Spring 2021
Contacting SCCHA During COVID-19 Building Closure
While our building remains closed to the public for now, we are working to ensure all your needs are met! Please call us during regular business hours (7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, closed every other Friday), email, use the document drop box located outside our lobby, or visit our online Tenant and Owner portals available 24/7 through a web browser. Click here to view our temporary policy changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What Makes a Great Housing Authority

When I think of what makes a great housing authority, I think of six qualities that must be met. 
 
It starts with purpose: To be great, a housing authority must always think first of those it serves. More than shelter, a great housing authority creates a space and collaborates with community partners to ensure educational outcomes for youth; employment readiness and wage progression for adults; quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities; and hope for those who were unhoused. 
 
Second, a great housing authority has great staff who are stewards of the public trust and public funds. It empowers staff to be decision-makers and gives them the resources to expertly run its programs. 
 
Third, a great housing authority has a strong, sustainable foundation that is built on financially strong, high-performing assets coupled with thoughtful policies to ensure the organization's environmental footprint is as minimal as possible. 
 
Fourth, a great housing authority acts in alignment with broader community initiatives, not alone in a vacuum or a silo. It knows how to work with community partners to create results bigger than what it otherwise could do alone. 
 
Fifth, a great housing authority knows how to handle a crisis. Whether it is the affordable housing crisis, helping those who are unhoused, or responding to the pandemic, a great housing authority communicates with all of its stakeholders—internally and externally—and ensures business continuity. 
 
Lastly, a great housing authority expands housing opportunities and resident programs. All of these, of course, are undertaken with a strong commitment to equity and inclusion.
 
I am really excited to be joining the Santa Clara County Housing Authority because it has all of the makings of being a great housing authority. Some things it is hitting on all cylinders; for others, there is opportunity to grow and evolve. Together, we will embark on a journey in which we will challenge ourselves, identify ways to improve, and become that great housing authority that our residents demand us to be. I look forward to hearing your ideas on how we create a Santa Clara County Housing Authority that is generating economic opportunity and shared prosperity for everyone in our community.

Preston Prince
Executive Director
More Than 660 New, Transit-oriented, All-electric Affordable Homes Planned for East Santa Clara Street in San José
Click image to view our 10-minute April 2021 East Santa Clara Street presentation.
We're excited to provide an update on our plans for the approximately 5 acres at 675 E. Santa Clara Street on the east side of downtown San José, which SCCHA purchased from Santa Clara County in 2017 using Moving to Work funds. 

Last fall after two years of master planning and community outreach, we submitted preliminary proposals to the City of San José for several new affordable housing developments along East Santa Clara Street (on the site of the former San José Medical Center) and a smaller site bordering East St. John and North 16th streets. Our review applications included options for the portion of the site which was previously intended to be the location of our new office building (SCCHA has since purchased an existing office building in North San José). Based on the City's input during our preliminary review, we're pleased to be developing two additional apartment buildings for seniors. This brings the total number of developments planned for the site to six, with more than 660 new affordable housing units for very low-income families and seniors earning up to 50% of the County's area median income, including homes for residents with special needs. Design elements include a public plaza with an urban forest feeling, ground floor retail, and bike and pedestrian paseos. 

We'll soon be entering the City's entitlement process prior to commencing development activities. The first project may break ground as soon as late 2022.

We look forward to reporting on our progress in the coming months! In the meantime, we invite you to stay informed through our website: https://www.scchousingauthority.org/esc/.
To be added to the East Santa Clara Street developments notifications list, please email us at ESC@SCCHousingAuthority.org.
Scholarship Applications Open Until May 26

The agency is accepting Strive scholarship applications until Wed., May 26, at 5:00 p.m. Click here for the application. Students of all ages who are pursuing their post-secondary education and who are SCCHA Section 8 tenants or tenants of rental properties owned by or affiliated with SCCHA are encouraged to apply. SCCHA will award up to 50 scholarships to college-bound high school seniors, continuing college students, or returning students attending a university, community college or technical school on a full or part-time basis in Fall 2021. Applicants with the highest scores will receive an award of at least $1,000. Applicants must complete an application, provide a letter of recommendation and a copy of recent transcripts (unofficial transcripts are accepted). The transcripts requirement will be waived for applicants who have been out of school for five or more years. Strive scholarships are not available to applicants who have already received four previous awards. If you have questions about the Strive Scholarship, please call 408-993-3026.
Emergency Rent Relief Programs Available

