The San José City Council on Tuesday approved a $205 million spending plan for affordable housing development, homelessness prevention and quick-build solutions to homelessness.
The money is from Measure E, which was approved by 54% of San José voters in 2020. Measure E generated $140 million, with another $65 million expected in the next fiscal year, to address the housing and homelessness crises.
In total, Measure E includes $145 million for extremely-low and low-income affordable housing development, acquisition, and hotel conversions over three years, which the city said will provide local funding for at least 1,200 affordable and supportive units. The remaining dollars are dedicated towards homelessness prevention programs and quick-build apartment communities for the unhoused.
“Voters understood the urgent need to build affordable housing when they approved Measure E; now, two years on, we’re in a much stronger position to house more families and move San Joséans back from the brink,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo in a May 17 statement. “As we work to deliver on the promise of Measure E, we will continue to leverage state and federal funding as we work towards our goal of building thousands of new units of housing.”
Liccardo’s stated goal is to have 1,000 units of interim housing planned, under construction, or completed by the end of 2022.
Highlights of the $205 million spending plan include:
- $89 million for the development of new affordable housing for extremely-low income (up to 30% of area median income) and low-income (up to 80% of median income) households;
- $25 million for the acquisition and conversion of existing market-rate units to affordable housing;
- $22 million towards quick-build apartment construction and operations;
- $21 million for hotel acquisition and conversion to permanent housing;
- $20 million towards homelessness prevention.
Measure E gets its money from a real estate transfer tax on any property sales and transfers valued at over $2 million.
Between July and December 2021, 10 high-value commercial property sales alone generated $32.9 million in new tax revenue for affordable housing solutions, according to the city.
Measure Ehad promised to provide funding for homelessness prevention, affordable housing for seniors, veterans, disabled, and low-income families and to help move people off of the streets and into interim shelter or permanent housing.
City officials say the increase in available funding allows the city to create “quick-build” interim housing solutions that, so far, have housed a total of 677 unhoused individuals and families across three interim housing communities – Evans Lane, Rue Ferrari, and Bernal/Monterey – and two bridge housing sites at Maybury Road and Felipe Avenue.
Philanthropic partners have contributed more than $13 million towards development of the quick-build apartment communities that set u[ prefabricated, modular housing built in a few months and at a fraction of the cost of traditional apartments.
In addition to stable shelter with private bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms and shared laundry and kitchen amenities, the quick-build apartment sites provide residents with assistance in accessing public benefit programs, healthcare, and employment preparation.
San José’s quick-build apartment and bridge housing communities currently provide homes for 473 individuals. Since the opening of these sites, 212 families and individuals have moved on to either transitional or permanent housing, according to the city.
The city reported that Guadalupe Lot E, a 76 unit quick-build community site, is currently under-development, and it has applied for Homekey funding for the 204-unit quick-build community at Monterey/Branham.
The council is scheduled to approve additional locations for new quick-build community site June 21.
Over three years, the city says it expects nearly 2,000 at-risk households will be served through the homelessness prevention system using Measure E funding.
In December 2021, Measure E revenue comprised nearly half of the City of San José’s $150 million Notice of Funding Availability, which will help produce 1,288 units of affordable housing across 11 projects.
Several other projects were waitlisted for city funding, with a total excess of $40 million requested by housing developers.
According to the city, Measure E funds will support additional hotel acquisitions and ongoing operations at San José’s hotels and motels in addition to delivering on the promise made to voters for building more affordable housing and keeping residents in their homes.