SAN JOSE, CA - Silicon Valley community and business leaders announced the launch of SV@Home, a start-up non-profit focused on increasing the supply of affordable housing in Santa Clara County. The non-profit was created by a core group, including Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, who recognized that an intense, focused effort is needed to address the growing housing crisis in the South Bay.
The launch of SV@Home is timely given the growing lack of affordable housing in Silicon Valley. Data from Joint Venture Silicon Valley shows that from 2010 to 2014, 189,000 new jobs were created and 113,000 new residents were added in Santa Clara County. During that same time period, rents increased 80% and the median housing price rose to $879,000 in San Jose (Real Facts/Santa Clara County). Despite these dramatic increases, only 36,414 new housing units were added in all of Santa Clara County. Now more than ever, low to middle income workers are being driven out of the region and San Jose has the seventh largest number of homeless individuals in the nation (2014 Annual Homeless Report to Congress).
"Just as 15 years ago the community came together in response to the affordable housing crisis to found the Housing Trust to raise funds to directly assist individuals with affordable housing programs, once again, we are coming together to address the issue in another strategic way – to create a groundswell of support for new public policies supporting affordable housing," said Kevin Zwick, CEO of the Housing Trust. "The affordable housing crisis in our region is so acute it requires additional responses over and above the advocacy work already being done."
Initially incubated at Housing Trust Silicon Valley, SV@Home is a membership organization that will advocate for policies, programs, land use decisions, and funding sources to increase housing for all members of the community, from homeless to minimum wage earners to health and education service workers and high technology employees. SV@Home will also provide educational opportunities and research materials that demonstrate the need for housing and the link between housing and other quality of life outcomes, including education, health, transportation, and the environment.
"The housing crisis is negatively impacting the future health and vitality of our region," said Ron Gonzales, SV@Home Leadership Board Chair and former Mayor of San Jose. "Together, we must champion efforts to increase the availability of housing so working families who call Silicon Valley home have access to affordable homes with a shorter commute to and from work."
Leslye Corsiglia, a housing professional with more than 30 years of affordable housing experience, has been selected to lead SV@Home as its first Executive Director. Until recently, she served as Director of Housing for the City of San Jose and is a recognized leader in the region and California on affordable housing issues.
SV@Home founding members include a broad coalition of business, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations, including Google, LinkedIn, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, US Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, LIFEsteps, BRIDGE Housing, Charities Housing, The CORE Companies, EAH Housing, Eden Housing, Enterprise Community PartnersFirst Community Housing, Habitat East Bay Silicon Valley, and MidPen Housing. Interested companies and organizations are invited to join the new non-profit and its efforts.
"At Google we know that increasing the housing supply in Silicon Valley is a goal that can best be met by a team effort," said Davis White, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager at Google, and a SV@Home board member. "We're looking forward to working with a broad coalition of companies and organizations on this priority, as we believe the long-term success of the region depends upon it."