The Silicon Valley cost study, Home Not Found, that was carried out by the Economic Roundtable in collaboration with Santa Clara County and under the auspices of Destination: Home provides the evidence supporting Measure A, a $950 million affordable housing bond measure that will be on the November ballot.
“The level of commitment is historic, both in the amount of the one-time financing we are proposing to help house our homeless families and in the support we are getting from all facets of our community,” said Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese, who cosponsored the proposal.
“We have nearly five thousand people living on our streets and in our creeks, and the housing for them does not exist. This is why this bond measure is essential,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, the other cosponsor.
The property tax will raise about $950 million over 30 years and cost homeowners about $12.60 per $100,000 in property value. The measure requires a two-thirds vote to pass. Supervisors were encouraged by a survey conducted earlier this year that found county voters were concerned enough about homelessness issues to possibly reach that threshold of support in November.
Christy Burton, who lived on the streets of Silicon Valley for five years before getting a spot in a Japantown apartment last December, said the measure is “the most righteous and true” item that county leaders and voters could have before them.
“I was under the bridge, I was out in the park, I was all over the place,” she said. “You can’t imagine what it’s like; it’s horrific. You wonder where you’re going to find your food because SSI hasn’t come in. All you want to do is die, and it’s like you’re already dead, just dead and walking around.”
The spending plan of the bond will allocate $700 million for Extremely Low-Income housing in Santa Clare County (below 30 percent of area median income), including Permanent Supportive Housing and Rapid Rehousing; $100 million for Very Low Income housing (31 to 50 percent of the area median income); up to $100 million for housing assistance for Moderate Income households; and up to $50 million for Moderate Income residents who are first-time home buyers.
“Being willing to champion a measure that will directly benefit thousands of our most vulnerable residents is the single most important thing we can do to address our homelessness crisis,” said Jennifer Loving, executive director of Destination: Home. “We know how to end homelessness but we cannot do it without homes. This measure will provide the solution our community needs to end homelessness and increase the supply of affordable housing for those who truly need it the most.”
Graphic courtesy of Destination: Home
For more information see the Destination: Home and Santa Clara County websites:
Santa Clara County Property Tax for Homeless Housing Going to Voters