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

Consolidated Plan Contact


The City of Sunnyvale, located in the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California, is the heart of Silicon Valley. Sunnyvale's economy is centered in the high technology electronics industry and biotechnology industry and is inextricably tied to the economies of other cities in Silicon Valley.

Action Plan

The City of Sunnyvale's Consolidated Plan presents a strategic vision for housing and community development in the City. The Consolidated Plan includes a One Year Action Plan for disbursing approximately $2.5 million of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds, and program income funds. These funds will be spent on housing, construction and rehabilitation activities.

Citizen Participation

The citizen participation plan encourages citizens to participate in the development of the Consolidated Plan and also in any substantial amendments to the plan and the performance report. The plan is similar to the approved citizen participation plan that has been followed for the development of the CHAS and for CDBG requirements.

The draft Consolidated Plan was available as of March 31, 1995 for a 30 day review period. The summary of the Consolidated Plan and the public hearing dates were published as a display ad in the Sunnyvale Sun on March 29, 1995. The Plan was approved by the Housing and Human Services Commission on April 26, 1995 and by the Sunnyvale City Council on May 2, 1995.


The City of Sunnyvale is located at the southwestern end of San Francisco Bay, and it is part of a contiguous band of urban development surrounding the Bay. Sunnyvale evolved from an agricultural and heavy industry town in the early twentieth century to the center of "high technology" industries it is today. The high level of education of the local population is a force behind both the constant emergence of new high technology and the upward spiraling of wages and the cost of living in Silicon Valley.



Sunnyvale's fate is inextricably tied to that of other cities in the Silicon Valley. Approximately 110,000 people are employed by companies located in Sunnyvale. This number is considerably less than estimated in the 1990 census due to cut backs and layoffs in the defense industries located in Sunnyvale. About 73,000 Sunnyvale residents are employed, which equates to about 75% of the population over 16. This means, however, that at least 37,000 jobs in Sunnyvale are filled by workers who live elsewhere in the Santa Clara Valley.

Housing costs remain relatively high in Sunnyvale and throughout the Bay Area. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in April 1993 that housing in the Bay Area is more expensive than housing in any other metropolitan area in the nation, and that Bay Area residents spend a higher proportion of their total expenditures for shelter than residents of any other major metropolitan area except Boston, Massachusetts.

The job and salary erosion have exacerbated the ability to afford decent housing. As indicated in the Joint Venture's Index Report, 1995, only 38% of residents can afford a median-priced home in the County.

Rents have escalated making Silicon Valley the eighth highest area in the nation for housing. Approximately 38% of all households spend more than 30% of their net income on rent. Low income renters are frequently paying in excess of 50% of their income for housing.

According to the 1990 census, there are 48,952 households in the City of Sunnyvale and 29,828 of those households are categorized as "families". Current HUD income levels establish the household median income at $64,200 for a family of four. Although 85.9% of the population has an income at least twice the United States poverty level, 26% of Sunnyvale's population is considered "low income" by HUD standards.

Recent layoffs in high-technology industries and the closing of Moffett Naval Air Station, a major military base in Sunnyvale, represent a setback for the local economy. Cutbacks in defense spending have had a particularly negative effect on local businesses and this fact is reflected in the unemployment rate remaining higher than the national average.

Housing Needs

In Sunnyvale the greatest need continues to be among low to moderate income households, especially renters. The 1990 Census indicates that over 85% of low-income households who rent are paying more than 30% of their income towards housing, and more than half of these households are paying more than 50% of their income for housing. The lower income households having the most severe overpayment problems are single parent families. Extremely low-income and low-income large families have the most severe problem of overcrowding.

Households at risk of homelessness continue to be an increasing trend and the need for permanent housing for the homeless and persons with special needs continues to be an area of concern. Another identified need is the rehabilitation of homes owned by lower income households.

Housing Market Conditions

In 1980 Sunnyvale had a total population of 106,618 and 44,021 housing units. In 1995 the population had increased to 124,200 and the number of dwelling units to 50,716. There is about a 95% occupancy rate. The vacancy rate for rental units was 3.64% according to the City's Vacancy Survey in December 1994. However, recent surveys are showing the vacancy rate at less than 1%. A recent survey shows that 48% of the units in Sunnyvale are single family homes, 44.3% are buildings with two or more units, and another 7.3% are mobile homes or trailer units.

