I believe in a market-based approach to advancing housing development and lowering the middle-class cost of housing.
We need more housing units at all price points and closer to jobs. Many communities do not allow new housing to be built while they continue to expand office parks and commercial facilities. Communities which grow their industries have a duty to house the employees they bring in as well, not push them off to other cities and counties. Three cities that have done well in adding housing as industry has grown are San Jose, Milpitas, and Sunnyvale. Most others in our county are lagging.
The result over the last few decades has been a massive increase in the cost of housing, the length of commutes, and traffic all around. We all know friends and family who have left to pursue a good life that used to be available here. Some have left just to survive and make ends meet.
As Silicon Valley continues to grow, we need housing markets that keep pace with population growth, so our children have a place to live too.
As a neighborhood leader, it became clear to me that what holds development back is when a new project brings down the quality of life for immediate neighbors without respecting their homes or providing any community benefit. That’s why I fought for step-back rules and park requirements when I was involved in designing San Jose’s urban village plans. And that’s why I supported responsible developments that improve neighborhoods. As a planning commissioner I continue to remind other commissioners and Planning Staff of the importance of neighborhood integration and respect for the house next door – goals already in San Jose’s General Plan.
Several years ago, Santa Clara County voters passed a $950 million bond to provide affordable housing at different income levels. Years later the County is still buying land but is not yet housing anyone with these dollars, which you and I are already paying for.
Let’s move forward!