This November, Santa Clara County voters will have the opportunity to make history by voting “yes” on Measure A for Affordable Housing, a $950 million affordable housing bond that will create thousands of new affordable homes for hardworking families and vulnerable communities across Santa Clara County.
We all see on a daily basis that Santa Clara County’s housing crisis is real. The Bay Area is home to some of the wealthiest and most expensive places to live in the world, all while thousands of people are homeless and many thousands more live below the poverty line on the verge of homelessness.
This affects all of us. We’re worried about our friends, family, and community members being able to find an affordable place to live. And we’re deeply concerned about helping those who have already lost housing find a way to get back on their feet and gain access to a safe, healthy, affordable place to call home.
We’ve been looking this problem in the eye for a long time. Now, thanks to a unanimous vote by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, we finally have something to do about it—by voting “yes” on Measure A for affordable housing this November.
Measure A will allows us to support our most vulnerable community members, including our chronically homeless, veterans, seniors, mentally ill, people with disabilities, and low-income and working families.
Measure A works by creating and preserving affordable housing for our most vulnerable communities, such as our seniors and veterans and including Supportive Housing for our chronically homeless residents.
The measure also creates new affordable housing opportunities for our working families, some of whom live on the brink of homelessness and others who may be making enough to get by, but are fighting for opportunities to get ahead.
Measure A will support these working families by creating more affordable housing options near transit and workplace centers, and also by providing first-time homebuyer loans, helping our community members who might otherwise be forced to move far away or suffer long commutes. When people can live near where they work, it reduces traffic congestion and cleans our air. That’s good for all of us!
Measure A is a monumental opportunity for our community to rise to the challenge and provide support to our community members who need our help: Families and children who are living on our streets. Community members who live just on the brink, fearing that every month may be their last in their home. And our working professionals who appear to be making good-paying wages, but still can’t get by in this housing market: our teachers, nurses, bus drivers, grocery clerks, and more.
Downtown Streets Team is joined by a broad coalition of public health, businesses, civic, labor, housing and homeless advocacy, veteran, environmental, and faith leaders from every corner of our County in supporting Measure A. Endorsers include the League of Women Voters, Santa Clara County Senior Care Commission, the Health Trust, Veterans Voices of Santa Clara County, the Registered Nurses Professional Association, the San Jose Downtown Association, and many more.
Measure A is a game changer for our region. We hope you will join us in voting “yes” on Measure A for affordable housing!
Eileen Richardson is the executive director of Downtown Streets Team. After spending more than a decade in the tech and venture world, including serving as CEO of Napster and Infavio Inc., Eileen started volunteering with the local food closet and decided that ending homelessness was more important to her than stock options. Since 2005, she has leveraged her relationships with civic leaders, local businesses, tech/VC stakeholders, partnered nonprofits and the homeless population to find a solution to homelessness. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.