“Support Teacher Housing” is an independent development project that is supported by Stakeholders for a Safe Green Village. As of August and September 2017, this project is “alive and kicking” as it continues by transitioning into new and bolder directions.
From approximately April to August 2017, the Support Teacher Housing cause forwarded its proposal in “creating a replicable and sustainable teacher housing model on privately owned land without government funds using a social entrepreneurship model and green high-quality low-cost technology.”
This is a sub-page of Stakeholders for Safe Green Village on behalf of “Support Teacher Housing” and we encourage a number of stakeholders to participate:
- Teachers, educators, and their supporting students, parents, friends, and family in the education community.
- “Once the model is proven it can be replicated for anyone who has a job, pays taxes, want to own a home, and live where they work, including Social Workers, Caregivers, Nurses and City/County Employees.
- All residents of San Jose and Santa Clara County — area wide — that understand and support the intersection of issues relating to affordable teacher housing, living wages, and education initiatives.
- Immediate neighborhood residents that live nearby the southern Lincoln Avenue strip from Lennon Way to Roy Avenue, going southbound towards the Willow Glen Community Center, which is approximate to Curtner & Lincoln Avenues. The immediate property for the proposed use of affordable teacher housing is situated closest to Lincoln Avenue and Lincoln Court, and the parcel reaches back towards Radio Avenue.
- Immediate neighborhood businesses, leasing tenants, and landowners with a stakeholder or invested interest in the commercial strip. This planning area includes a strip that runs approximately from Lennon Way, Malone Road, Curtner Avenue, and Roy Avenue (going north to south in that order on Lincoln Avenue and ultimately towards the Almaden Expressway).
- The greater Willow Glen neighborhood residents that live within the Willow Glen Planning Area of San Jose (see web link that opens a new window to the website of Willow Glen Neighborhood Association).
- The adjacent neighborhoods, cities, and county lands that connect to Willow Glen and the planning area. This includes those people who seek a more livable place to live for themselves, such as with complete and connected city districts, and the improvement of their children’s schools, and their teachers’ or educators’ place of work and residence. This project benefits the neighborhood, as much as the teachers themselves. It’s an improvement free of taxpayer expense because it’s privately financed and built. If we can build it here, its model can be replicated elsewhere.
CURRENT STATUS, PROGRESS & TIMELINE
On August 18 the following letter (seen in part below) was published by Sarah Chaffin, leader of Support Teacher Housing. The complete version is visible on the Facebook page as a post, and online via Mailchimp.com.
I want to thank everyone who has been supportive of our cause to create affordable housing for teachers. I am very proud of what we accomplished, though we did not get the votes from Mayor Liccardo and the City Council, we got the votes of the people. The plight of teachers and the missing middle is too important for us to stop. My replicable and sustainable model for Affordable Teacher Housing will not be going away overnight, the need to keep the best educators in this area doesn’t stop with one night’s vote and most importantly we can never stop fighting for our children’s education.
“The true sign of character is how you respond to defeat and not victory”
What we accomplished:
- Raised awareness throughout the Bay Area of the hardships of our teachers and the “Missing Middle”.
- We galvanized the teachers and the “Missing Middle” to organize and stand up for social justice in regards to housing issues.
- We organized over 200 parents, teachers and children to show their support at the City Council Meeting for Affordable Teacher Housing.
- We have built a network of over 1000 loyal supporters and are still growing.
- We are receiving more endorsements from groups and municipalities, including Senator Evan Low.
On Tuesday 08 August 2017, the San Jose City Council heard the case on teacher housing and delivered the final vote on whether this project can continue. We campaigned endlessly in hopes that the City Council would not vote against us, to terminate our project, or to say “no” to our overall cause.
Over the previous months, we created outreach via social media; canvassing door to door with neighborhood residents; interviews with newspapers and the broadcast media; and countless meetings with educators, politicians, neighborhood leaders.
After August 8th, we’re still doing that similar outreach, and we’re just as busy at work as ever, keeping the cause and issues alive. The interest is still strong.
Then as now, we encourage everyone to stay tuned-in, and we still need you to sign your name (and email address) in support so that we can be in touch!
