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Measure V – Affordable Housing Bond

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Measure V and how would it be approved by voters?

A: Measure V is an affordable housing bond measure that, if approved, would authorize the City to issue up to $450 million in general obligation municipal bonds to fund affordable housing.  Bond proceeds could be used to acquire land, construct, or rehabilitate housing that is affordable for working families; veterans; seniors; teachers, nurses, paramedics, and other workers; or to help homeless residents get off of local streets and out of neighborhood parks and creeks, and to pay the cost of issuing the bonds. 

California law authorizes cities to issue general obligation bonds to finance land acquisition or improvements to land, subject to certain limitations. State law and the San José Municipal Code provide, for example, that a measure authorizing such bonds must be approved by at least two-thirds of the voters voting on it.

Q: Who placed Measure V on the November 2018 ballot?

A: The San José City Council placed Measure V on the ballot.  The measure will be on the ballot for the next General Election on November 6, 2018.
 
Q: What would Measure V do?

A: According to the ballot language, bond proceeds from Measure V would “provide housing affordable for: working families; veterans; seniors; teachers, nurses, paramedics, and other workers; and helping homeless residents get off of local streets and out of neighborhood parks and creeks.”

Assuming the full $450 million amount is issued, Measure V requires the City to devote at least $150 million to housing for households earning up to 30% of area median income (AMI) and at least $75 million for households earning between 80% and 120% of AMI.  The City Council has adopted the below allocation plan based on Measure V’s requirements.

Measure V Allocation Plan

Targeted Populations

Allocation

Households earning up to 30% of AMI

At least $150,000,000

Households earning up to 80% of AMI

Up to $219,350,000

Households earning between 80% and 120% of AMI

At least $75,000,000 but no more than $100,000,000

Cost of Issuance

$5,650,000

Total

$450,000,000

Q: Why did the City of San José place Measure V on the ballot?

A: In deciding to place the measure on the ballot, the City Council recognized the demand for affordable housing to serve vulnerable populations, such as the homeless, seniors, veterans and low-income families, as well as the need for housing to serve moderate-income families. The Council considered the following information:

  • The City Council has declared a shelter crisis since 2015 due to homelessness.
       
  • The City's 2017 Homeless Census and Survey found that 4,350 San José residents were experiencing homelessness, with 74% of them living unsheltered on any given night, including 643 living in homeless encampments. These counts are believed to be understated.
  • Shelter beds and transitional housing options are insufficient to serve the City's needs, causing people to sleep on public sidewalks and in public spaces, as well as form encampments throughout the City. 
       
  • There is an existing shortage of affordable housing in the City, as almost half (48%) of San José renters and owners at or below the household area median income paid more than 30% for their income in housing costs, including 22% of San José renters that paid more than 50% of their income for rent, according to the data for calendar years 2011 through 2015 from the American Community Survey.

The City is not meeting its annual housing goals as established by the state’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) goals. To address the need for housing in our community, the City Council established a goal to build 10,000 affordable homes by 2022. After reviewing the resources available from local, state and federal sources, there is an estimated gap in funding for over 4,000 units. Measure V will help to fill this gap by funding up to an estimated 3,600 new affordable units.

Q: How would the City repay the bonds?

A: If Measure V is approved, an additional "ad valorem" property tax would be levied annually on all taxable property within the City to pay the principal and interest due on the Bonds. "Ad valorem" means according to value. Until the Bonds are repaid, an ad valorem tax based on the assessed value of real property and improvements would be levied on all taxable property within San José. Once the Bonds are repaid, this annual tax will terminate. The Tax Rate Statement provides more information about the cost of the bond.

Q: Will there be an independent oversight committee and accountability measures?

A: Measure V, if approved, would impose certain accountability measures, including:

  • Bond funds would be deposited in one or more separate accounts.
  •    
  • A separate annual audit of the Bond funds would be conducted. The Director of Finance would annually file a public report with the City Council, describing for the prior fiscal year the amount of Bonds issued and expended, the amount of taxes collected and the status of the projects.  
  • The City Council would appoint a Community Oversight Committee comprised of City residents to provide oversight of the Bonds' expenditure. The City Council would determine the committee's size, composition and specific responsibilities prior to the issuance of any Bond.

Q: How is this different than Measure A funds?

 A: In 2016, Santa Clara County voters approved Measure A, providing $950 million for affordable housing. Measure A is countywide and funds will be spent throughout the county, not just in San José.

The priority for Measure A is funding permanent supportive housing for vulnerable populations. Measure V would fund more types of housing, including housing that is affordable for working families; veterans; seniors; teachers, nurses, paramedics, and other workers; or to help homeless residents get off of local streets and out of neighborhood parks and creeks.