San Jose Proposes to Convert Schools into Teacher Housing

via David Sawyer on Flickr

San Jose Proposes to Convert Schools into Teacher Housing

An Original Blog by Jesamine D.The Code Solution

Housing in California is a crisis that not only exists today, but has also been drastically increasing over time. Los Angeles Times has even noted that 4 out of 10 Californians are living in poverty. this increasing risk places an impact on those that live in the neighborhood including parents, their children and even the teachers at nearby schools. This is especially true for teachers in San Jose’s rising housing cost neighborhoods.

An Attempt for Fair Housing

In midst of the housing crisis, the Northern California District proposed a plan to convert nearby schools into low-income housing for teachers. The district originally proposed to convert 9 properties (including schools and district offices) into housing for nearby teachers in the area. This would be set in place in order to help the many teachers that often live far away from their schools due to soaring housing costs. Many teachers face up to 4 hours daily when commuting to and from work.

Neighborhood Backlash

Though a seemingly supportive proposal, nearby residents felt otherwise. Hundreds of residents voiced their opinion on the matter. In fact, the community back-lashed the overall proposal, stating that by removing these school landmarks and converting them into low-income housing, would decrease the value of its neighborhood.

“It is ridiculous,” former Leland football coach Mike Carrozzo said of the proposal. “You’re going to build low-income housing in one of the more prosperous areas in the Bay Area, which also happens to be the furthest corner of the district for district teachers. It’s crazy.”

Moving School Locations

San Jose’s Unified School District further noted that the housing would not only benefit nearby teachers, but other school employees as well. In the proposal were suggested conversions of the beloved Leland High School and Bret Harte High School in the well-known Almaden Valley, a prestige and wealthy community. Additionally, schools consistently run into the problem of having to hire and retain employees do to long commutes and the rising housing costs near the school.

Declining Enrollment & Employment

The eight schools found in the proposal would later be transferred to another area, if given the opportunity to build for teacher housing. Schools that were brought into the proposal were originally picked due to declining enrollment and employment. Like the long and tedious commute that teachers face daily, parents also have a long commute when dropping off their kids at school. Not only does this affect their kids grades and attendance, but the parents attendance at work, as well. Furthermore, if given the opportunity to build the housing, the schools wouldn’t be shut down at all. Instead, these schools would be moved into other locations.

The Push for Teacher Housing

A proposal to defeat San Jose’s housing problem only brought more problems among the community itself. Though this was freshly proposed, other communities have begun to make an influence out of this, as well. A great example of the like would be Palo Alto’s experimental teacher housing, where they received additional funding to support the project.

Affordable-Housing Developments

Over 200 teachers are replaced yearly in San Jose’s school district. If supportive teacher housing isn’t in place, will this jeopardize the future of our schools? Whether it takes converting schools or some other plan, something must be done to save these high-risk schools.

An Original Blog by Jesamine D.The Code Solution

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Costa Hawkins and Voting NO on Prop 10

Activists disappointed after an Assembly committee blocked a bill to
lift statewide restrictions on types rent control demonstrate in
California’s Capitol on Thursday. (Katy Murphy - Bay Area News Group)
source: mercury news

Costa Hawkins and Voting NO on Prop 10

In 1995, California passed a statute allowing landlords to charge “market” rent whenever a new tenant enters a lease. The Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act permits this rent alteration, just as long as written notice is properly given. Though the Rent Adjustment Commission hasn’t reported more than 5% of rent increase since 1985, rent prices would still increase anywhere from 3-5%. This includes potential increase in single-family homes, most condominiums and multi-family rental units that were built after 1995.

Los Angeles Housing Crisis

A large amount of Los Angeles residents spend more than half of their income on rent. With housing rates this extreme, it’s now evident why one in four LA residents are living in poverty. Unfortunately, the Act only increases the risk in Los Angeles’ current housing crisis. Though the need for affordable housing is apparent, the Act severely impacted a 2009 court decision,which would’ve required developers to include affordable housing units in their resident projects.

Restoring Affordable Housing

The Court responded by stating Los Angeles’ violated the Costa Hawkins Act by allowing lower rent rates for newly constructed units. In contrast of this, Governor Jerry Brown (thankfully) signed a bill that restored the permission to pursue building affordable units in new rental developments.

Pursuing Low-Income Residential Projects

While the demand for affordable housing continues to grow, new housing developments are increasing at an even slower pace. This sufficient lack leaves California’s rate of new housing projects short of demand. Even for homeowners who are subleasing even a single room in their residence, they may still be subject to increases in their rent. Though repealing an act will take time to display results, it all starts with a “no.”

What is Prop 10?

Prop 10 is a statute that was presented to California courts when determining whether local governments should step into place for adopting rent control ordinances. The proposition would repeal the Costa Hawkins Act, reversing many of its requirements. In addition, the proposition includes flaws such as not increase housing for affordable spending, will not force local communities to build affordable housing and finally, the prop will not provide any instant relief for those facing higher housing rates.

“NO” on Prop. 10

When getting your ballot in the mail, it’s important to understand what each prop represents before voting. For example, prop 10 provide doesn’t provide protection for renters, seniors, veterans, the disabled, nor does the prop provide affordable housing or rent rollbacks, either. Overall, renters will immediately feel the effects of prop 10’s harmful output. Having such in effect will cause landlords to convert their apartments into potential condominiums, increasing rent prices and vacation opportunities. This will push many of California’s renters in a state of “where do I go now?” To better our community, we can stop this reduction of affordable and middle-class housing by voting “no” on prop 10.

Original Blog by Jesamine D.


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First Look: New Single Family Home To Be Constructed In Hancock Park

With tree-lined streets and historic family homes, Hancock Park is a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of its surrounding Los Angeles neighborhoods. Much like Larchmont Village and Windsor Square, it also offers an inviting mix of culture, cuisine, architecture and community ambience. Our team has been working with a local investor to design a single family home in the center of Hancock Park, Los Angeles that will give this whimsical neighborhood a modern touch.
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