Affordable housing production: Our region faces a dire shortage of affordable homes, especially for the lowest-income families.

Insights & Analyses

  • As of 2017, 71 percent of necessary permits were issued for above moderate-income units, compared with only 9 to 13 percent for either very low, low, or moderate-income units in the current 2015 to 2023 housing cycle. In the previous cycle (2007-2014), 99 percent of above moderate-income housing permits needed were issued, compared with less than 30 percent for lower-cost housing. 
  • Looking at progress made in permitting housing to meet housing needs for the 2015 to 2023 cycle, Napa County is making the most progress in meeting needs across all affordability levels (as of 2017, it has met 45 percent of total need). 
  • As of 2017, Napa County also ranked highest in terms of meeting the needs for very-low-income and low-income housing, while Solano County ranked lowest in its share of permits allocated for units affordable to very-low-income and low-income households.

Drivers of Inequity

Bay Area cities are not building sufficient housing to meet needs, especially for lower-income residents. Worse, the number of units affordable to low-income renters is decreasing, as rents rise or stock ages out. Since the 1970s, public housing has diminished while subsidized housing, such as that funded by federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), is increasingly underfunded. 


Strengthen places: Strategies to ensure affordable housing is available to all

Strategy in Action

Santa Clara County voters pass a $950 million affordable housing bond to house 4,800 low- and extremely low-income households. In 2016, Santa Clara County passed Measure A, an affordable housing bond projected to fund 120 new affordable housing developments over ten years. The units will be available on a rolling basis beginning mid-year 2019 through 2022. Of the 1,416 low- and extremely-low units already approved, nearly 6 in 10 are permanent supportive housing for homeless persons with disabling conditions, one third are affordable to very low- and extremely low-income households, and nearly one in 10 are rapid rehousing units for homeless working households. Learn more.

In Their Own Words...

“ I can't believe I now have a place for my kids and me to rest and study.”

— Elena Macario, San Francisco

Elena Macario and her sons, Jonathan and Darwin, were living with her family when her landlord began eviction proceedings because two of her siblings were not paying rent. Since Jonathan is a student at Bryant Elementary School in the Mission Promise Neighborhood zone, Elena had access to a family success coach who helped her access legal assistance, get a Displaced Tenant Housing Preference, build her credit and savings, and apply for a lottery for a below market-rate apartment created through the city’s inclusionary housing program – where they now live.


Photo: Felix Uribe

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