Below are the results from the August 8th decision from San Jose City Council, including votes on two separate memorandums. They both failed to support our cause, but we’re still determined as ever to keep the issue alive, as well as to find a solution.
Back on Wednesday 24 May 2017, and we intended to keep that momentum going. Our community of teachers, parents, and local families took on the Planning Department and we won! Although the city council failed to find a way to push our cause through the bureaucracy, we nevertheless found that the public was more than accepting…. The victory on 24 May still indicates a win all the way around for everyone!
This is happening because of you. We want to thank the first 300 people who signed up as our earliest supporters online. We are grateful to the 80 people who came to the original hearing and showed their support on May 24th. We appreciate the 50 people who spoke at the Planning Commission’s hearing! But, there’s more…
We thank the 200 parents, teachers and children to show their support at the City Council Meeting for Affordable Teacher Housing. And that doesn’t include the network of over 1000 loyal supporters, which grew in just a few months, and is still growing. We know that there are many people throughout the entire county, San Francisco Bay Area region, and even the throughout California state and the nation that hear us, support us and continue to be a passionate, participatory, and inspirational.
NOW MORE THAN EVER, IT’S NOT OVER! WE STILL NEED YOU TO ACT…
- Sign on your name, join the cause, and keep in touch!
- Share a post, tell your friends and help spread the word!
- Just was we asked you to sign-on, sit-in, and speak-out at San Jose City Hall on August 8th, now we ask you to keep on, write-in, and reach out to your friends, colleagues, and politicians.
For additional information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOCIAL MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS:
An independent Facebook Page for SupportTeacherHousing.org can be found at https://www.facebook.com/SupportTeacherHousing/
See the Facebook username shortcut @SupportTeacherHousing
Frequently used hashtags: #SupportTeacherHousing #WillowGlen #SanJose #SantaClaraCounty #SJUSD #LincolnAvenueSJ
https://twitter.com/TeachersHousing. Note the spelling variation, different from the Facebook page and Website addresses. On Twitter, there’s an “s” (as in plural) for “Teachers Housing”, since there are limitations on how to register the account name. The name of the Twitter page is “Teacher Housing”, whereas, the shortcut address is @TeachersHousing.
The hashtag #SupportTeacherHousing is used both on Facebook and Twitter and is often a good way to reference the posts.
STATEMENTS, POSITION PAPERS, & LETTERS OF SUPPORT
A number of organizations and individuals have written letters in support, as well as signed-on the proposition. Some of the organizations’ letters or position papers can be seen in the below.
Stakeholders for Safe Green Village (SGV), submitted its paper in favor of teacher housing to the San Jose City Clerk on Monday 31 July 2017, and it can be found here on a separate page of our website (both as text and PDF format).
Stakeholders SGV, and a number of other groups had also spoken (verbally, on record) in support of affordable teacher housing and living wages on Wednesday 24 May 2017 at San Jose City Hall. This was per the Planning Commission’s agenda for the Regular & General Planning Hearing, Item 6 a. GP17-005, copied from page 6 in the below:
“6. GENERAL PLAN HEARING CONTINUED FROM MAY 10, 2017
a. GP17-005. General Plan Amendment request to change the Land Use Designation from Neighborhood / Community Commercial to Urban Residential on a 0.28-gross acre site, located on the west side of Lincoln Avenue, approximately 82 feet northerly of Lincoln Court (2119 Lincoln Avenue) (Passaro Pasquale and Chaffin Sarah M Truste, Owner). Council District: 6. CEQA: Exempt, Section 15270 Projects which are disapproved. PROJECT MANAGER, KIMBERLY VACCA Staff Recommendation: 1. Consider the Exemption in accordance with CEQA. 2. Recommend to the City Council to deny the General Plan Amendment as described above.”
SUPPORT FROM THE SAN JOSE TEACHER’S ASSOCIATION
Support Teacher Housing has received the support of the San Jose Teachers Association, “the largest teachers’ union in Santa Clara County.” In the attached letter, the President of SJTA states that “Every year, we lose teachers, counselors, nurses and other vital education personnel to places where their salaries can allow them to start families and own their own homes.”
Click on the link here to see a PDF formatted version of
the “San Jose Teachers Association” letter of support.
