Letter: Somos Mayfair Supports County’s Land Ownership for Measure A Projects

Dear Editor,

As the executive director of SOMOS Mayfair, I am reaching out to clarify our position on Santa Clara County’s Measure A funds and the implementation on critical permanent supportive and affordable housing projects.

A dated comment made in 2017 by one of our staff members was used in a recent editorial piece in your paper, Editorial: Unshackle Measure AThe statement was made two years ago and does not reflect the status of where the referenced Quetzal Gardens housing project is now.

We are excited to share that the project is moving forward as a 100 percent affordable, mixed-income housing project with units dedicated to rapid rehousing, permanently supportive housing and one- to three-bedroom family units that will serve people making 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.

Additionally, 100 percent of the commercial ground space will be dedicated to community benefits, housing SOMOS Mayfair’s nonprofit staff and community based programming, as well as supports for our local, family-owned small businesses.

Further, we understand and support the county’s position in retaining ownership of the land for Measure A funded projects, as we have unfortunately witnessed examples of nonprofits and organizations going out of business, or changing business models, disrupting service delivery to children and families and affecting the sustainability of programs and community benefits.

Through this mechanism of retaining land ownership, we expect that Measure A funds will support the housing needs voters approved and protect these community benefits over the long haul—irrespective of the developer and operator.

Thank you,

Camille Llanes Fontanilla

5 Comments

  1. Dear Camille,

    >We are excited to share that the project is moving forward as a 100 percent affordable, mixed-income housing project with units dedicated to rapid rehousing, permanently supportive housing and one- to three-bedroom family units that will serve people making 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income.

    2 part question

    First, was this done through a HUD loan?

    Second question, will these units be converted to non-low income ones the loan is paid off?

    • It would depend on the contract between the government entity and Developer. If the County doesn’t own the land — then most affordable properties must remain affordable for a term of at least 30 years — then, I believe, after that, it can be considered for other uses (i.e. market rate)…but typically the developments remain affordable. Those agreements should already be in place, and I believe it’s public record. Now, the issue is, clearly, that the County didn’t make many developers aware of their desire to own the land. The County is unprepared, and has the cart too far ahead of the horse. Quetzal is WAYYYY over budget. Way over budget, and i’m sure it will be delayed too.

  2. > Further, we understand and support the county’s position in retaining ownership of the land for Measure A funded projects, as we have unfortunately witnessed examples of nonprofits and organizations going out of business, or changing business models, disrupting service delivery to children and families and affecting the sustainability of programs and community benefits.

    TRANSLATION:

    “These types of projects are always flaky because they’re run by social justice nincompoops who don’t know the first thing about real estate, operations, property management, budgeting, costs, and the time value of money.”

  3. Fresh face on New York style tenement housing, give’s me the creeps! Just what I came to California to get away from.
    So sad……………..

  4. How does one get OUT of low income housing. This looks like housing for life. Sorry, but as Trump says it best “America, will never be a socialist country”.

    That may be what the politicians in California have in mind but that isn’t likely to be what the rest of the US has in mind.

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