HOUSING STILL IN CRISis

Silicon Valley is thriving, but families continue to be priced out, displaced, choose to relocate or become a part of the growing “working unhoused.” There are many layers to all of this, but the bottom line is that we just don’t have enough housing. If we do not take real action now, we risk a dangerous upheaval and potential collapse of Silicon Valley. Our families and the next generation should be able to continue to call San José home.

Regional responsibility — work with other cities, regional agencies and community partners to create housing solutions for everyone

All housing options must be pursued — affordable units, domestic violence and family year-round shelters, single-family options and more, but San José cannot continue to carry this responsibility alone. San José remains a desirable community for many of the Bay Area’s workforce to call home, causing major stress on our housing.

Regional participation and coordination must be a part of the way forward. Furthermore, we must understand that each neighborhood and each city has different limits and variables, so we cannot disrupt an area with the wrong solution. The housing crisis is drastically reshaping our communities, and leaving too many of our friends and neighbors behind.

Utilizing innovation, creating options for residents, and protecting mobile home parks — supporting new or alternative housing solutions like Accessory Dwelling Units, ‘Granny units,’ duplex conversions, tiny homes and more

We have residents that want to bring housing solutions home, literally. Locating and incentivizing areas where residents can build Accessory Dwelling Units or duplex conversions will give families opportunities to be a part of solving the housing crisis.

San José’s mobile home parks continue to be more than just a safety net for low-income and senior residents, they are thriving communities where neighbors take care of each other. I am committed to protecting our mobile home parks.

Additionally, innovation is changing the way some people want to live. “Tiny homes” are being optioned for the unhoused, but are also appealing for single professionals that want to live simply. Environmental consciousness and our housing crisis is changing the way we think about housing, we should work with and embrace the brilliant minds of Silicon Valley to bring innovative solutions.

Get shovels in the ground but do it right — build smaller and taller along transit and job corridors, stop adding congestion to our highways and stop pushing housing development into our open spaces

I am encouraged by all the new buildings going up in our Downtown, and hopefully the expansion in North San José provides options closer to work for residents. Housing units are going up across Silicon Valley, but many are above- or at-market rate, only worsening costs. We need a balanced approach so we are also providing affordable solutions each time we put a shovel in the ground.

Getting it right is important. Pushes to expedite the permitting process or reduce impact fees can help, but I am wary of these approaches as we must not vacate the responsibility of ensuring new units are built with quality and care. We must offset the impacts to our schools, roads and parks, worsening congestion is not a viable solution.

We have a lot of options and a lot of people ready to invest, allowing us to get it right. San José should not be on the brink of a housing collapse that could damage our economic prowess. No matter our ups and downs, San José will always be a place where others want to call home, so we must not be driven by fears and anecdotes.

Support for the “missing middle” — maintaining housing for our working families and viable options for young couples or new homeowners

The “missing middle” are working families, younger residents, new couples, first time home buyers and those who earn too much to qualify for assistance, but not enough to keep up with the rapidly increasing costs. District 10 is where many of these residents hope to find home, but are limited in their options.

Not too long ago a college education and a quality job was enough to set you on a path to stable housing or even home ownership. Now families with two income earners is not enough, and now we are seeing 6+ adults cramming into single family homes to share the cost of rent, because rent is still just too high!

Whether loan programs through the city, changes to the qualifications for subsidies, regulation shifts for various allowances like accessory dwelling units, or various credits for new home buyers, we have to do something, and perhaps do it all.

Smart solutions for each District — understanding the best way each area of San José can help address the housing crisis

District 10 is made up primarily of single family homes, and our connection to San José is more suburban and open space, than an urban, high density core. Our neighborhoods need to adopt solutions in support of ending the housing crisis, but these solutions must make sense. This is coupled with the need to preserve open space and limit sprawl. We need to be incredibly thoughtful and not destroy our environment, especially when there are viable in-fill options.

At times we may want a City Hall that gets out of the way so that developers can build and the market can adjust, but things are too bad right now for City Hall to not do everything it can. As Councilmember I will tackle this issue head on because I believe we can protect our vulnerable populations, generate viable and affordable housing options, provide tools and resources to keep families in their homes, and get residents out of their cars or creeks and into sustainable housing. The work ahead will be tough, but the cause is just.

 
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