San Jose falls short of affordable housing goals

The San Jose City Council will decide exactly what next steps to take on Tuesday evening after a recent housing progress report showed that just 20 percent of the city’s annual affordable housing goal was met in 2017.

The annual report by Rosalynn Hughey, the city’s acting director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement, states that the city issued permits for 475 affordable apartments, just a fifth of the goal of 2,370 units.

However, San Jose exceeded the annual goal for market-rate housing units, authorizing 2,622 building permits or 162 percent above the objective of 1,617 units.

The report categorized affordable units across extremely low-, very low-, low- and moderate-Income households and said $95,150 is considered a moderate income for one person in San Jose.

Hughey wrote in the report:

“Market rents are significantly out of reach for many San Jose workers including teachers, construction workers and retail salespersons. … Annual rents have increased 30 percent over the past five years and only 14 percent of homes that are for sale are affordable to a family earning the median income.”

The report states that the housing department intends to bring an affordable housing investment plan to the City Council this spring.

A memo submitted by Mayor Sam Liccardo on Friday confirms that staff will come back in May with information about the issue, as well as estimates on funding for the construction of affordable housing in San Jose.

Liccardo’s memo discussed promoting the option of Secondary Units, or “granny units,” as a more affordable alternative.

Liccardo said in the memo that the report “shows that we have much more work to do.”