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