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Santa Clara County Leaders Pass a Slew of Affordable Housing Actions

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a slew of affordable housing agenda items at their Tuesday meeting.

The 13 proposals that were approved will help a range of people receive housing, including homeless seniors, foster youth and families with young children.

The board approved more funds for senior housing, a land swap for supportive housing in Cupertino, an investment into rental assistance with seven non-profits, a new housing development in Milpitas and more affordable housing in Mountain View, some specifically for foster youth.

“Dealing with housing and homelessness is extremely complex but not unsolvable,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “We are making good progress in Santa Clara County. More people are ending their homelessness with permanent housing than they were three years ago. The County will not stop working night and day on affordable housing and homelessness. There will be more progress to come.”

Also on Tuesday, the board heard a status update on the “Heading Home” program, which is dedicated to creating enough housing for all county families experiencing homelessness by 2025.

In a little over a year, the project has helped house 635 families with young children, which is an average of 42 families a month, said Hilary Armstrong, program manager with the Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing.

Over 1,400 families are currently enrolled in homeless prevention programs and receive financial help, education and other resources.

The office predicts that it will have 848 new units of supportive and affordable housing open for families by 2025.

Armstrong added that the office is working with other family services, expanding more of its services to pregnant people, and collaborating with landlords.

The office is also taking a deeper dive into the data of the families they serve. According to recent numbers, over half of the families have children ages five and younger, and the majority are sleeping in their cars, shelters or on the couches of friends.

“A lower number, thankfully, are outdoors, but still more than we would like,” said Armstrong at Tuesday’s meeting.

Following the presentation, supervisors expressed the need for more information on success stories of the program.

“I think it is hard when there is always more work in front of us to take a moment, take some sense of satisfaction, for the lives that have been changed for the better, in ways we can sometimes only imagine and not always see,” Supervisor Joe Simitian said to Armstrong. “I hope that gives you some comfort, some sense of solace. I hope that the work yet to be done doesn’t overwhelm the sense of satisfaction I think you and your colleagues should have for the work you have been able to do.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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