Gilroy is centrally-located within a short driving distance of Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz, the San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Downtown is further defined with new vitality and a healthy respect for history. Historically, Gilroy's economy has been based in agricultural products and processing.
The Plan outlines a strategy to address Gilroy's overall needs for affordable and supportive housing as well as community planning and economic development. A total o f$899,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and program income have been planned in 1995. These funds will primarily be spent on housing and public services.
In preparing the Plan, the City of Gilroy met with a variety of agencies,
and all other entitlement communities in the County. Notices were posted on
City Bulletin Boards, published in the local paper, posted on Bulletin Boards in
Low Income Housing Complexes, transmitted to Non-Profit Service Agencies who
serve the affected population, and aired on the local Cable Channel ten days in
advance of the meeting. Special notices, flyers, and information bulletins were
posted at housing complexes, and Non-Profit Service agencies in the designated
Low-Income Target areas. Within five months consulting, public hearings, along
and decisions related to funding distributions were achieved and a 30 day period
was provided for public comment. The plan was adopted and authorized by the
City Council on May 1, 1995.
Gilroy is centrally-located within a short driving distance of Monterrey
Bay, Santa Cruz, the San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The
average home in the area are approximately $250,000. Gilroy is a growing
community with a population of 32,695 representing over 2 percent of Santa Clara
County. The 1990 Census shows 47 percent of the City's population as Hispanic.
Estimates of school-age population show the Hispanic population to be over 50
percent. The White (non-Hispanic) population represents 48.4 percent of the
general population. Other ethnic demographics are relatively low.
Gilroy's service sector of the economy is predicted to see the most growth in jobs over the next five years, resulting in an increase in lower income employees and thus an increased demand for affordable housing. Its economy has been based in agricultural products and processing with retail trade increasing significantly. Gilroy's population is very low income, and is the highest percentage of very low income in Santa Clara County. Income levels based on the Gilroy median income reveal that low plus very low income households make up 68% of the population. The households in the area are 76% Hispanic, and 22% Non- Hispanic.
The City will encourage and support provision for the special needs of migrant farmworkers and their families, homeless individuals, and families and the developmentally disabled.
An increase in the demand for affordable housing will continue as the service sector of the economy increases thus creating an increase in lower income employees. In addition, assistance for homeowner repair will be needed due to economic pressures on existing lower income homeowners e.g. the elderly. The single most important constraint in the further development of new residential units in Gilroy has been the limited capacity of the local wastewater treatment plant to handle additional demand.
The 1990 Census figures show that the number of housing units have increased to 9,767, an increase of more than 36% over the 10 year period. The range of housing types in Gilroy are mostly single family units (both attached and detached) constituting 5,992 (68%) of all units followed by 1,805 (19%) multi-family units. The largest number of housing units added to the housing stock from 1980 through 1990 were single family units. More than half of all the units in Gilroy were constructed within the past 20 years. As of January 1990, approximately 65% of the total 9,767 were built between 1970 and 1990. Of the units 33 years of age or older, the majority were occupied by homeowners.
With regards to substandard conditions, all sources indicate that there are 1,096 such units (typically occupied by lower income households). Further, 56% of the households residing in substandard condition units are renters and the remaining 43% are owner occupied. There are an estimated 96 units that are substandard beyond appropriate action.
The average sales price for a single family residential unit in Gilroy increased by 108 percent between 1985 and 1990. The rental market for 1990-93 has continued to rise; 1 bedroom units are up 14%, 2 bedroom units are up 6%, and 3 bedroom units are up 3 percent. A household in Gilroy should have an annual income of at least $58,100 in order to afford purchasing the residential unit at an average 1993 sales price of $237,000. However, in Gilroy, the median income is $44,133, therefore an average priced home today is affordable to a person making 131% of the median income. According to the 1990 U.S. Census there are 1,275 households paying over 50% of their income for housing.
The City of Gilroy estimates that 300 to 750 persons are threatened with homelessness, and threat of numbers are rising due to the impact of persons losing their jobs and therefore their housing. An example of this situation is illustrated through several converted motels which are being rented on a weekly basis by individuals who cannot afford deposits and monthly rents. In addition, migrant farmworkers, and year round farmworkers are typically in danger of becoming homeless. Several severely substandard housing camps have been discovered in the South County area. When camps of this nature are closed, the workers must sleep in uninhabitable places (cars, chicken coops, and barns). Many of these workers are found in alleys, and shed during the growing seasons' peak months of July and August.
The City of Gilroy is served by the Housing Authority of Santa Clara County which has issued 472 Housing Certificates, and 145 Housing Vouchers to households in Gilroy. The bedroom sizes consist of 96 studio or 1 bedroom units, 2 - bedroom units, and 312 units with 3 or more bedrooms units. There is a two percent (14 units) vacancy rate. Currently one project is scheduled for modernization over the next five years. There are currently a total of 539 housing units in the City which have been financed through various federal programs. In addition, a local non-profit developer and CHDO (South County Housing, Inc. has built and rehabilitated 80 units (four separate locations).
The single most important constraint to the further development of new residential units in Gilroy has been the limited capacity of the local wastewater treatment plant. It is operating at near capacity and has been plagued with various design and odor problems since it was first constructed. Of the 48% of land zoned for residential usage, the majority is zoned for lower-density use. Thus, a lack of land zoned for higher intensity residential use is not conducive to providing housing for low and very low income persons.
