Santa Clara County Approves $950M Affordable Housing Bond For November Elections
On June 21 BIA Bay Area succeeded in having the building industry’s recommendations for project funding criteria and bond measure revenues earmarked for moderate income housing included in Santa Clara County’s $950M Affordable Housing Bond Measure and Qualified Spending Plan. The bond measure recommendations were detailed in a June 6th memo to Supervisor Cortese which culminated in a unanimous vote of approval by the board following several hours of supportive testimony for the bond measure by numerous housing advocacy organizations. The bond measure will be on the November 2016 ballot.
The proposed BIA recommendation included in the Housing Bond Resolution and Qualified Spending Plan are listed below:
• Require cities and programs requesting bond funding to compete for funds by including evaluation/scoring points for cities that:
• Meet or significantly increase a city’s permitted new dwelling units as outlined within the city’s Housing Element
• Support the Governor’s “by-right” housing policies as included in the Governor’s measure (also referenced by the LAO)
• Qualified Spending Plan:
• $150M of the bond proceeds will be made available for Moderate Income (81%-120% AMI) with $50M available to fund a first-time homebuyers program
As bond measures for affordable housing are being approved for placement on the November 2016 ballot, BIA’s efforts in Santa Clara County steered the decision makers to admit that more supportive policy and funding resources targeting moderate income housing is needed. While the bulk of the revenues derived thru the bond measure will be targeted for low and very low income subsidized dwelling units, it is a step in the right direction by local government to proactively acknowledge that (1) moderate income housing is a necessary component of the bay area’s future housing landscape, (2) cities have the ability to advance housing availability of all types of housing thru proactive permitting practices.