SAN JOSE, Caliph. (KRON) – It’s no secret that building affordable housing in San Jose is challenging, but in recent years the city has been looking for ways to speed up the process.
For the past three years, the City of San Jose and Destination: Home have teamed up to reduce the planning review time for proposals for extremely low income (ELI) and supportive housing developments.
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“We came to the realization that the best we can do is fund a planner who would go out of his way to approve these specific projects, and it worked.”
“We have over a dozen projects that have gone through this process with more than 1,200 homes, and we’ve seen time savings.”
Since spring 2018, the pilot program has accelerated low-income and supportive housing projects by more than 20%, reports the city.
As part of this facilitated process, city planners made 14 proposals for ultra low income and supportive housing, representing 1,270 affordable units.
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“Thanks to the collaboration between Destination: Home and the City of San José, we now have a more efficient and effective schedule to improve the financial viability of affordable housing projects,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo in a press release.
“This streamlined process will create new access for developers and life-changing homes for our uninhabited neighbors.”
Courtesy: National Low Income Housing Coalition Report March 2021, “A Shortage of Affordable Housing”. The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara regions are among the metropolitan areas with fewer than the national average of affordable and available units per 100 households at or below the ultra-low income threshold (ELI).
And now the city and Destination: Home are continuing their partnership.
Destination: Home will extend its $ 540,000 funding for an additional three years to further expedite the review process and other actions related to accelerating the production of affordable housing.
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“We’re all there together and the partnership with the planning department of the city of San Jose is a spoke in the wheel.”
“As soon as we row the city, the district, the housing department, the residents, the property developers and organizations like Destination: Home in the same direction, we see really enormous results.”
Destination: Home is also leading other similar efforts in Santa Clara County by granting the City of Morgan Hill a capacity-building grant for its 2020-2025 community plan to end homelessness.
The capacity building grants for the City of San Jose were funded by Destination: Home’s Supportive Housing Innovation Fund and significant philanthropic contributions from Cisco and Apple.
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“The only way to really end homelessness is to give people permanent housing and get housing approval faster with these great sources of money we have from our city, county and state partners.”
“Everyone in our community will be better off.”
Six more affordable housing projects are currently being examined, and many other projects are in a preliminary phase, according to the city.
The city’s Housing Catalyst program recently launched a new Housing Site Explorer Map to help affordable housing developers identify potential development locations.