housing

San Jose Considers New Tax to Pay for Affordable Housing

Should San Jose impose a new construction tax to pay for affordable housing? (Photo via city of San Jose)

Business groups worry that San Jose could scare away developers if it imposes a fee on new home construction to pay for more affordable housing, an effort to recoup a fraction of the money lost when the state closed all redevelopment agencies. The City Council, which was supposed to talk about the inclusionary housing fee in December, decided to table the discussion until the new year.

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Arresting Developments

Local developers want to sell the city of San Jose property in Coyote Valley (pictured) in exchange for changing land-use requirements for other areas.

A recent discussion within our community has focused on building even more single-family homes in areas that are reserved for jobs or fall outside of the urban service area. The proposal would allow those who convert industrial land to pay a fee per housing unit created. Those dollars would then be used to purchase open space in Coyote Valley. Although this idea may be worthy of discussion in theory, my concern is that such land use decisions would ultimately hurt San Jose’s economy.

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Census Shows Growth in Homeless Population in San Jose, County

A study of the local homeless population finds that the vast majority of people would prefer to be off the streets. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

The South Bay homeless population appears to be pooling in San Jose, as a new study estimates an 18 percent increase in the number of homeless people in the city since 2011. Overall, Santa Clara County’s homeless population grew by 8 percent—7,361 total—in the last two years, according to the county’s biennial census of the homeless population.

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Property Values Continue to Climb in 2013

About 47,000 county homeowners will soon find out that their homes are worth more than what they paid for them. Assessor Larry Stone announced in a press release Thursday that the South Bay’s residential property market continues to trend upward.

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County Assessor Report Notes Resurgence in Housing Prices

The price of single-family homes in San Jose’s Mount Pleasant area increased by 24 percent compared to last year, topping all neighborhoods in Santa Clara County. Areas with darker shades of red had the largest increases.

Silicon Valley home values saw double-digit appreciation in the past year, outpacing the nation’s rebounding real estate market. Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone last week released a detailed breakdown of single-family home and condo prices. The report of prices in 25 South Bay neighborhoods shows growth in single-family home values ranging from 4 to 24 percent, and 13 to 46 percent for condos.

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Investor Groups with Cash Pushing Middle-Class Homebuyers out of the Market

Erin and Allen Johnson talk about their homebuying options with real estate agent Edgar Meneses, left, of Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

A trend has emerged in the Silicon Valley real estate market, where middle-class homebuyers are losing out to cash buyers—often investment groups from overseas—who convert owner-occupied homes into rentals. The natural tendency of sellers to choose quick, guaranteed sales over offers with financing contingencies is a new assault on middle-class home ownership, a shift likely to expand the ranks of landlords and tenants and make home ownership an increasingly elusive American dream.

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Q&A with County Assessor Larry Stone

Q&A with County Assessor Larry Stone

We tried to do a Q&A with Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone back in late March. That didn’t happen, but it wasn’t Stone’s fault—there weren’t enough questions at the time. But here we are, three months later, and we’ve got the tax man’s answers to a couple submitted questions, relayed in a telephone conversation, as well as his thoughts on the fight between the county and Redevelopment Agencies, the odds the Oakland A’s will relocate to San Jose and how he views the local housing market five years after the subprime mortgage crisis.

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