San Jose launching 11 new affordable housing projects

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The need for affordable housing in the Bay Area continues to grow. Many people tell ABC7 News they are considering moving out of state or who resorted to commuting from the Central Valley.

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Affected are teachers, security guards, and many other essential workers whose pay falls short of escalating rent and home prices.

Still, cities like San Jose continue to address the affordable housing crisis. San Jose found $100 million to kick-start 11 new affordable housing projects - money from developer fees and past redevelopment loan fees.

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The availability of affordable housing has helped a security guard and her family.

Esmerelda Ramos couldn't be happier. Until six months ago, she and her three sons lived with others in a small apartment, sharing the kitchen and one bathroom. Today, a three-bedroom San Jose apartment is their new home. They no longer are cramped into bunk beds.

The difference in their lives is an affordable housing development called Met South. The Ramos family was one of 1,688 applicants for one of 11 units.

"It's so beautiful now. Life is more comfortable, and it's more great," Mrs. Ramos said.

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The dream come true for Mrs. Ramos is the goal San Jose has to add 10,000 affordable units in the next three years.

This week, the city selected 11 developers that will be given $100 million in seed money to build just over 1,100 affordable units.

This nearly seven-acre site next to a VTA light rail station will have two buildings as seen in this rendering. One will be market rate housing and the other will be affordable housing.

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Proposed by San Jose's Core Companies, it's one of the 11 developments to get city funding.

"I think when you have stable affordable housing, you can now focus on other aspects of your life - your health, your job, your education for your family members. So I think a lot of good things come from stable, predictable affordable housing," said Chris Neale, executive vice president of the Core Companies.

The city's $100 million commitment will help developers line up other financing, but it's only a start to addressing the housing shortage.

"There's always more applicants than we have units available for, so we're going to continue to keep building as much as we can," said Ragan Henninger, deputy director of San Jose's housing department.

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The Core Companies' development projects that its new affordable units will rent for between one and two thousand dollars per month.

The Ramos family at Met South is paying $1,470 per month for their three-bedroom unit.

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