Santa Clara County to Convert Housing Complexes to Affordable Housing

Santa Clara County supervisors approved a quartet of housing projects Tuesday that will convert existing properties into more than 300 affordable housing units.

The board unanimously approved the purchase of four properties: two in San Jose, one in Morgan Hill and one in Santa Clara - that will be converted into 324 combined housing units.

Once completed, each of the four housing complexes will include at least 72 housing units and one unit for on-site management.

One of the properties, located at 21 N. 21st St. in San Jose, will also include roughly 10,200 square feet of commercial space in addition to its 80 housing units, which will be reserved for people with developmental disabilities, youth who are transitioning out of the foster care system, those with Section 8 housing vouchers and homeless residents.

The other three projects will be located at 15440 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill, 3335-3337 Kifer Road in Santa Clara and 1135 E. Santa Clara St. in San Jose.

“These are the type of projects that's exactly what we need,” Supervisor Otto Lee said during the board's Tuesday morning meeting.

Primary funding to buy and convert all four properties will come from 2016's Measure A, a voter-approved $950 million affordable housing bond.

The county has already supported affordable housing projects with Measure A funding in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Gilroy and Milpitas in addition to Santa Clara, Morgan Hill and San Jose.

Of the 41 Measure A projects the county has approved, 29 of them are in San Jose.

Supervisor Cindy Chavez said Monday that the county also intends to launch affordable housing projects in additional cities across the county.

Chavez said Monday that the county chooses Measure A projects by alerting cities that funding is available.

“It allows any city that wants to have a project in their community (to) come to us,” Chavez said.

Nearly 900 housing units have already been built using Measure A funding, according to the county, with another roughly 2,000 units under construction or scheduled to begin construction in the next six months.

County officials expect to spend up to roughly $17.1 million in total to buy the four properties.

Construction to convert the four properties into housing units is expected to begin this summer, according to the county.



  1. $17,100,000 / 324 units = $52,778 per unit. Sounds like the parable of the loaves and fishes.

    Many people who voted for Measure A thought the money would be used for new construction, but most of the money seems to have been spent to take existing properties off the private housing market.

  2. What are they converting? Most of these properties are just empty lots. So how long will it take to build out the housing and how much is that going to cost?

    Spending measure A money to buy an empty lot and then taking 5 years to build a few hundred units really isn’t making a dent in the massive problem that exists in the Santa Clara County.

    But hey, pat yourself on the back for spending those tax dollars so you can come back and ask for more.

  3. The supervisors control a huge piece of land called the Santa Clara county fairgrounds. They could take some of the billions of dollars we have voted for over the years for homeless housing and build a facility big enough at the county fairgrounds that would accommodate almost every homeless person in this region. They could also have a hospital on site and other services in one centralized location instead of making a hodgepodge of old hotels and motels to basically store homeless people.

  4. It’s really hard to call it a transformation because a lot of sites are empty and require a lot of money and effort in the long run. Perhaps spending that much time will solve the problem that exists in Santa Clara, but aren’t there other ways to make it happen faster? I was just shooting my blog here on this topic, so I can say that any concept must meet reality and many locals would agree with me, paying such high taxes.

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