San Jose residents have a chance to help shape future plans for housing — from sheltering the homeless to creating urban villages – at a series of meetings offered by the city’s housing and planning departments.
The city needs to address needs for the next eight years because of an anticipated population growth, shifts in age groups and a workforce unevenly divided by income. The first step in updating the state-required Housing Element is getting public input to determine what kinds of housing residents think is important in their neighborhoods.
San Jose needs to plan 35,000 housing units in the next eight years, according to a Regional Housing Need Allocation set by the Association of Bay Area Governments’ projections of where Bay Area grown will be. But there is a wide variety of housing possibilities. Should San Jose build more senior housing or high rises downtown? Should the units be apartments and condos? Should they be rental or for sale?
The first meeting on January 22, 2014, at Roosevelt Community Center drew a small but vocal group concerned that more attention should be focused on the lack of housing for the growing homeless population as well as those classified as very low and extremely low income.
With the economy picking up, the housing market is hot again, with projects that were stalled by the recession moving forward. But builders are not proposing affordable housing projects.
“It’s getting worse and worse,” said Carol Valentine, a Spartan-Keyes area resident who lives near a homeless encampment called The Jungle. Continue reading