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Editorial: Santa Clara city housing advocates

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  • 6/26 SJ Mercury
    Published Wednesday, June 26, 2002, in the San Jose Mercury News Editorial Housing advocates Santa Clara mayor and council can take a bow for taking on the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2002
      Published Wednesday, June 26, 2002, in the San Jose Mercury News

      Editorial

      Housing advocates

      Santa Clara mayor and council can take a bow for taking on the tough
      problem of affordability

      A problem as big as Silicon Valley's cost of housing has no single
      solution, so every step in the right direction is worth
      celebrating. In that spirit, a round of applause, please, for the city
      of Santa Clara: Its mayor and council have agreed that instead of
      spending the legally required 20 percent of redevelopment revenue on
      affordable housing, they will spend 30 percent.

      Santa Clara follows the example of San Jose, which now spends 30
      percent of redevelopment money on housing and has been spending well
      over the 20 percent minimum since the mid-1990s.

      But more bows are in order. Santa Clara's decision was in response to
      a campaign by the Housing Action Coalition and Working Partnerships
      USA to persuade cities to implement better housing policies. The idea
      is to not just show room for affordable housing on maps, but to help
      get it built.

      The Housing Action Coalition is an effective collaboration of
      industrial, environmental and other interests advocating more housing
      near jobs and transit, and more affordable housing. Working
      Partnerships is a labor think tank with similar views.

      Milpitas and Palo Alto may consider upping their redevelopment
      spending on housing. Both should follow through as Santa Clara
      did. Mountain View and Morgan Hill were not receptive to the
      idea. They should reconsider.

      Not long ago, housing was seen as a side benefit of redevelopment,
      whose purpose is stimulating economic growth. Today, the lack of
      affordable housing near jobs is a major barrier to business
      development. Allocating more redevelopment revenue toward housing is
      wise not just for social reasons, but for business and industry as
      well.
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