May 2016 Newsletter

May 18, 2016


Join me at the eighth annual Senior Health Fair and Walk. The fair features community resources geared to keeping seniors healthy. There will be free and healthy breakfast options available and more. San Jose Vice Mayor Rose Herrera is co-sponsoring the fair and walk with me.

Senior Health Fair & Walk
Friday, May 20; 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Eastridge Mall
2200 Eastridge Loop, San Jose

For more information, please call (408) 535-4908 or email



Last month, I touched on the rising cost of housing that is pricing people out of home and rental market. It's a factor that has contributed to homeless and forcing people to leave the state. Long-time California families are now seeing their sons, daughters, and grandchildren leaving to settle in other states where the cost of housing is lower.

That's why I introduced SB 879, Affordable Housing Bond Bill of 2016, to provide $3 billion through a state general obligation bond to fund existing affordable housing programs with proven records of success to generate more new homes and rental units along with offering sensible loans to low-income families who are attempting to purchase a house.

State funding for affordable housing has dried up. Funds from Proposition 46 and Proposition 1C, both voter-approved measures totaling $5 billion, have been spent. Proposition 1C's $2.85 billion is responsible for funding the creation of 92,000 units.

Besides adding more homes and apartments, SB 879 has the potential pump money into the economy. The estimated one-year impact of building 100 apartments adds 161 jobs and $11.7 million in wages.

For every 70 cents in state funding under SB 879, California can leverage $1 in 4 percent federal tax credits and $2 in federal tax-exempt bonds to make affordable housing development financially palatable for builders.

My bill is part of a concerted effort by the state Senate to make housing affordable for low-income and middle-class households and to end homelessness. The bills propose to increase the renter's tax credit; allow school districts to use their vacant property to build housing for teachers; streamline regulations for homeowners to add an accessory dwelling unit on their property.

Earlier this year, the Senate introduced a $2 billion legislative package to construct permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless people with mental illnesses. About $200 million is devoted to short-term housing and rent subsidies to immediately help people until construction is completed.

An estimated 116,000 homeless people live in California. Sixty percent of them live outdoors - and some are veterans who have served our country. I successfully urged the state Veterans Housing and Homeless Program to approve an $8 million grant that will enable First Community Housing, a non-profit, to build 55 units in San Jose to house homeless veterans.



Memorial Day is on May 30. We can honor those who died defending our country not just on this particular day but every day by helping veterans and the men and women who are now serving our country in whatever way we can. We owe all of them much.



My main Senate District 15 office is located in Campbell at 2105 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 154. The office is dedicated to assisting people who have a matter involving a state agency or a question about state government.

In addition, I also have a satellite office in downtown San Jose at the Alquist State Building, 100 Paseo de San Antonio, Suite 209 , that offers the same level of service. The satellite office is open twice a week - 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays. I plan to expand the hours soon and will announce it through my newsletter.