SUPPORT FROM THE WILLOW GLEN NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION (WGNA)
The 2017-2018 Board Members of Willow Glen Neighborhood Association voted in favor of issuing a new position paper in favor of Affordable Teacher Housing at 2119 Lincoln Avenue, assessor’s parcel #439-08-059, and San Jose General Plan project file #GP17-005. That letter can be viewed and downloaded in a PDF document format from their website at the “Position Papers” web page at http://www.wgna.net/position_papers. From the WGNA.net home page, see the tab for Position Papers, as well as look for the tab and pull down option on Meetings>Presentations to see the Board Meeting presentation on this topic. Sarah Chaffin, owner of the property and the leader of “Support Teacher Housing” (the cause) has appeared at WGNA meetings, as recorded in WGNA Board Meeting agendas and minutes.
A LETTER OF SUPPORT FROM SOUTH BAY YIMBY
South Bay YIMBY (Yes in My Back Yard) wrote a letter of support of “Sarah Chaffin’s proposal to create more affordable housing for educators in San Jose.”
South Bay YIMBY is a community group focused on housing and transportation issues in the South Bay Area, especially San Jose. They can be found on Facebook, here.
Michael Tsai, founder, wrote that “While the technology boom has generated wonderful economic growth, at the same time it has had side effects like driving up the cost of housing, especially considering the limited supply of housing the Bay Area. Such costs are often borne by local public servants who have not seen their salaries grow in proportion to the cost of housing. As a result, more and more educators are increasingly unable to afford to live in the communities they serve, which sometimes puts more distance between them and the children they teach – figuratively and physically!”
Original Posters and Banners from the past campaign
from May to August 2017; August 8th decision at San Jose City Hall.
Click on the link here to see a PDF formatted version of
the “August 8 — Save the Date” poster document.
It is designed for an 11×17 inch page.
Para una versión en español (for a version in Spanish), haga clic aquí (click here)
PAST CALL TO ACTION:
URGENT HEARING on TUESDAY 08 AUGUST 2017,
6:00 pm at CITY HALL
San Jose City Council Decision (Council Agenda item)
Tuesday, August 8th @ 6:00 PM
City of San Jose Council Chambers
200 E. Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113
NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING: PRESENTATION, DISCUSSION, PARTICIPATION
A presentation was made by Sarah Chaffin, property owner and head of Support TeacherHousing.org, on 13 April 2017 at the monthly board meeting of the Willow Glen Neighborhood Association (WGNA). This included a community discussion and participation. You to go to WGNA’s website and see the Presentations page, or you can go directly to the PDF document.
The summary of Sarah’s presentation and proposal on 13 April 2017: “Create a sustainable housing model on privately owned land without government funds using a social entrepreneurship model and green high-quality low-cost technology.” Guest speaker’s website: http://supportteacherhousing.org/. Topic series: Urban Design & Vision.
Sarah was also on WGNA Board Meeting agenda for the dates Thursday, May 11, 2017. Time: 7- 9 pm.; as well as that she provided a community update from the floor (off agenda) on the day of the WGNA Annual Board Meeting & Election for the 2017-2018 term, Thursday 25 May 2017 (the day after the San Jose Planning Commission’s vote).
PUBLIC OUTREACH & NOTIFICATION:
Canvassing of the neighborhood and outreach has been ongoing to residents and interested stakeholders, and of course, to the intended beneficiaries in the education community, etc. Support Teacher Housing is still working to those ends on a short timeline. This is being done largely by grassroots volunteer work, and with the help of neighborhood leaders and stakeholders using person to person contact, telephone calls, online websites, social media, emails, seasonal events, and more.
The below postcard and 8.5×11″ flier is currently being used for hand-out information, during canvassing.
Click on the below link to see a PDF formatted version of document of the flier and postcard: August 8 — Save the Date!
Para una versión en español (for a version in Spanish), haga clic aquí (click here)
THE STRATEGY: PLANNING & TASKING (WHAT WE’RE DOING)
Making real community change.
Support Teacher Housing is creating a replicable and sustainable teacher housing model on privately owned land without government funds using a social entrepreneurship model and green high-quality low-cost technology.
This is a Pilot Program. Once the model is proven it can be replicated for anyone who has a job, pays taxes, wants to own a home, and live where they work, including Social Workers, Caregivers, Nurses, and City/County Employees.
