U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


The City of Santa Clara, also known as the Mission City, is located in the Santa Clara Valley within Santa Clara County, 50 miles south of San Francisco. Santa Clara is one of fifteen cities in Santa Clara County. It is bordered by the cities of San Jose on the north, east, and south, and Sunnyvale and Cupertino on the west.

Action Plan

The City of Santa Clara's One-Year Action Plan (fiscal year 1995-96) is a comprehensive approach to addressing the immediate community needs people who are low and moderate income. The Action Plan is based on a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement of $1,249,000 and a Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) entitlement of $392,000. In addition to the fiscal year 1995- 96 entitlement amounts, there is $38,850 in CDBG and $266,336 in HOME funds that should be allocated to capital projects. These additional funds are derived from prior year entitlement, program income and the residual from closed- out projects. Therefore, the total amount of funds allocated for the 1995-96 program year are $1,287,850 in CDBG funds and $658,336 in HOME funds.

CDBG program income for the 1995-96 program year is estimated to total $406,000; approximately $256,000 derived from the sale of the Santa Clara Verein property and an estimated $150,000 in the revolving loan fund established under the City's housing rehabilitation program. No HOME program income is anticipated in fiscal 1995-96.

Citizen Participation

The Consolidated Plan development process began with a public hearing, held by the City Council on November 15, 1994, to determine community needs relative to low and moderate income people. In addition to the public noticing, written notification of the hearing was made to numerous nonprofit service agencies and the local Citizens Advisory Committee for the purpose of gaining greater input for the development of the Consolidated Plan. The City has also relied heavily on the contents of its current Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS), approved by HUD on February 18, 1994, for relevant information, particularly in the area of affordable housing.

Consultation and coordination of the information of the Consolidated Plan preparation involved interaction with staff from neighboring CDBG/HOME entitlement cities and the metropolitan county. The Consolidated Plan 30-day public review period occurred from April 5 through May 4, 1994. There were no major problems encountered in the preparation of the Consolidated Plan.


The City encompasses about 19.3 square miles, and has a current population of approximately 97,000. There are 37,000 occupied dwelling units in the City. The current average cost range for rental housing units of one and two bedroom apartments range from $650 to $1,200 per month. The current rental vacancy rate stands at 3.6%. County-wide sales prices of homes averaged $286,500 (median price $228,000) in the first six months of 1994. According to the 1990 Census, the median family income in Santa Clara was $44,707. Yet, according to HUD, the January 1995 median family income was $64,200.

As of 1990, the white, non-Hispanic population made-up a large share (64%) of the city's total population. Yet, since 1980, the proportion of whites to the total population has declined by 7%. From 1980 to 1990, the black and the Hispanic populations have remained relatively constant in terms of their proportions to the total population. The Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic group realized the greatest change in terms of both real number and proportion of total city population. This ethnic group grew by 121%, from a population of 7,745 in 1980 (9% of total population) to 17,112 in 1990 (18% of total population).



The economy of Santa Clara is built upon a manufacturing and commercial base. Santa Clara is strategically located at the center of the employment growth which has occurred in this valley since the mid-1970's. Businesses in the City have participated fully in the most dynamic economic revolution of the second half of the 20th century. Because of this strong economic base, Santa Clara has, over the past half decade, experienced a high demand for housing, particularly affordable for moderate income families. This need for affordable housing is expected to remain an issue for the city to contend with well into the next century.

Housing Needs

The projected need for new housing construction in Santa Clara by 1998 is considered to be 6,287 units. By the year 2000, the estimated need for new housing construction is expected to approach 8,400 units. The projection for new housing needs for the period 1995 through 2000, broken- down by income group are 1,874 units for very low income households, 1,609 units for low income households, and 2,022 units for moderate income households.

Nearly one quarter of total renter households in the city are very low income. Approximately 85% of the total number of very low income renters are paying greater than 30 percent of their income for housing. There is no particular household type that is an exception to this problem. Over 80 percent of the very low income elderly renters pay greater than 30 percent of their income for housing. Likewise, approximately 90 percent of very low income small and large family households are paying greater than 30 percent of their income for housing.

