A Heartbeat Away from a Housing Crisis:  Measure A housing for People with Developmental Disabilities

On September 11, 2018,  the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors will vote on a proposal to allow $40 million of the Measure A housing bond proceeds approved in November 2016 to be used to finance affordable housing for people with developmental disabilities. This amount represents 5% of the $800 million that is dedicated to creating affordable rental housing for “vulnerable populations”.  

The lack of affordable housing remains the greatest single barrier to the ability of a person with developmental disabilities to live in the community with supportive services provided by the Regional Center.  Because of the lack of affordable housing, 62% of Santa Clara County adults with developmental disabilities are living at home with aging parents. A continuing net decline in licensed care homes in the county leaves many aging parents asking:  "What will happen when I pass away or become too frail to care for and house my adult child with developmental disabilities?”

In implementing Measure A, the County has limited funding eligibility to affordable rental housing for people who are homeless or who currently rent a place but will lose it within two weeks. Most adults with developmental disabilities are still living at home with aging parents. They are not homeless, nor are they about to be evicted, but they are just a heartbeat away from a housing crisis.

Many cities and affordable housing developers want to include rental units for residents with developmental disabilities in their affordable housing plans. However, without the ability to compete for county Measure A funds, the pipeline of affordable housing that is inclusive of people with developmental disabilities is under threat.

This must change!  On September 11, 2018, our community will call on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to dedicate 5% ($40 million) of Measure A housing bond proceeds to finance affordable housing that is inclusive of people with developmental disabilities. This leaves $760 million for the County to invest in creating housing for the homeless--an important goal but not the only goal of Measure A.

To endorse the campaign for 5% of Measure A funds to be used for affordable housing for people with developmental disabilities and to sign up to tell your housing story at the September 11th Board of Supervisors meeting, click the link below.