A Win for Affordable Homes in Sunnyvale

On March 17, the Sunnyvale City Council took action to address the housing crisis by approving a fee on market-rate rental projects that will fund much-needed affordable homes.

Townhouse row

“It really boggles the mind that a studio rents for about $2,500 a month in Sunnyvale and that a household has to make $153,000 a year to afford a two-bedroom home,” says Greenbelt Alliance Regional Director Michele Beasley.

Sunnyvale’s adoption of the housing impact fee—at $17 per square foot—is equal to those recently adopted by both Mountain View and San Jose. According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, this fee would generate about $1.6 million from a typical 100-unit development that would go toward creating new affordable homes in Sunnyvale.

Greenbelt Alliance strongly supported the adoption of a housing impact fee in Sunnyvale to the City Council. Thank you to Mayor Jim Griffith, Vice Mayor Tara Martin-Milius, and councilmembers Gustav Larsson, Glenn Hendricks, and Dave Whittum for voting in favor of the fee. And thank you to our partners the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, Working Partnerships USA, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, and Friends of Caltrain.

These fees represent tangible progress toward alleviating the Bay Area’s housing crisis, but it’s going to take many more plans and policies to ensure the neighborhoods in our cities are amazing places for everyone.

Read more about our work in Sunnyvale.

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