SJ City Council to Review Series of Affordable Housing Proposals

A slate of proposals coming up for review at Tuesday’s City Council meeting could add hundreds of below-market-rate residential units to San Jose’s housing stock.

In addition to construction projects, the council will take a look at how the city managed its rent-control program in the past year. Mayor Sam Liccardo and his newly appointed Vice Mayor Chappie Jones want to find out whether the price-restrictions on apartments built before 1979 are limiting new housing production.

“When the Ellis Act Ordinance was last updated in April 2018, housing staff acknowledged that the 50 percent requirement amounted to a ‘best-guess’ strategy to avoid dis-incentivizing development of much-needed rental housing while maintaining our existing [rent control] housing stock,” they wrote in a shared memo. “We expected that we would need to monitor the response of the housing market, and learn from feedback. In the 10 months since, we have seen very few Ellis-relevant housing development proposals emerge, and have heard anecdotally that the re-control requirement undermines the viability of several projects. If we have any intention of meeting our affordable and market-rate housing goals, council must fully understand the impacts of the current requirement.”

They urged the city to study the matter and come back to the council with a report.

As for the construction grants on the agenda, one proposal would authorize City Manager David Sykes to request money from the California State Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, which funds land-use initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The grants could bring a combined hundreds of millions of dollars for low-income housing at the Roosevelt Park Apartments on North 21st Street, a Charities Housing project on Page Street, the Parkside Terrace Apartments on Wooster Avenue and the 354-unit apartment on Lanai Avenue.

The Roosevelt Park Apartments project comprises 79 extremely low-income, very low-income, low-income and moderate income apartment units. Some of these units would be set aside for formerly homeless people. Once approved, construction is on track to begin in spring 2020, and is estimated to wrap up around 2022. The city plans to authorize a $9.4 million loan to cover costs.

For the project on Page Street, the city proposes $7.2 million for construction of 81 extremely low-income and very low-income units, with 27 of them being awarded to formerly homeless people. The project will draw from Measure A funds—$950 million affordable housing bonds approved by Santa Clara County voters in 2018. The proposal will also include an agreement with the Valley Transportation Authority to run electric buses to the site as part of a revamped public transportation plan.

The Parkside Apartments, formerly known as the Hidden Brooks, will offer below-market rent to 40 potential tenants who earn less than $50,000 a year. The remaining 160 units will be offered to tenants who earn less than $60,000 a year.

The final housing project set to be heard on Tuesday is a renovation of Valley Palms Apartments. The complex already offers low-income options for residents, and Tuesday’s proceedings will allow property owners to make the facility compliant with disability access laws. Currently, Valley Palms offers 70 percent of its units to households with at least two members who make a combined $60,00 or less. Improvements are set to begin in April and finish by spring 2020.

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for February 6, 2019:

  • The council will review the latest findings from the Diridon Integrated Station Concept Plan. The plan proposes a remodel to Diridon Station in anticipation of the BART extension, California High Speed Rail and electrified Caltrain lines. The plan will also include provisions for the proposed Google mega-campus.
  • Resident Lynn Brown will receive a commendation for “serving as a positive role model and pillar of her community of San Jose, and for her unwavering kindness to animals.”
  • The council will proclaim February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
  • The city plans to continue its partnership with FUSE Corps, a nonprofit that works with city governments to help solve issues like traffic, unemployment and environmental impact.
  • The council will consider a proposal to upgrade the heating and air conditioning system at City Hall to the tune of $5.3 million.
  • The city will tweak its emergency preparedness plan. An update was proposed after the 2018 Camp Fire, the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2017 Coyote Creek Flood.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

13 Comments

  1. > For the project on Page Street, the city proposes $7.2 million for construction of 81 extremely low-income and very low-income units, with 27 of them being awarded to formerly homeless people.

    27 homeless units?

    But, according to Shaunn Cartwright, San Jose has 4,000 homeless. And that’s not counting the homeless that are available on the Peninsula, in San Francisco, in Oakland, and in the East Bay. And I’m sure that Gilroy, Monterey, and Salinas have homeless that we could house. And there’s always Los Angeles. And Mexico.

    What good is building only 27 homeless units? Why not build 4,000 homeless units? Or, 40,000 homeless units?

    Seems to me that the Mayor and the City Council lack compassion.

  2. Maybe we should rename the city to go along with it’s new persona of loading it up with, drunks, drugged, crazies, and criminals that will likely inhabit these projects. Los Detroit, New Hells Kitchen, West Bronx?

  3. How can February be Teen Violence Awareness Month? Everyone knows it’s Black History Month… Racist!

    Also, I’m a homeless female trapped in an employed male body- where do I apply for free housing, food, cell service, electrity and health care?

  4. This isn’t going to be popular.

    We don’t need more low income housing. Low income housing is a trap.

    If you are in your 20s then find a part of the country where you can BUY a house. Then when you are 60 and ready to retire you won’t likely have financial problems.

    Otherwise you will be stuck in an apartment for your entire life.

    • Hmmm? Odd, I bought a house here in my twenties as I could work 60-70 hours a week to pay for it now,
      I’m leaving as I can’t afford the taxes, and the grass is much greener in other states.

  5. “Affordable housing proposals”… affordable for who?! Our benighted San Hoser city council and mayor have signed off on the go-ahead to build 60 tiny homes, made from used shipping containers, at a cost… sit down for this… of 36 million dollars! That works out to about 600 thousand dollars each or 2500 dollars per square foot! Only government could blow this much money on such a crappy little project.
    https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/01/09/san-jose-newly-elected-city-council-clears-hurdle-for-homeless-housing-project/

    • It would be helpful if SJI, the Merc, Spotlight, etc. would include understandable metrics regarding all the new affordable housing being considered. Like price/unit or price/annual usage or something. It’s really hard to figure out how much housing value we are getting for all these projects as we (taxpayers and readers) are left to do our own math, and it’s unclear if we are missing sometlhing. It would be even better if the City and County would provide a metric for what a reasonable cost metric is (price/unit? price/something?) for the new housing. How much is too much? How much is a good deal? I, for one, have no idea what the metrics are other than people being happy that we are spending lots of money. Thanks.

      • > It would be helpful if SJI, the Merc, Spotlight, etc. would include understandable metrics regarding all the new affordable housing being considered.

        Christopher:

        It’s not a data problem. It’s a policy problem.

        If the policy is wrong, it’s a waste of time and misdirection to collect data to justify wrong headed policy.

        The policy of providing “subsidized housing” and “housing for the homeless” is wrong headed.

        Other localities are using buses to solve the “problem” of “lack of affordable housing”. Move the unhoused to places where the housing is affordable for them.

  6. “… remodel to Diridon Station in anticipation of the BART extension, California High Speed Rail and electrified Caltrain lines.” Holy moly, the city of San Hoser has absolutely no sense of history! The Station is a beautiful old building and I can only imagine what our San Hoser politicians might approve, thereby ruining it.

    • > Holy moly, the city of San Hoser has absolutely no sense of history!

      And likewise, no sense of the future.

      By the year 2043 when the high speed rail is SUPPOSED to go into service, the train geniuses will STILL NOT have figured out a way to dig tunnels through the twenty earthquake zones in Los Angeles.

      Those eager transit customers waiting on the Diridon Station platform in 2043 will likely still be waiting in 2053, and 2063, and 2073, and . . . .

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: