Santa Clara County Approves $33 Million for Pair of Affordable Housing Developments

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized $33 million in state and local affordable housing funds for two projects with a combined 176 units.

Of those units, 87 will be reserved for formerly homeless people and tenants with disabilities. Two will be for extremely low-income households, 57 for very low-income, 27 for low-income and three for on-site property managers.

The proposed Gallup & Mesa Apartments will include 46 units, and Auzerais Apartments 130. Both will be financed with $15.6 million from the county’s Measure A, which voters approved in 2016, and $17.4 million from a state bond dubbed No Place Like Home.

Both projects are slated for completion in 2022.

Since voters passed Measure A in 2016, the $950 million affordable housing bond has financed over 1,500 new apartments in six local cities. By the end of this year, construction for three housing developments will be completed and construction of the Quetzal Gardens and Corvin Apartments will begin.

With these latest projects in the pipeline, the county says it has reached almost a third of its production goal of 120 affordable housing developments, including 4,800 units for low-income families, by 2027.

Supervisors congratulated the Office of Supportive Housing for pushing forward the county’s housing goals. “Well done,” Supervisor Mike Wasserman said from the dais before the vote earlier this week.

However, he said, the county should pay more mind to its longer-term housing goals.

“What happens when the bond measure runs out?” Wasserman asked. “One of the concerns I have is fiscal sustainability. When the money’s all out there, how is the county going to fund and continue the [supportive] services?”

Supportive housing officials plan to report to the board on that question at a later date.

Supervisor Dave Cortese weighed in, suggested that the county ramp up its PR efforts. “People are starting to think, they [county officials] are not really putting the homeless in these permanent supportive housing projects, which I suppose is the logical conclusion as you see more tents popping up.” he said.

The Office of Supportive Housing is now working with staff in Mountain View to begin additional Measure A housing projects. On Nov. 20, the county will launch a $25 million Measure A initiative called the Empower Homebuyer Program, which offers down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers.

Nicholas Chan is a journalist who covers politics, culture and current events in Silicon Valley. Follow him on Twitter at @nicholaschanhk.

2 Comments

  1. > Santa Clara County Approves $33 Million for Pair of Affordable Housing Developments

    I’m feeling really good about myself. I helped the homeless.

    And I didn’t have to lift a finger.

    I never realized that going to heaven would be this easy.

  2. Interesting read, the county has done a very good job reducing cost if it can build 176 units for $33 million dollars. Thats less than $200k a door, down from over $500k. That kind of cost savings raises eyebrows and should illicite some questions, because its not possible.

    Like, who owns the 176 units as there is no way you can build one for less than $200k in Santa Clara county. If this is a down payment on a loan, who services the debt? Will the rent cover they management, WST, utilities, main, and social case management in addition to the debt service? If not, who is on the hook to carry that cost? Is this some kind of LIHTC scam that the county gave away a down payment to some savvy investor, or is it an ever growing cost on the county were the costs and interest grow faster than the rent can ever pay?

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