San Jose to Vote on $450 Million Affordable Housing Bond
Following the 2016 approval of a $950 million bond to address the housing crisis in Santa Clara County, the voters of San Jose will be asked to approve another $450 million this year. The bond will direct money "to affordable housing production and preservation at three different income levels, promising to create up to 3,550 units of new affordable housing in the city," Jared Brey writes.
San Jose's mayor Sam Liccardo characterizes the bond as "a necessary but not sufficient tool" to deal with the city's severe lack of affordable housing options. "Last October, Liccardo released a 15-point housing plan with the goal of creating 25,000 new homes in San Jose over the next five years, of which 10,000 would be affordable units." The bond is estimated to cost San Jose property owners 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, and will require approval by two thirds of voters.
The city is also working to create a separate fund to attract low-return, safe investments in housing for the middle class, a so-called "missing middle" fund. Such an instrument would pair private and philanthropic investment with a small subsidy from the city, but so far no outside money has been committed.