Affordable Housing Needs

Santa Clara County experienced rapid employment and population growth over most of the past thirty years. As the population grew, housing demand grew and the price of housing increased accordingly. Sustained high demand in the County for a well-educated, high-priced labor force, combined with an inadequate level of housing production, caused area housing prices to escalate to a position amongst the highest in the nation.

Rental units account for 51.1% of the housing units in Sunnyvale. According to the 1990 census the median percentage of renter household income spent on gross rent is 21.3%. However, 4,322 renter households have incomes of less than $20,000. Of those households, 85.4% spend more than a third of their income on rent. By contrast, only 3.3% of those making $35,000 or more spent more than a third of their incomes on rent.

Approximately 48.9% of the housing units in Sunnyvale are owner-occupied. The median home price in Sunnyvale is $231,000.

Homeless Needs

A survey of homeless individuals and families in Santa Clara County was undertaken in January 1995.

The region must continue to build additional transitional and permanent housing with service components such as case management, alcohol and drug abuse services, and mental health services. The challenge is to insure these housing units are disbursed throughout the County and in suburban as well as rural areas. Employment and training agencies need to be closely linked to transitional and subsidized permanent housing for homeless people.

The County is fortunate to have a County-wide Emergency Assistance Network (EAN) of eight agencies that provide assistance to the "at-risk" population by providing rental/mortgage assistance, utilities assistance, and food and clothing. Sunnyvale Community Services provides emergency assistance to those in Sunnyvale who are at risk of becoming homeless. More support is needed to assist the EAN. Placing emphasis on these services is cost effective to the entire community because it maintains individuals and families in their housing.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

Public assisted housing provides extremely low and low-income individuals and families with decent housing. Assistance is also given to groups with special needs such as the elderly, disabled, and single parent families. It is not likely that any of the assisted units in Sunnyvale will be lost in the time span of this report.

There are no public housing units in the City of Sunnyvale.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The most significant factors which affect the City's progress in meeting lower income housing objectives are:

Fair Housing

Sunnyvale continues to financially support two organizations; one which provides rental information and mediation services, and the second which promotes fair housing and investigates complaints of housing discrimination and promotes good landlord/tenant programs. The City will continue funding non-profit organizations that provide fair housing services and landlord/tenant mediation services to provide stability in the rental market.

Lead-Based Paint

A study was done in the County in 1991 through the Children's Health and Disability Program to determine the extent of the lead problem in children in the County. Through this program 3,627 children were tested and 233 (6.5%) children had lead levels greater than 10 micrograms/deciliter, and 40 (1.2%) children had levels greater than 20. In the monitoring of these cases lead based paint was not the primary source for high lead levels in most of the cases. Of the forty children with high lead levels that were monitored, none lived in Sunnyvale.

Other Issues

The fastest growing category of need, according to staff at SunnyvaleCommunity Services, is low-income households in which family members are either out of work or working part-time with no benefits. Because these families have no insurance or money for preventive health care, just one family member's illness can bring the family to a crisis situation. Medical bills threaten to consume their limited income and leave them unable to afford anything else.

Community Development Needs

The Santa Clara County CHAS notes that there is an evident need in the County for:


As part of the development process of the Consolidated Plan, the staffs of the CDBG entitlement cities of Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Gilroy and the County of Santa Clara coordinated data resources and requests for information to both public and private County-wide agencies. These meetings have developed a County-wide strategy that addresses housing and social service needs in the community.


Vision for Change

Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

Sunnyvale has a long tradition of innovative polices and actions directed towards providing a broad range and choice of housing for the community. The Housing and Community Revitalization Sub-Element emphasizes the need for both rental and owner- occupied affordable housing in the City. Through the Consolidated Plan the City intends to concentrate on increasing and maintaining the affordable housing stock, as well as supporting human service agencies who provide necessary services in the community.

Housing Priorities

Addressing affordable housing needs is the central purpose of the Strategic Plan. In response to both the need and the City's resources to address the problem, renters and owners below the moderate income level receive the highest priority under the plan. The primary activities to address the affordable housing needs will be through acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction of housing. All the City programs will be available City- wide.

The City's homeless assistance strategy for housing activities which the City directly sponsors is to emphasize the creation of permanent housing which is affordable to the homeless and to individuals who are moving out of shelters or transitional housing programs. The City's strategy also includes contributing funds for the operating costs of existing shelter and transitional housing providers who serve Sunnyvale and the northern Santa Clara County area, and also to cooperate in County-wide approaches to the problem of homelessness. Working as a collaborative, the region can insure a more comprehensive approach to addressing the problem of homelessness.

