The housing crisis has put the future of our city – indeed our state -- in jeopardy. Statewide, California is short some 3.5 million housing units to accommodate our present population. That shortage has increased the cost of housing. San Jose can’t be a successful community if teachers, nurses, young families, and seniors can’t afford to live here. We must build more housing of all types but we also must recognize that building market-rate housing alone won’t be enough. That’s why in my on the Council, I voted to pass the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, requiring 15% of all new housing units for rent or sale in our city be priced below market-rate and to allocate 45% of our city’s investments in permanent affordable housing to be targeted towards extremely low-income residents. It’s also why I’ve pushed with my colleagues to require 25% of homes built near the future Diridon Station Area be for the Google to be priced below market. In North San Jose, 20% of new residential development must be affordable, and I intend to uphold that standard moving as we grow.
At the same time, we need to understand that San Jose is the most expensive place to construct housing in the nation – even market-rate developments get stalled because of the high costs here. We can’t control the costs of land or materials but we can look at what local government can do to reduce the burden on construction of desperately needed housing.
I believe we have to make it easier to get shovels in the ground; streamline our permitting process, reduce fees, and cut red tape so we can begin to increase out housing supply and reduce costs for everyone.