Opinion: County has an obligation to help solve housing crisis

I firmly believe we must make a promise to the residents of Santa Clara County. The promise? That city and county leaders leave no stone unturned and no option unexplored in finding real solutions to our affordable housing crisis.

I am a 20-year teacher at Santa Clara High School. I have watched as some of the best and brightest among my colleagues being forced to leave their positions and move away from the area. In fact, we are losing two of our best teachers in the social science department due to the lack of affordable housing in Santa Clara County. My students are left confused and saddened, losing the opportunity to be impacted by these outstanding educators next year. This is now a normal occurrence in school districts county-wide. Not a week goes by that I do not have a conversation with a family struggling to pay rent or a former student living with their parents well into their thirties. How is this sustainable? How can our communities retain diversity and have a vital, thriving work force?

As a three-term Santa Clara City Councilman, I have seen firsthand the impacts of our affordable housing crisis. But I also see opportunities. While innovative tech companies have provided our county with jobs and a robust economy, cities (which bear the brunt of land use decisions) have not kept pace with the corresponding housing demand. According to SPUR, between 2010-2015, San Jose created 171,000 jobs but only 29,000 housing units. We must close the gap on that ratio and be as innovative as the companies that reside in our region. We must also work together and ask ourselves, “how do we increase our affordable housing stock, decrease our carbon footprint, and improve to the quality of life life in …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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