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June 3, 2023

Morgan Hill affordable housing project gains county funding

Santa Clara County housing bond helps pay for more new homes

Santa Clara County recently approved funding for three new affordable housing projects—including units for veterans and special needs residents in the proposed Magnolias development in Morgan Hill. 

The county board of supervisors on June 28 approved funding from the Measure A Affordable Housing bond that will add a total of 332 affordable units to the county’s affordable housing pipeline throughout the three projects. The other two are Alvarado Park in San Jose and Sonora Court in Sunnyvale. 

The board on June 28 also adopted a resolution declaring the county’s commitment to ending homelessness among youth and young adults in Santa Clara County in the next five years. 

“We are fully focused on our goal of ending family homelessness by 2025 and youth homelessness by 2027,” said Miguel Márquez, J.D., Chief Operating Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “We’ve invested heavily in expanding all of our housing programs to not only get families off the street but also to prevent them from falling into homelessness in the first place. Santa Clara County is a place where we take care of each other, and there are few things closer to this goal than keeping our families and youth safe and housed.”

The affordable units approved June 28 will serve families with children, those with special needs, agricultural workers and other low-income residents, according to county staff. The projects will be funded by $29 million from the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond and No Place Like Home funds.

In Morgan Hill, about $13.2 million of the funds will go toward the construction of seven permanent supportive housing units for homeless veterans and families with special needs, as well as 10 rapid rehousing homes for homeless individuals and families with special needs; 28 units for agricultural workers; 16 units for households earning up to 50% of the area median income (AMI); four units for those earning up to 60% of the AMI; and one manager’s unit, according to a county staff report.
The Magnolias is a 66-unit affordable housing project proposed by First Community Housing at 17965 Monterey Road, in north Morgan Hill. The city’s planning commission approved the project in December. 

When fully built, The Magnolias, Alvarado Park and Sonora Court will add about 1,000 new housing units to the county’s supply, according to county staff. 

To date, the $950 million Measure A Housing Bond, approved by voters in 2016, has committed nearly $793 million, county staff said. Across the board, the county’s supportive housing efforts now include 44 projects that are either completed, under construction or will soon break ground. That totals 4,773 units that can house 10,534 people.

The board’s vote on June 28 also endorsed the Community Plan to End Youth and Young Adult Houselessness, led by a Youth Action Board that accounts for the needs and experiences of vulnerable young people. There are an estimated 1,100 youth and young adults who need safe housing in Santa Clara County on any given night, and while significant efforts have been made to increase resources, the needs far exceed the current capacity of programs, according to county staff. 

The newly endorsed plan details a roadmap of how to best spend $10.4 million in federal funding recently awarded to the county’s Continuum of Care (CoC) to expand efforts to tackle youth homelessness over the next two years.

“We are seeing a very rapid ramp up of much needed housing and resources for our most vulnerable residents—from families and youth to agricultural workers—but we’re also keenly aware of how much work remains to help our entire community afford a place to live in Silicon Valley,” said Consuelo Hernández, Director of the County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing. “Every decision, from expanding preventive services to approving new housing sites, is focused on long-term investments to make our community livable for everyone. We need continued resources on every level—including state and federal—and the ongoing support of our city partners to end homelessness in the entire county.”

Michael Moore
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.

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