Owner-occupied households are facing only slightly better than renter households when it comes to having housing problems and high cost burdens. Over 14 percent of the city's owner households are very low income. Approximately 35% of the very low income owners realize some housing problems, nearly all paying greater than 30 percent for housing expenses. About a third of the city's low income homeowners are realizing some housing problems, 29 percent paying greater than 30 percent of income for housing expenses.

Housing Market Conditions

Of the 37,873 total dwelling units in 1990, 16,684 were single family detached homes. Because little land remains for construction of single family homes, recent in-fill development has resulted in higher density housing. As a result, the number of single family detached homes in the city have decreased from 16,708 in 1980. More significantly, the percentage of dwelling units that were single family detached declined from 49.1 percent in 1980 to 44.1 percent in 1989.

The median housing price for a single family residence in the city was about $150,000 in October 1984; by October 1988 the median price had increased to $228,000. Santa Clara home sales in April 1990 reflect a median sales price of $260,000.

The city's 1994 Rental Vacancy Survey of 28 larger apartment complexes, representing over 5,500 units, indicates a citywide vacancy rate of 3.6 percent. This indicates a decrease from the reported vacancy rates of 4.2 percent for 1993, and 5.8% percent for 1992. Average rents in Santa Clara during October 1994 are $821 for a one bedroom unit, $968 for a two bedroom unit, and $973 for a three bedroom unit.

Nearly 70 percent of Santa Clara's housing units are 30 years old or older. It is estimated that 1,800 housing units, or approximately 5 percent of the 36,545 dwelling units in the city are in need of rehabilitation.

Affordable Housing Needs

High housing prices make it difficult for families who currently rent to enter the home ownership market. They face a choice of remaining in rental housing in Santa Clara or having both adults commute long distances to work from homes they can afford, thus contributing to a lessening of the quality of life for the family.

Homeless Needs

Based on a recent (January 1995) county-wide survey of homelessness, it is estimate that there are 7,500 people who experience an episode of homelessness during the year. (At the time the survey was taken, it is estimated that about 1,700 homeless people were without shelter in the county.) The county-wide total climbs to 16,300 when adding-in approximately 9,000 persons who are single head-of-households, receive AFDC and requested homeless assistance last year. Based on the proportion of city population to the county as a whole, the number of homeless people in Santa Clara who experience an episode of homeless in the current year to be approximately 1,027 people. Using the same proportional share formula of the county total, it can be estimated there are approximately 107 unsheltered people in Santa Clara at any one time.

The city employs the services of an independent, public service agency to provide housing counseling services to the community. On a case-by-case basis, the service agency assists clients in rectifying situations of mortgage default delinquency, rent delinquency, displacement and relocation, post-occupancy, home improvement and rehabilitation, and pre-purchase. It is anticipated that services for housing counseling will be provided to at least 12 households during each year the program is funded.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

At the current time, the Housing Authority of Santa Clara County is working to develop four housing projects in Santa Clara. These are the first public housing projects to be established in the city. All of the projects are receiving funding assistance from the city's Redevelopment Agency Affordable Housing Fund. Three of the projects, totaling 103 rental units, are new development projects. The fourth project involves the acquisition and rehabilitation of an existing twenty unit apartment complex.

The Housing Authority data indicates there are 602 certificates/vouchers under contract in the city. Of this total, 375 certificates/vouches are issued to elderly people and 227 are used by family households. The current distribution in Santa Clara of certificates/vouchers by unit size is: 51 studio units, 268 one bedroom units, 195 two bedroom units, 78 three bedroom units, 9 four bedroom units, and 1 five bedroom unit. The Housing Authority's current waiting list has 630 households from Santa Clara waiting to receive certificates/vouchers. Of those households, a very large share (94%) are elderly or disabled households. Most of the households (93%) on the waiting list are looking for studio and one bedroom apartments.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

State legislation requires that localities zone sufficient sites for residential use, affordable to all economic segments, consistent with the needs identified in the local General Plan and Housing Element. The city has not historically interceded in the private market place to ensure that a proportional number of affordable housing units were created and preserved. Under the city's adopted General Plan, Santa Clara commits to make every effort to comply with this requirement. However, a number of constraints have been identified, some of which cannot be resolved. Constraints beyond the city's control include: change in municipal boundaries, shortage of vacant land, community opposition to residential development at higher densities, development standards and building codes, and constraints on public infrastructure and utilities.

