Morgan Hill City Council Chambers

The City of Morgan Hill recently embarked on an “Economic Mobility Study” to better understand the community’s needs and address existing disparities in housing and access to opportunity, says a press release from the city. 

With a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the City of Morgan Hill is advancing an economic mobility program called ELEVATE Morgan Hill. The program aims to develop a strategy connecting Spanish-speaking and lower-income residents to jobs and housing resources while increasing their sense of belonging to the greater community, says the press release. 

According to the data collected by the ELEVATE Morgan Hill report, 50% of Morgan Hill residents are cost burdened, and 28% rely on some form of financial assistance, the city said. This data is consistent with the 2024 Index by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, which identified that nearly one-third of Silicon Valley households struggle to afford basic necessities. 

The data also highlighted a concerning racial and ethnic disparity, with Hispanic or Latinx non-citizens and individuals with limited English proficiency showing the highest risk of income inadequacy, according to the city. 

According to the city’s Housing Needs Assessment, the Latinx population, which makes up over 30% of the population in Morgan Hill and has the highest poverty rate, disproportionately rents homes and is the most severely cost-burdened. More than 21% of the local Latinx population spends more than 50% of their income on housing. This racial group also has the highest overcrowding rate, says the press release. 

In Santa Clara County, Latinx residents represent 42.7% of the population experiencing homelessness, the city continued. In the region, Limited English proficiency (LEP) Spanish speakers are concentrated in downtown, south, and East San Jose, as well as in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister. 

The City of Morgan Hill will share the Economic Mobility Study findings at the ELEVATE Morgan Hill Economic Mobility Symposium on May 30 at the Granada Theatre. 

“The city invites community leaders, policymakers and service providers to help us build a more equitable, inclusive and prosperous community,” said Assistant City Manager Edith Ramirez. “We want to create a more resilient community by supporting our most vulnerable residents and creating economic opportunities that will lift people out of poverty.” 

The Economic Mobility Symposium is scheduled for 7:30am-1pm May 30 at the Granada Theatre, 17440 Monterey Road in Morgan Hill.

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