ISIS, Ebola Virus, Affordable Housing Go before Rules

San Jose may try to settle a spat with Santa Clara County to free up some $20 million-a-year that could pay for affordable housing and homeless shelters.

In a memo submitted to the Rules and Open Government Committee, Mayor Chuck Reed directs the city to strike up settlement discussions. State legislation that nixed redevelopment agencies in 2012 created a lot of uncertainty about where to direct tax increment funding. The city and county weren’t on the same page, resulting in a dispute that has dragged on for years.

“The dispute over these funds will likely carry on in the courts for years,” Reed states. “Yet, both the city and county have placed a high priority on affordable housing and homeless housing.”

Coming to some agreement on how to spent the money would eliminate the need for litigation and free up a windfall of cash for low-income housing by January 2016, he says.

San Jose used to be one of the biggest generators of affordable homes in California. From the mid-‘80s to 2011, the city funded 21,662 low-income housing units—including 6,000 rehab units—through redevelopment revenue. The investment totaled $834 million.

San Jose lost its primary source of affordable housing funding—some $30 million a year—with the dissolution of its redevelopment agency by the state.

“No other permanent source of funding has been identified,” Reed says.

The City Council will also in the near future consider adopting a housing impact fee, which would require developers to set aside units for low-income tenants or pay an in-lieu fee. A similar fee was challenged by a builders union and is being held up in court.

More from the San Jose Rules and open Government Committee agenda for October 1, 2014:

  • Police Chief Larry Esquivel is asking for more time to prepare a report about department staffing and crime trends. Councilman Don Rocha originally asked for information about academy class size going back several years and an analysis of recent trends in crime statistics. Esquivel says he can provide some information by Oct. 10 and the rest by the end of the month.
  • Another concerned resident posted a disapproving Yelp review of El Tarasco bar. “I encourage you all to go to Yelp and read the review of this disgusting establishment,” Martha O’Connell urges the Rules Committee. “Public urinations fights, shootings, women being sexually harassed on their way to their cars, drunks vomiting on the lawns of nearby homes. …It was also questioned if the reason no action has been taken is because the neighbors are folks of color: This would not be allowed in expensive, predominately white neighborhoods. All kids need protection, all women deserve respect. Close this place down.”
  • The city opposes a controversial state ballot measure that would require doctors to get drug tested. Here’s a look at the city’s stance on some other measures coming up on the Nov. 4 ballot.
  • Councilman Xavier Campos wants to host another gun buyback. A similar event last year took more than 460 weapons on the streets.
  • A public memorial service for the late Joe McNamara, San Jose police chief from 1976 to 1991, takes places at 10am Thursday at the California Theatre, 1 S. First St. McNamara died Sept. 19 at the age of 79 after a years-long battled with pancreatic cancer. The event will feature a lineup of police leaders and former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery, who served during eight years of McNamara’s tenure as chief.

WHAT: Rules and Open Government Committee meets
WHEN: 2pm Wednesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. > •Even more concerned is Lee Ellak, who wonders if San Jose is prepared for . . . an Ebola outreak.

    I wonder if the lunkheads on the city council will ever figure out what a stupid idea it was to ban single use plastic bags?

    Coming to a Whole Foods near you … a diverse, multicultural person from an exotic land will bring their ebola laden reusable shopping bag (the one with a peace symbol or an artsy sunflower) into the store and hand it to the checkout lady, who, after handling the ebola fomite, will load your arugula into your reusable shopping bag (with the peace symbol or artsy sunflower).

  2. I have run into two older gentlemen in recent weeks, both who lost their housing in Santa clara because the rents went up so much they can no longer after to stay. If you think SJ is bad try Santa Clara. One gentleman had been to city council and nothing zip could be done. Terrible and very sad. I think one of them is now considering living in the library most of the week during the day and hopefully get some section 8 housing at one of the local hotels. But at these hotels in Santa Clara (on ECR) they kick you out during the day. That’s why he will go to the library during the day. If you think SJ sucks it’s not the only pony in town, little Santa Clara is just as bad if not worse. And their city council does deals with developers, who then don’t do anything along those lines. total losers

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