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Lack of Affordable Housing: a Direct Link to Poverty and Inequality

Lack of Affordable Housing: a Direct Link to Poverty and Inequality

The Silicon Valley region sees tremendous income disparity, with some of the nation’s highest paid professionals and wealthiest industries, and yet many of our community members are struggling mightily. Limited availability drives up costs, forcing residents to compete for housing in one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation. And relief is nowhere in sight: year over year, housing prices rise faster than incomes in the area. This lack of affordable housing in our state and region directly contributes to poverty and inequality.

Last summer, SV@Home emerged as a new response to our housing crisis by taking a regional approach to map out a strategic, coordinated pathway to move the dial on housing solutions in Silicon Valley. The new non-profit organization is supported by business, governmental, and civic leaders who all recognize the social and economic impacts our housing crisis has on our communities. In just a short time, SV@Home has begun to make an impact on our regions’ housing and planning policies to improve our area’s health and well-being — from leading the charge to improve San Jose’s “Jobs First” General Plan with housing-friendly policies, to working with cities to set aside publicly-owned land for affordable housing, to raising awareness and driving partnerships among our region’s business, civic, and governmental leaders.

Now, we are working to engage the full community in the conversation about housing policy, by convening and coordinating a number of events during Santa Clara County Affordable Housing Week (May 13 – 20). The full list of Affordable Housing Week offerings is available at www.svathome.org/events. We recommend the following key events:

  • From Crisis to Opportunity: Tackling the Housing Crisis as a Region, a Policy Breakfast to kick-off Affordable Housing Week activities as well as the debut of SV@Home’s Policy Roadmap. An invigorating conversation on affordable housing needs and solutions, and includes a moderated panel featuring an exciting roster of experts, advocates, and industry leaders.
    Date: Friday, May 13, 8:30 am – 11:00 am.
  • Notes from Buena Vista: A Film Screening, a screening of the new film by award-winning filmmaker Elizabeth Lo followed by an interactive discussion with the filmmaker and a panel of local experts. The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park is home to more than 400 residents and working-class families. But the park’s location and the area’s soaring housing prices threaten the park’s very existence.
    Wednesday, May 18. 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
  • Affordable Housing in San Jose: A Bus Tour. Highlighting more than two dozen affordable housing developments built over the past two decades in San Jose, this historical perspective on San Jose’s land use and housing policies will be guided by Tom MacRostie, housing expert with more than 30 years in the Planning and Housing Departments of San Jose.
    Wednesday, May 18. 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. 
Article by:

Leslye Corsiglie
Executive Director

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