There are also evident needs for supportive housing for elderly individuals, the frail elderly, persons with mental or physical disabilities, persons with substance abuse problems, and persons afflicted with AIDS. People with special needs are generally in the extremely low- income group and would require both rental subsidy and ancillary services. Because Sunnyvale does not have the resources or the expertise to handle these issues alone, City actions are dependent upon the cooperation and support of other agencies better equipped to meet the needs of the homeless and the non-homeless with special needs.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

Non-housing community development needs include improvements to public facilities and public services and economic opportunities for low-income persons. Existing needs for Sunnyvale in these areas are described below. The following objectives, which have been part of the CDBG plan, guide the needs outlined below:

  1. Ensure an aesthetically pleasing work and living environment.
  2. Maintain and improve public facilities and commercial areas.
  3. Encourage the provision of child care.

The public services which the City supports primarily serve extremely low and low- income households. Public services in general receive a high priority for the City and all the services generally are oversubscribed by clients. The services receiving a high priority are:

  1. Services which address the needs of the frail elderly or persons with disabilities
  2. Services which address the needs of low-income children and their families
  3. Counseling, shelter services, employment training and general assistance to the extremely low-income or homeless population.
  4. Information and counseling on landlord/tenant issues and fair housing activities

In 1983 the City initiated a commercial revitalization program for the City's historic district. The area has improved but there are still many buildings which need seismic, structural and facade improvements to maintain the safety and aesthetic quality of the buildings. Over the planning period it is estimated that $400,000 will be needed to upgrade the historic buildings. This project has been given a medium priority. The historic district plays a central role in revitalizing the downtown and generating many retail and service jobs.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The City's anti-poverty strategy is centered in its award winning NOVA program which focuses state and federal resources on the training employment needs of the County. NOVA Private Industry Council is a private public partnership which includes businesses, cities and educational institutions to insure that job training is relevant to business needs. The strongest anti-poverty strategy for the City is to try to get residents back in the work force in jobs that will provide them economic independence. NOVA works with approximately 4,000 people per year.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The City of Sunnyvale receives CDBG and HOME grants as an entitlement directly from HUD. Funding from any of the other sources would require a successful grant application in a competitive process administered by HUD.
Federal Resources: The City will be using CDBG and HOME funds for acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction of affordable housing. It is anticipated that Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) will be used as a major source of financing for most projects.
City Resources: The City has the Housing Mitigation Fund which is used for the development and acquisition of affordable housing. There is currently about $1,600,000 in the Housing Mitigation Fund.
Private Resources: The City will work with non-profit developers to help them obtain private financing available for projects. The City will support applications for the federal Home Loan Bank's Affordable Housing program and will also work with local lenders to secure construction and bridge financing for projects.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The City works with other local cities in making sure that the limited affordable housing resources are effectively used in developments that have a regional benefit. These include the SRO which has County participation, the Food Bank which serves the entire County, a runaway youth shelter, and the NOVA program. In addition, the City supports the efforts of the Housing Authority in its applications for programs that provide housing and support services to residents of the City.

The City is also participating in the County-wide effort to develop coordinated approaches to obtain greater federal funding for affordable housing and homeless projects, to increase cooperation and coordination among various agencies, and to develop more effective programs to address the problems of homelessness and affordable housing needs in Santa Clara County.


Description of Key Projects

  1. Housing Authority Contract
$ 15,000
  1. Administration
  1. Mid-Peninsula Citizens For Fair Housing
$ 40,488
  1. Policy Planning
$ 25,000

The City of Sunnyvale is expected to receive $484,000 in HOME funds for fiscal year 1995/96. Non-profit agencies are expected to play a major role in the provision of new and rehabilitated housing projects with HOME funds and in providing support services to those projects.


All the City's projects are available City-wide.

Housing Goals

Highlights of Sunnyvale's housing goals for the first year include increasing the supply of affordable housing for 100 households through rehabilitation and acquisition, supporting the provision of social services in the community, and promoting fair housing in the community.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts low-moderate income areas and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts low-moderate income areas and unemployment levels.

For additional information regarding the Consolidated Plan for the City of Sunnyvale please contact:

Ms. Dyan Matas
Housing and Neighborhood Preservation Officer
City of Sunnyvale
P.O. Box 3707
Sunnyvale, CA 94086-3707
Phone - 408-730-7611
Fax - 408-730-7715

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