good times local news media events catalyst santa cruz california metro silicon valley news local events san jose weekly pajaronian watsonville local newspaper, news events pajaro valley california gilroy dispatch local news events garlic festival santa cruz media events local california weekly king city rustler newspaper media local events car sales buy new car media
63.8 F
Morgan Hill
English English Spanish Spanish
September 30, 2023

Guest View: Measure A brings housing opportunities to everyone

This November, Santa Clara County voters will vote on Measure A, a housing bond that will create new affordable housing for our most vulnerable community members and programs for our working people.

That description sounds very impersonal, perhaps even bureaucratic. But it’s not. It’s very personal to me because I am a parent, because I am a local employer, because I am intimately aware of the struggles of the most vulnerable families and individuals in our community.

Last year, one of my daughters moved to Idaho solely because of the high cost of housing in the Bay Area. She and her fiancé were tired of shared renting and knew they would never be able to buy a home in California. I miss her.

Community Solutions employs more than 200 bright, talented and committed staff. While we offer competitive pay and benefits, the vast majority of them can’t buy a home here and many cannot afford escalating rents. They are commuting from farther and farther away. Or they are taking their talent and moving away, like my daughter. Local businesses and nonprofits are having a harder time filling positions due to the high cost of living.

Community Solutions serves more than 4,000 residents across Santa Clara County. Every day I see our clients—our neighbors—struggling to survive because of our housing crisis: mothers leaving our domestic violence shelter unable to find affordable housing; students whose families live in their cars—even with a parent employed full-time; homeless men and women living with mental illness, for whom we don’t have the housing for them to continue on to better health and self-sufficiency.

For all of these reasons…for all of these people, we must do better.

Measure A will create new affordable housing for our vulnerable communities—for homeless families with children, veterans and seniors.

Measure A also identifies housing solutions for working families. The measure funds affordable housing near workplace centers and transit. And it creates a First-time Homebuyer Program to support working people and families wanting to build their lives here, like teachers and nurses who cannot afford to live where they work.

Measure A provides a holistic approach to addressing our housing challenges. It focuses on helping those most in need, but ensures that we don’t leave anyone behind.

This year’s ballot may be the longest one ever. This election cycle has been one of the most exhausting ever. But we have a historic opportunity here in Santa Clara County—an opportunity we cannot squander.  I urge you to join me in voting YES on Measure A for affordable housing.

Erin O’Brien is the President and CEO of Community Solutions. She wrote this column for the Morgan Hill Times.


Santa Clara County’s Measure A requires a two-thirds majority vote among the local electorate. The full text of the measure, which will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot, is as follows: “To provide affordable local housing for vulnerable populations including veterans, seniors, the disabled, low and moderate income individuals or families, foster youth, victims of abuse, the homeless and individuals suffering from mental health or substance abuse illnesses, which housing may include supportive mental health and substance abuse services, shall the County of Santa Clara issue up to $950 million in general obligation bonds to acquire or improve real property subject to independent citizen oversight and regular audits?”

Please leave a comment


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here