lack of housing affordable to all of our residents. In order to make progress on issues like housing—we need to be listening to one another in order to unite around common-sense solutions. That is why last week we asked for your ideas. If you haven’t yet had a chance to share your solutions on how to make San Jose a better, more equitable city, let us know now!
Important Housing Progress
We created Solutions San Jose to provide an ongoing forum for robust public policy discussions on the issues that impact everyday life in our city. We will bring relevant issues to your attention on a weekly basis and share how you can engage and show your support. This week we’re focusing on affordable housing—the wins, the updates, and the solutions on the horizon.
Affordable Housing Win
In an exciting win for housing affordability and economic revitalization, I announced this past week that Google has committed to providing more than $1 billion for a variety of public benefits in connection with the construction of its Downtown West project. These benefits come in many forms: land and dollars to construct at least 1,000 affordable housing units, rent-restricted apartments, transportation improvements, nearly 15 acres of parks, trails, and open space, and a $200 million community benefits fund to enable pathways to education and jobs, and to prevent and address homelessness and displacement. Google’s commitment to make at least 25% of the more than 4,000 homes affordable exceeds that of any other private development in San Jose’s history, and ensures that all of the new residents will live within walking distance of our region’s largest transit center, Diridon Station. Read more about this amazing win for all San Jose residents here.
Senate Bill 7 Update
Solutions San Jose has proudly supported Senate Bill 7 (SB 7), as it will expedite housing construction across the state—particularly affordable housing—and enable transformative projects like Google’s to bypass years of red tape and litigation after public hearings and approvals. If SB7 gets signed into law, that means the San Jose development project funded by Google can start revitalizing San Jose’s Downtown that much faster. I testified before a State Senate committee on this bill last month, and it has successfully passed the State Senate.
Email your local representative to let them know that you support SB 7 and the construction of affordable housing.
Solutions on the Horizon: North San Jose
We’ve been advocating for one solution to our housing crisis: ending the legal stalemate in North San Jose, where not a single home has been built in more than a half-decade. Have you heard about it? Here’s an editorial explaining what this will do for local residents. Two weeks ago, housing advocates and public servants joined me in a letter stating their support for an agreement between the cities of Santa Clara and San Jose to enable transit-oriented housing, transportation improvements, and neighborhood-serving retail and other amenities in North San Jose to move forward. San Jose Councilmember David Cohen and Santa Clara Councilmembers Suds Jain and Anthony Becker joined community advocates and me at a press conference to urge an agreement, as local TV media reported here. We’ll keep you posted on this issue as it develops.