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San José City Council Passes Proposals to Expand Housing Options and Address Homelessness

New measures provide a path to increase housing density in downtown San José, expand the Safe Parking Program, and expedite approval of affordable housing

Post Date:02/27/2019

San José, Calif. – Yesterday, Mayor Sam Liccardo and the City Council approved several proposals that will enable development of Co-Living apartments in Downtown, streamline efforts to allow safe parking sites for homeless individuals, and establish an additional hearing each year to expedite approval of affordable housing communities.

“City Hall can do much to address our affordable housing crisis by simply getting out of the way, and enabling development of housing that is affordable by design,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “The Council actions will not only enable development of co-living communities in our Downtown, but also streamline efforts – particularly for schools and churches – to provide a safe, secure place for homeless families and individuals to sleep at night, and expedite the approval of much needed affordable housing construction.”

Under Mayor Liccardo’s leadership, the City of San José continues to find new and innovative ways to help residents struggling to keep up with the high cost of living in the region. Yesterday, the Council approved:

  • Co-living Ordinance: Establishes new rules and regulations for the creation of Co- Living Communities in Downtown San José. In these communities, one or two tenants would rent a single bedroom in multi-unit complexes and use shared kitchen, bath, and common living spaces with other tenants. Co-Living Communities would be required to provide extensive bicycle parking and offer other transportation demand incentives that minimize surrounding impacts to existing residential communities while supporting this urban living option. Each Co-Living Community has the potential to add hundreds of cheaper, more affordable homes to San José.
  • Safe Parking Ordinance: Establishes provisions for Safe Parking areas where homeless residents can sleep in their cars overnight. Safe Parking areas would be at least 3000 sq. ft. in size, be open from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m., and would provide restrooms, water, and trash disposal. The Safe Parking Program will provide unhoused families with a safe space to stay and sleep overnight, and it will also reduce the number of people parked illegally on our city streets.
  • Expedite Approval for 100% Affordable Housing Projects: Delays in land use approvals have had a disproportionate effect on affordable housing. Councilmember Dev Davis’ proposal adds an additional General Plan Amendment Hearing in the spring of each year to help expedite the approval of publicly funded affordable housing communities. This will enable the construction of more affordable homes.

With these votes, the City of San José continues to do its part to meet the need for more housing in the region. Earlier in February, San José’s Housing Department announced a $100 million investment in 11 affordable housing projects. Upon the completion of the 11 projects, the City’s investment will yield more than 1140 new affordable homes, nearly 300 of which will provide supportive homes for extremely-low-income households.

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Media Contact: Chloe Meyere, Office of Mayor Liccardo; 408-535-4833 or chloe.meyere@sanjoseca.gov

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