As a result of Measure A passing last November, a portion of county sales tax revenues – $123.1 million – will be allocated to build and refurbish 1,000 affordable homes in Santa Clara County, The Mercury New reported.
Six new, affordable rental housing projects will be built and three existing buildings will be refurbished. This represents one-third of the county’s overall goal of building 4,800 affordable homes by the year 2026.
For every dollar that Santa Clara County spends on these projects, state and federal grants and private investments will put in an additional $2.78.
Up to $94 million will be earmarked for 620 new apartments. These will include housing for the homeless and for low- to extremely low-income residents. There will be support services for the homeless on the premises. The balance will be earmarked for refurbishing 484 existing affordable apartments.
“Villas on the Park” will be located on N. 2nd St. in downtown San Jose. It’s expected to be complete by October 2019. The new housing complex will be downtown San Jose’s first real estate development that is dedicated to providing housing for people who are experiencing homelessness.
“We set a relatively difficult goal when we said we’re going to spend all this money in 10 years,” noted County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “And many people said that was not possible.”
But Supervisor Ken Yeager added that the county is optimistic about completing the project. “What excites me so much,” he said, “is that we’re going to continue to be on an accelerated pace because of the trust we’ve generated through what we’ve done and from the community.”
Yeager went on to say that if the construction is completed on time, Santa Clara will have created a new model for addressing its housing crisis.
Other Bay Area counties have passed similar measures to address homelessness. Recently, Alameda County voters approved a $580 million affordable housing bond, and San Mateo County voters approved extending a half-cent sales to support affordable housing. Furthermore, Oakland voters recently approved a $600 million infrastructure and affordable housing bond.
While the addition of more affordable housing in Santa Clara County will bring a respite for some, there’s still work to do. According to the organization Destination: Home, the county needs another 58,583 affordable homes to meet the current demand for low-cost housing.
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