City’s housing crisis workplan update

In a February, 2019 presentation to the Community & Economic Development Committee (CEDC) of the San Jose City Council, OED outlined the City’s major initiatives that address the need for housing in San Jose, including progress on existing initiatives and planned strategies to increase market-rate and affordable housing production in San Jose

During the later stages of the recovery from the recent recession, our housing market has matured and slowed, due to increases in construction costs and flattening in the rise of rents. Projects already in the pipeline are proceeding, but applications for new developments are less than anticipated.

Between 2010 and 2017, an average of 2,800 units were built per year. Building permits for new housing exceeded that average in 2018, but fewer than 200 units received Planning entitlements.  The City is expecting entitlements to increase in 2019, and more than 4,500 units are pending Planning approval. In addition, changes in the City’s Urban Village process and a new Downtown Strategy can result in an additional 14,225 units available to be entitled and developed.

Specific affordable housing in San Jose has not achieved our goal of 10,000 units, with just 946 units entitled, under construction or completed in 2018. An estimated 2,441 prospective affordable units are anticipated to be entitled or added to the pipeline.

In order to better focus City resources on these challenges, the report included an update on the Housing Catalyst Team. This team is made up of 10 staff from OED, Planning, Building & Code Enforcement, and Housing’s Policy & Planning team. OED will be adding an Executive Analyst to our Business Development team to serve on the Housing Catalyst Team, and to work within OED as a “concierge” for housing projects and initiatives. Additional strategies in the Team’s workplan are clarification of policies, ensuring consistency in regulations, and creating a supportive environment for development.

For details on the report, to view the presentation and download the Memo, please visit the online meeting summary