Renters and landlords with traditional leases who've experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19 may be eligible to get assistance through California's COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. The state program is available to low-income tenants earning up to 80% of Santa Clara County's area median income and who have been financially impacted due to the pandemic and need help paying rent and utilities. Applications can be submitted by both tenants and landlords, who will both need to confirm on the application that the rent information is correct. Landlords can get reimbursed for 80% of past due rent accrued between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021, if they agree to waive the remaining 20% of unpaid rent. Eligible renters whose landlords choose not to participate may still apply on their own and receive 25% of unpaid rent accrued during the same period. To apply or for more details visit HousingIsKey.com or call 833-430-2122. Applications may be filled out in multiple languages. 

Those needing immediate help with rent can also call the County's Homelessness Prevention System at 408-926-8885 or email housinginfo@sacredheartcs.org. Santa Clara County is expecting to roll out a local emergency rental assistance program for extremely low-income tenants in mid-May.
34,000 Join New Online Section 8 Program Interest Lists

SCCHA is making it easier for low-income residents to be considered for Section 8 housing assistance programs through permanently open interest lists accessed online. Our online Applicant Portal—available 24/7 on the agency's website—enables eligible low-income households to join interest lists for Section 8 housing vouchers and for affordable housing at specific rental properties using a computer, tablet or smart phone. 

As rental assistance becomes available, interest list applicants will be chosen randomly and added to smaller waiting lists to further determine eligibility. While not everyone who joins an interest list is guaranteed housing, the new interest lists are permanently open and random selection of applicants gives a fair chance to all of receiving housing assistance.

Since debuting in December, almost 34,000 applicants have joined the new online interest lists. While SCCHA continues serving the remaining 2,000 applicants on our 2006 waiting list, we're excited to report that we've already begun drawing applicants from our online project-based voucher interest list (project-based vouchers are attached to specific properties). 

Eligible applicants may register online any time at www.scchousingauthority.org/applicantportal or call (888) 717-1180 for assistance. All they need to sign up is a valid email address. Applicants are encouraged to update their information online as needed. They will receive email or text message notifications of their status and whenever a new property becomes available online. As long as they log in once a year, interest list applicants remain active. There is no cost to join SCCHA's interest lists or to participate in rental assistance programs. SCCHA staff and participating community-based partners will assist persons with disabilities and those without access to technology in the online registration process.

Help us provide ongoing opportunities and hope to families seeking vouchers and affordable housing by sharing the link to our new online Applicant Portal
Project-based Vouchers Are Key to Financing Supportive Housing
Click image to view Danco Communities' Monterey Gateway Senior Apartments video.
Successfully housing the most vulnerable people in our community requires a variety of resources including rental assistance, case management, gap funding and community support of projects during planning and permitting. Santa Clara County continues proving it can!

Danco Communities' Monterey Gateway Senior Apartments in Gilroy was completed in February 2020 and is a beautiful example of how SCCHA's project-based vouchers (PBVs) are a key financing tool for developers seeking Santa Clara County's 2016 Measure A affordable housing bond funds. Attaching vouchers to specific properties ensures that an apartment comes with a voucher, and the steady rental subsidies can help provide ongoing supportive services to residents. This is especially important because the people Measure A is helping—those experiencing homelessness, our veterans, seniors on fixed incomes, people with disabilities—have a hard time accessing the County's super competitive rental market. PBVs are attached to 37 of Monterey Gateway's 75 units and are estimated to provide more than $24.6 million in rental subsidies over the next 20 years. In partnership with the County, SCCHA has so far committed a total of 1,170 PBVs to Measure A projects completed and in the development pipeline, representing approximately $26,690,040 in rental subsidies annually. Click here for the latest progress on the Measure A program's goal to build 4,800 affordable housing units over approximately 10 years. 
Employment Opportunities with SCCHA
Do you enjoy making a difference in your community? A job with SCCHA offers exciting challenges and a variety of career opportunities all focused on providing reliable, high-quality services to the public. Stay informed about agency activities and job opportunities through LinkedIn or SCCHA's website.
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The Santa Clara County Housing Authority is the largest provider of affordable housing assistance in the county, helping make rental housing safe and affordable for low-income families through Section 8 voucher programs and below-market rental properties. Designated a Moving to Work agency, it currently assists more than 19,000 households.
 
Santa Clara County Housing Authority
505 West Julian Street, San José, California, 95110 * www.scchousingauthority.org