In addition, there are significant rises in costs related to housing construction e.g. land costs (site acquisition) impacted by numerous factors: parcel size, topography, environmental constraints, zoning and General Plan land sue designation, availability of infrastructure and location. For the average dwelling unit constructed in Gilroy, fees are collected for Building, Public Works and Planning Department services, water/sewer/storm drainage improvements, park development, provision of street trees and impact fees for public safety and schools. Although these fees are viewed as a fair and equitable way to pay for increased demand for such services, the costs related to an average dwelling unit can increases site costs of about 32% per square foot.
The City is funding a provider of Fair Housing Services in Gilroy as it has in the past, and related Tenant/Landlord counseling services will probably receive the same support. In addition, the City will undertake a study of Impediments to Fair Housing
The City of Gilroy has addressed lead based paint hazards through its Housing Rehabilitation Program since 1978. Typically, all participants in the program are informed regarding the risks. In all older housing lead paint is abated through encapsulation and/or removal of plaster and placing new sheetrock. This program has serviced over 200 units.
The City will explore the use of available funds and resources to improve economic vitality in the central core, which is part of the designated area of low income and minority concentrations. The City plans to use available program service and special initiative resources in a coordinated and integrated manner to achieve its affordable and supportive housing goals, along with some limited economic development goals. Community development needs that have been determined as high priority needs include: youth centers; flood drain improvements; street and sidewalk improvements; senior services; handicapped services; youth services; substance abuse services; employment training; fair housing counseling; tenant/landlord counseling; accessibility; and code enforcement.
As part of the development process of the plan, several CDBG staff from
neighboring entitlement cities discussed data resources and coordinated requests
for information from both public and private Countywide agencies.
The city has established priorities which are established for Federal, State, and local resources and are based upon a review of the city's needs. The review indicates that extremely low income renters, very low income renters, the homeless, and other special needs groups have the most difficulty finding affordable housing, employment, and other services. The City plans to use available program service and special initiative resources in a coordinated and integrated manner to achieve its affordable and supportive housing goals, along with some limited economic development goals to best address these priorities.
Priorities for affordable housing include funding non-profit agencies that serve low, very low, and extremely low income Gilroy residents for example, encourage and support provision for the special needs of migrant farmworkers and their families (i.e. housing, sanitation, education, medical care and day care of children, upgrade the migrant housing camp for additional use of emergency shelter); conserve the affordable housing stock (rental); rehabilitation of substandard units; and encourage/create ongoing participation by the private sector in development of affordable housing opportunities.
Priorities for homelessness alleviation will include cooperating with and participating in the Countywide Collaborative program which provides shelter and services. The city will continue to support the Emergency Housing Consortium, and or similar programs as well as aggressively pursue other state and federal funding sources. In addition, the City will revise its current zoning ordinance to allow the provision of emergency housing facilities and transitional housing facilities (e.g. SROs) in specific zoning categories (i.e. residential, commercial, industrial land uses.
The priority for non-homeless persons with special needs includes working with Santa Clara County and the City of San José regarding the distribution of a HOPWA grant of $601,000 to be distributed among housing and service providers throughout the County.
Priorities for mixed-use areas include the city's evaluation of the existing zoning, PUD ordinances and site plan requirements to determine whether specific changes are needed to implement this program more effectively and to provide greater opportunities for mixed use development in other areas of the City. The City will provide incentives, such as density bonuses to allow residential units to exceed the site's commercial floor area ratio, and to encourage housing development in the downtown, consistent with the downtown revitalization program.
Priorities for economic development activities are being developed in the context of limiting resources.
Priorities for other community development activities include rehabilitation of substandard units, developing links and participation by the private sector, and provision of equal housing opportunities.
In Gilroy, 4,005 people (12.7%) of the population live below the national poverty level. Given the high wages typically associated with Silicon Valley, this percentage is high. The wages in an agricultural community are typically very low. given the high cost of housing, the housing crisis is very severe for Gilroy households. The city is beginning to look at economic development possibilities and perceives that the expanding retailing business will be an asset.
The city receives a variety of housing program funds including California Housing Opportunity Program, California Self-Help Housing, California Housing Rehab, Community Reinvestment Act, Farmers Home Administration, First Time Homebuyers Program, FMHA 502 Self-help Housing, FmHA 514/516 K Program, Farmworker Housing Grant, HOPE for Homeownership of Multifamily and Single Family Homes, HUD Section 202, and Low Income Tax Credits. The primary Federal resources include Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Shelter Block Grant, HOME, and Office of Migrant Services.
The City consulted with various neighboring entitlements.
The city's one year action plan outlines a proposed use of approximately $889,000 in CDBG, and program income. The funds will be primarily spent on the following:
The activities, and services are available on a City wide basis to low and very low income households.
Housing goals for the first year include increasing the number of affordable housing for 91 households through rehabilitation, and self help construction. The housing activities include 11 units of single-family Rehabilitation; 4 units of multi-family rehabilitation; 28 units of replacement/new construction (18 of which will be used for a transitional housing program; and 20 self-help new construction units; and pre-development of a 28 units of rental apartments for very low income farmworker families.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.