Santa Clara County supervisors have approved spending more than $100 million to build five housing complexes for low-income residents.
The funds will come from the Measure A housing bond, passed by a majority of voters in 2016.
The bond will eventually raise just under $1 billion for affordable housing projects and incentives across the county. The county set a goal of building 4,800 units, and set a deadline of 2028 to allocate the funds. So far 174 units have been built, or a little more than 3% of the county’s goal.
The approved developments are in San Jose, primarily in the central and eastern areas of the city.
“By sticking to our plan and keeping our word to the voters, we know that we are going to be able to make sure we get folks housed,” Chavez said. “This is our ‘all in’ program meaning were going to make sure we get our homeless community housed, and those who are also in high need of housing.”
The five projects consist of 566 apartments. County officials estimate more than 2,100 people could be housed in the units.
The housing will be split between varying groups of income levels, and 233 of the apartments, or about 41%, will be dedicated to rapid rehousing.
Rapid rehousing are units intended for getting homeless individuals into shelter immediately along with supportive services. These units will be time limited, and reserved for residents in immediate need of support.
“One of the primary goals we wanted to (focus on) with this round of projects was to fund rapid rehousing,” said Consuelo Hernandez, director of the Office of Supportive Housing. “These are families that are homeless and have struggled over the last year or so because of COVID-19 or other reasons.”
Estimates currently put the number of unhoused individuals in Santa Clara County at more than 10,000 on any given night.
The last time supervisors approved allocating Measure A funds was in March, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The last round of funding totaled just more than $137 million and was set aside for 865 units.
Of the 29 developments supervisors have approved to date, five are open, eight are under construction and six will begin construction in the next six months. The remaining 10 are in pre-construction.
Alex Shoor, executive director of the pro-housing nonprofit Catalyze SV, said all the projects supervisors green lit are positive investments in the community. Every year, his organization rates a handful of housing developments across Santa Clara County, based on factors such as affordability and sustainability, among others, on a scale of one to five.
One of the five projects received the highest rating Shoor’s group has ever awarded to a Silicon Valley housing development.
“I think this is really a model for how to do development,” Shoor said. “We think today you’re taking another step forward in this cause (for housing).”
While the approval of the next set of funds brings the county’s total Measure A commitment to more than $600 million, about $260 million of that remains unspent.
Two of the new projects approved are expected to be ready for occupancy by late 2023, and three more are expected to be ready by 2024.
In a separate action Tuesday, supervisors also unanimously approved spending more than $8 million of Measure A funds on a piece of property 10591 N. De Anza Boulevard in Cupertino. The purchase will come back to the board for a final vote on March 23.