The Silicon Valley Voice

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First Affordable Housing Development Funded by the 2016 Measure A Housing Bond Opens

The County of Santa Clara and local community partners celebrated the first grand opening of an affordable housing development funded by the voter-approved 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond. On Monday, Aug. 12, The Veranda (19160 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino) opened. The Veranda is a new 19-unit affordable housing development for seniors, with six units set aside for seniors who are disabled and homeless.

This new development kicks off a string of developments in the pipeline funded by the Measure A bond. Over the next several years, the approved projects are expected to provide 1,437 new affordable apartments and rehabilitate 484 existing affordable apartments. Of the more than 1,900 apartments, nearly 950 will be set aside for seniors, individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The County’s Office of Supportive Housing is working to bring more developments for consideration by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.

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“Step by step we’re going to create affordable housing options for all of our residents, regardless of age, income, or circumstance,” said Joe Simitian, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.

“It’s a long haul; we all know that,” said Simitian. “But project by project we’re going to get it done — with help from a host of partners in the community. Santa Clara County has always been a place of opportunity, but that opportunity only exists if folks have a roof over their heads.”

These initiatives are made possible largely by county voters, who approved a $950 million affordable housing bond in November 2016, according to Santa Clara County in a press release. The bond provides an unprecedented opportunity for the County of Santa Clara to partner with the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, cities, nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, housing developers, service providers, and the community to address the housing crisis.

So far, the County has committed a total of $234 million of the bond toward housing developments in six cities, including Santa Clara, San Jose, Milpitas, Cupertino, Gilroy and Morgan Hill.

“The County of Santa Clara and our Office of Supportive Housing, along with cities, the Housing Authority, our community partners, and many others are working tirelessly to address the housing crisis,” said Miguel Márquez, County of Santa Clara Chief Operating Officer. “We believe that housing and supportive services will provide the stability needed to help these residents overcome the challenges they face so they can realize their full potential.”

The Veranda is also funded by the City of Cupertino, where the housing development is located.

“Building affordable housing is a difficult task and one that requires partnerships to address. The Veranda project proves that collaboration is possible,” said Cupertino Mayor Steven Scharf. “I’m pleased that the City, County of Santa Clara, Charities Housing and Housing Authority were able to work together to bring this incredibly important affordable housing project to Cupertino.”

Housing Trust Silicon Valley, a nonprofit lending organization that works to increase affordable housing opportunities, is another funder of the development.

“This is a project we are proud to have worked on with Charities Housing and the County from start to finish.” said Kevin Zwick, CEO of Housing Trust Silicon Valley. “Thanks to the commitment from voters to create Measure A and this kind of collaborative effort, the lives of thousands of families and seniors in our community are going to change for the better. We hope The Veranda will be the first of many much-needed affordable housing developments in Cupertino.”

Charities Housing, the developer of The Veranda, has other affordable housing projects in the works, some of which are funded by the Measure A bond.

“I really appreciate all the community members who supported Measure A. The completion of The Veranda demonstrates that the investment of County, City of Cupertino and private funds in nonprofit housing development alleviates homelessness and strengthens our community,” said Gregory Kepferle, President of Charities Housing and CEO of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.

Leaders at Destination: Home, a public-private partnership that works to drive collaborative initiatives to end homelessness in Santa Clara County, called the development a critical project and emphasized the importance of continuing to expand these efforts.

“The Veranda represents an important first step towards addressing our affordable housing crisis — but we have so much more work to do,” said Jennifer Loving, CEO of Destination: Home. “In Santa Clara County, there are only 30 affordable homes available for every 100 extremely low-income households. This extreme lack of deeply affordable housing is a direct cause of our growing homelessness crisis. We must drastically scale our efforts to build more affordable housing and bring a Veranda to every neighborhood in our community.”

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