THE STRATEGY: OBJECTIVES, PRIORITIES, & MISSION
- Help schools recruit and retain teachers so that Santa Clara County can have the best schools in the country.
- Create a sense of Community by providing housing to retired teachers.
- Help the Missing Middle become homeowners by using a limited lease period with a down payment savings program model.
VALUES & CONCEPTS
We intend to help our teachers afford living here in the communities where they work.
When we develop complete and livable communities where people can both reside and work, they can live freely of the burdensome expense of long and difficult commutes, decrease their carbon footprint in the urban environment, as well as have more liberty to socialize in their community. This, in turn, will free up their cash flow, increase discretionary income into the commercial sector, and ultimately help put aside savings for future life planning, such as home ownership, parenting, continuing education, retirement, etc. It’s sustainable development, and a creative solution, from the bottom and up.
Teachers’ jobs and wages in San Jose, Santa Clara County, and the San Francisco/Silicon Valley metropolitan areas are not as competitively market driven as those in the other sectors of the area’s economy or even those of teachers in America’s other major cities:
Here are some sample news articles on the topic
- Is Silicon Valley Driving Teachers Out?
(The Atlantic 21 July 2015)
- Is There a Solution to Silicon Valley’s Teacher Housing Problem?
(KQED News, 27 July 2015)
- Why School Districts Are Operating as Landlords
(The Atlantic, 06 January 2017)
Teachers, Police Priced Out of America’s Big Metro Areas
(Wall Street Journal, 12 April 2017)
Even Experienced Teachers Can’t Afford to Live Where They Work
(Apartment List Rentoconomics/www.apartmentlist.com, 18 April 2017)
Low pay, high SF housing costs equal 1 homeless math teacher
(San Francisco Chronicle, 09 May 2017)
San Jose Landowner faces pushback building housing for teachers
(ABC 7 News, 22 May 2017)
“Only 1% of housing built since 2015 is for the Missing Middle (ie. moderate income households) in the Silicon Valley.”
* * * * *
“88% of Silicon Valley’s residential units permitted thus far in the 2015-2023 RHNA cycle were in the Above Moderate (120%+ of the Area Median Income) category.”
[Source: Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG). Analysis: Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA)]
We’re going to change things by helping our teachers.
These days, more Americans — especially younger Millennials — want to work close to home and walk in their neighborhoods. They want to be closer to transit.
This also includes middle-aged individuals, and especially senior citizens that want to “age in place”.
Whether it’s the great population of Baby-Boomers that are progressing into retirement, or those like the Generation Xers, the Millenials, etc, there are more of us that want to find ways to remain close to our traditional home, as well as to help care for our children, aging parents, and grandparents. As we age, we don’t want to have to move out, be pushed out, or seek work, residence, and retirement elsewhere.
This especially includes our teachers and our schools, who represent an integral role in our community, and its creative development.
This means that more of us are desiring easy and multi-modal access and transportation to our neighborhood’s services and amenities. Preferred neighborhoods are those that are livable, walkable, urban, and transit-oriented communities. And that means for everyone, especially for the “missing middle.”
ADDRESS & SITE at 2119 LINCOLN AVENUE
The property involving this project is located at 2119 Lincoln Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125-3541. The parcel number is 439-08-059.
NOTICE of DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL posted at the site by the City of San Jose, Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Department.
“PROJECT DESCRIPTION: General Plan Amendment to the Land Use/Transportation diagram from (NCC) Neighborhood/Community Commercial to Urban Residential on a 0.28 gross acre site.
“PROJECT ADDRESS: east side of Lincoln Avenue, approximately 82 feet northerly of Lincoln Court (2119 LINCOLN AV)
“PROJECT FILE NO.: GP17-005
“APPLICANT: Sarah Chaffin
“COUNCIL DISTRICT: 6”
NEARBY THE PROPERTY: The property for the proposed affordable teacher housing is situated on Lincoln Avenue at Lincoln Court. This includes a strip that runs approximately from Lennon Way, Malone Road, Curtner Avenue, and Roy Avenue (going north to south in that order on Lincoln Avenue and ultimately towards the Almaden Expressway).