Fair Housing

The city aims to provide housing opportunities for all people of the community, regardless of ethnicity, sex martial status, age, or the presence of children. In order to enforce fair housing practices in the community, it is necessary to engage the services of a nonprofit agency to advise the public on their housing rights and to investigate complaints of housing discrimination. The agency also provides training on fair housing laws o owners of rental housing so that the incidence of housing discrimination will be reduced.

Lead Based Paint

Until recently, the public health community did not consider Santa Clara County to be at risk for the presence of lead in paint, the water system, or other common transmitter of lead particles. The Childhood Health Disability Program, operated by the County Health Department undertook a screening test for lead levels in the blood of children between September 1991 and August 1992. There were 3,627 children tested during this period and 233 children (6.5 percent of the children tested) had levels that exceeded federal safety standards for lead poisoning. It should be noted that this was not a random sample; the children tested were patients of the County's Valley Medical Center for reasons unrelated to lead poisoning. The study found that a high percentage of children affected were from families that are thought to have immigrated to this area from out-of- state. The cause of lead poisoning could be any number of suspected reasons that include: azarcon, improperly glazed pottery, imported food cans that are sealed with lead soldier, lead soldier in copper water pipes, and lead based- paint.

Community Development Needs

Identification of community development needs is based on input provided by various nonprofit service agencies that operate human services programs in the community, the local Citizens Advisory Committee and City Council. Also, the City's General Plan contributed information used in determining community needs. Identifies community development needs include: the need for improvements to public facilities necessary for access and mobility by persons with physical impairments, support for human service programs that offer direct benefit to Santa Clara residents, i.e. crisis intervention and counseling, transportation services, nutrition programs, support services for victims of domestic violence, legal aide, emergency shelter child care services, tenant/landlord dispute resolution, and rental and mortgage assistance.


The City will carry-out its affordable and supportive housing strategy utilizing the resources of the existing city staff. The City also will continue to work cooperatively with neighboring jurisdictions to address affordable housing issues and accomplish the objectives of the Consolidated Plan. This cooperative approach with other local jurisdictions has been demonstrated both with past project and with current projects. In addition, the City works closely with a number of local, nonprofit agencies to achieve its affordable housing and community development goals. Assuming the continues availability of funding support that can be channeled to these nonprofit agencies, this reliance is expected to continue through the effective period of the Consolidated Plan.


Vision for Change

The mission statement of the City's Housing Element is a fitting statement on the purpose of the Consolidated Plan Strategic Plan:

"encourage the provision of decent housing within the community for persons of all economic levels, regardless of race, sex color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, martial or familial status, sexual orientation or mental or physical disabilities."

To help in attaining this goal, the City will direct its attention over the next five years to particular assistance programs in the categories of affordable housing development and homeless and support services. The intention is to provide an array of programs that can meet the particular needs of each income group. It is the intention of Santa Clara's Consolidated Plan to identify the programs that can best address the situation given the City's particular characteristics, its administrative capabilities and its resources.

Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

Financial assistance will be made without the need of altering market conditions of local real estate. A program for first-time homebuyer assistance will stimulate local real estate activity. The program investment would be secured by the equity of the property. Through the use of a mortgage assistance program, the City is expected to assist an estimated ten prospective homebuyers per year to achieve ownership of existing or new housing.

Through the use of available federal and local funding resources, the City is willing to make below market financing available to housing developers in exchange for long-term affordable housing commitments. Land banking is recognized as another method of investing housing funds with the intention of developing affordable housing.

The City will support efforts to expand homeless shelter facilities at appropriate sites, such as the Agnew Developmental Center, to address the local homeless needs should the opportunity be presented. Within its abilities, the City will provide financial subsidies for housing services, in addition to housing acquisition and development.

The City's existing housing rehabilitation programs help to eliminate housing deficiencies, thereby protecting the occupants and improving the quality of residential neighborhoods. Over the course of the next five years, it is expected that approximately 200 homes will receive rehabilitation assistance from the City.

The City aims to provide housing opportunities for all people of the community, regardless of ethnicity, sex, martial status, age, or the presence of children.

