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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Creating great communities for all

San Jose approves strategy to spread out multi-unit affordable housing citywide

By Lloyd Alaban, San Jose Spotlight, August 31, 2021

“The San Jose City Council voted unanimously [on August 31] in favor of a plan that distributes affordable housing development in places near public transit and with upward mobility. City officials promise to come back no later than June 2022 with an update on the results of the policy.

“Mayor Sam Liccardo supports the plan, but has concerns about unintended consequences, including driving up the cost of affordable housing.

“The plan divides San Jose into three categories to prioritize where to build affordable housing based on poverty and crime rates. The policy aims to fund housing in areas with low levels of poverty and crime, as well as affluent areas that currently host a small percentage of affordable homes.

“According to a report on the affordable housing plan, the first category includes neighborhoods ‘associated with upward mobility, educational attainment, physical and mental health and other positive outcomes, especially for children’ such as West and North San Jose. Only 9 percent of the city’s planned or already-built affordable homes are located in these affluent areas.

“Development will mainly focus on the first two categories — what the city calls ‘resource-rich’ areas.

“Though residents worry that increased development will impact their property rates, those claims are unfounded according to the report. A 10-year research study of 122 low-income developments in San Jose showed the value of homes within 2,000 feet of new housing increased at the same rate as homes farther away.”

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