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Housing and Homelessness

Addressing the serious shortage of affordable housing stock, and the tandem problem of a large homeless population in the County are top priorities for Supervisor Simitian. Our housing shortage is now a crisis for low-income residents trying to live in the area in which they work.  The number of homeless residents now includes families and elderly as never before.  Immediate solutions are needed to ensure residents are sheltered at night, as well as creating pathways for them to permanent housing.  


  • Sunnyvale homeless shelter -- Challenged by the closing of the Sunnyvale armory shelter in 2014, Supervisor Simitian worked for three years addressing the cold weather needs of the homeless in the northern part of Santa Clara County. While finessing temporary shelter arrangements for several years, a permanent replacement was found and developed for the 2016-17 cold weather season.  In 2018 The Sunnyvale Shelter became a year-round facility.  Learn more >>
  • Mountain View homeless shelter --  Supervisor Simitian spearheaded additional cold weather housing for homeless families and single women at Trinity United Methodist Church in Mountain View beginning in 2017-18 after homelessness in Mountain View tripled in the four previous years.   With funding from the County toward a remodeled kitchen, this resource provides meals for shelter guests, as well as culinary skills training for those who are interested in restaurant work, a sector looking for workers.  ​Learn more >>​
  • Lots of Love Safe Parking -- ​​Partnering with Grace Christian Church in Mountain View, Supervisor Simitian worked to develop a pilot program, Lots of Love Safe Parking Program.  Begun in 2018, the goal is to give those living in cars or RVs an overnight spot in a church parking lot, along with access to the church’s facilities.  Many people living in vehicles are first-time homeless, often for less than a year, and many have jobs.  The ultimate goal is to transition the roughly 600 RV residents in Mountain View into permanent housing.   ​Learn more >>
  • Unsheltered homeless hygiene services -- Providing basic hygiene for the homeless is one of the most challenging functions to address but essential for personal interactions.  Access to regular personal hygiene services increases the willingness of those without shelter to seek out governmental services or job opportunities.  Dignity on Wheels circulates two trailers, each equipped with private bathrooms, showers, and a washer and dryer.  Twice a week the trailers visit San Jose, Sunnyvale, Gilroy, Mountain View and Palo Alto.   Learn more >>
  • Job training and placement -- Funding job creation can open the path that leads to permanent housing.  More than 80% of the homeless in Santa Clara County are unemployed with little access to job-training, transportation and support.  A business outreach and development program was developed through the nonprofit, Downtown Streets Team.  Two parts make up the program: Engaging the homeless in work projects that will retool skills and work habits as needed. Develop community partnerships, creating the connections and relationships with employers needed for trainee placement.    Learn more >>​
  • Housing for homeless veterans -- Working through a collaborative effort of Santa Clara County, the City of San Jose, and the Housing Authority, the All the Way Home initiative targets homeless veterans, or those at risk of losing their housing. Begun in 2015, this program focuses on expanding the supply of safe, affordable housing for veterans, offering case management services and transitional housing programs to veterans ready for permanent housing.  Its first year of operation saw 510 homeless veterans permanently housed.    Learn more >>​


  • Teacher housing -- Proposed a housing development for teachers at a Santa Clara County-owned site in Palo Alto. The goal is to build at least 60 units of affordable housing, partnering with five nearby school and community college districts. In February 2019 the County took the next step by issuing a Request for Proposals to find a development partner for this project. Learn more >>

  • Buena Vista --  Championed a multiyear effort to save the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto as affordable housing for the current and future residents. Supervisor Simitian engaged non-profits, government, and community advocates in preserving 120 units of affordable housing, preventing the eviction of 400 low-income residents and ensuring fair compensation for the owner of the land.   Learn more >>

  • House-Sharing exchange --  Home-dwellers with a room to spare, and renters needing a place to live, will be able to safely find each other through a county-funded, housing-match exchange run by Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.   Learn more >>
  • Keeping people housed: emergency rental assistance --  Initiated funding in 2016 for targeting homelessness prevention.  This funding allows at least 400 additional families seeking short term assistance each year to remain sheltered.  As many as 83% of residents who receive emergency assistance stabilize their finances and remain housed.  Learn more >>
  • Affordable housing for people with disabilities -- At Supervisor Simitian’s urging, County staff has committed $40 million to build affordable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities, a community unique in its housing and service needs. Units will be developed with supportive services specifically for those living with developmental disabilities in the Very Low Income or Extremely Low Income  brackets.  Learn More >>​
  • Measure A -- Acting boldly and acknowledging that smaller incremental steps would not accomplish enough, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors initiated a $950 million bond measure for developing low and affordable housing in the County.  Measure A was approved by County voters in 2016, focusing funding projects for the homeless and those subsisting on less than 30 percent of the area’s median income.  By the end of 2018, The County had approved 1921 units for construction, ahead of the planned schedule.    Learn more >>



Last updated: 5/1/2019 1:52 PM