The need of public facilities that protect and improve the quality of life for residents of the community plays an essential role of local government. The city realizes there are needs of particular segments of the community population that require special treatment. One such need is the improvements to public facilities necessary for access and mobility by persons with physical impairment. In addition, the City will target federal and local funding resources for projects in low and moderate income geographical areas with the objective of addressing resident needs.

The provision of various human services that are considered essential in sustaining the health and general welfare of the community will be offered to residents on a City-wide basis.

Housing Priorities

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The City is a member of the North Valley Private Industry Council (NOVA PIC), which includes representatives of local business, industry and educational organizations. Formed in 1983, it implements the federal Job Training Partnership Act (JPTA) for six north Santa Clara County cities. Through the JPTA, the NOVA PIC provides services for individuals in our community to obtain the competitive shills necessary to enter the local work force. Both business and local residents benefit from this program. Santa Clara intends to continue participation in this program for the time period covered by this Consolidated Plan.

Housing and Community Development Resources

Santa Clara is an entitlement city under the CDBG program and a Participating Jurisdiction under the HOME program. These two programs constitute the federal financial resources available to address the City's stated housing and community development objectives. In addition to these federal resources, the City relies on the Redevelopment Agency Affordable Housing Fund to address its affordable housing objectives.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

Primary responsibility for administering the local affordable housing programs rests with the Community Services Division of the City Planning Department. Affordable housing activities handled by the Community Services Division will, at time interrelate with the Affordable Housing Programs funded by the City's Redevelopment Agency. The City will continue to work cooperatively with neighboring jurisdictions to address affordable housing issues and accomplish the objectives of the Consolidated Plan. Additionally, the City works closely with a number of local, nonprofit agencies to achieve its affordable housing and community development goals. Typically, the City relies on a number of nonprofit agencies to assist the community in both service programs and capital projects. Assuming the continued availability of funding support that can be channeled to these nonprofit agencies, this reliance is expected to continue through the effective period of this Consolidated Plan.


Description of Key Projects

  1. Removal of Architectural Barriers to the Handicapped, upgrade the accessibility of City public facilities and buildings to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Provided city-wide. The City Public Works Department will be the lead agency in administering the specific improvements.
  2. Forest Avenue Storm Drain Installation, involves construction of storm drain pipeline and appurtenances in a neighborhood that does not have a storm drain system. Service areas Forest Ave (between San Tomas Expressway and Cypress Ave), Bel Ayre Dr and Cecil St (west of Cypress Ave); Census Tract 5059, Block group 4.
  3. Parents Helping Parents Family Resource Center Handicap Access Upgrades, construct a wheelchair ramp to the front entrance, widen existing doorways and make the upstairs bathroom handicapped accessible. Located at 3041 Olcott St, Santa Clara.
  4. Liberty Tower Elevator modernization/Upgrade, upgrade and modernize two existing 21 year old elevators at a 120 resident senior high rise housing facility.

Additionally, the project will assure that all elevator fixtures conform with ADA standards. Located at 890 Main St, Santa Clara, this project will assist 100 units of senior affordable housing.

  1. Emergency Housing Consortium Regional Emergency Shelter Facility, will provide a 250 bed regional homeless shelter that will include a medical clinic, child care, meeting rooms, and offices. The facility is projected to serve 5,300 unduplicated individuals per year. Sixty-eight of the homeless fro Santa Clara. Project is in the formative stages, specific site has not been finalized.

  2. Valley Village Building Exterior Painting, rehabilitation of five high-rise residential buildings, consisting of 253 units of which 72 percent are low to moderate income senior citizens. Located at 390 N. Winchester Blvd, Santa Clara, CA.

  3. Next Door - Crisis Shelter/Transitional Housing Facility, real property acquisition and development of a crisis shelter and transitional housing facility to serve battered women and children. The project is envisioned to have 12 crisis shelter beds and three to five transitional housing bedrooms. Site selection is currently under study, but will be located within the City.

  4. Montgomery Street Inn -- San Jose Urban Ministry, project is the construction of a two story facility in San Jose to provide 45 emergency shelter beds and 45 transitional housing units for homeless persons. Address is 352 Montgomery St, San Jose, CA.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

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; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Santa Clara's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Jeffrey Pedersen
City of Santa Clara
(408) 984-3114

Return to California's Consolidated Plans.