News & Awards

Community Housing Partnership

Cap and Trade Dollars at Work

First Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities Funded Development In Silicon Valley Breaks Ground.

by David Dologite.

The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara (HACSC) this week celebrated the groundbreaking for its Laurel Grove Family Apartments in San José, a transit-oriented development that will provide 81 units of housing for low-income families earning between 20 percent and 50 percent of Area Median Income, with 20 units set aside as supportive housing for special needs households such as the chronically homeless. Residents will be eligible to enroll in a free transit pass program as well as have access to onsite bicycle and other healthy living amenities. The building will be Build It Green “Gold” certified with landscaping rated as Bay Friendly by ReScape California. With the severe housing crisis in Silicon Valley and statewide, Laurel Grove represents a critical investment in regional affordable housing and sustainable infrastructure.

The development is located adjacent to the San José Diridon Transit Center – a major mulit-modal transit hub that provides service to Amtrak, CalTrain, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) light rail and buses, as well as free shuttles to downtown San José. Laurel Grove is being financed with $18 million in low-income housing tax credit equity from U.S. Bank Community Development Corp. as well as $42 million in tax-exempt construction bond proceeds from Citibank, N.A. and Silicon Valley Bank, with the bond issued by California Municipal Finance Authority. Additionally, the State of California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) is providing $8 million from the remnants of the Proposition 1C-funded Transit Oriented Development (TOD) program as well as a new award from the Cap-and-Trade funded Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities (AHSC) programs. Finally, HACSC is providing $6 million of its own capital funds as well as an award of project-based vouchers.

Laurel Grove was the first project in the heart of Silicon Valley to be awarded funding from AHSC, which targets affordable housing and transportation projects that will achieve meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reductions and benefit disadvantaged communities. The program is funded from proceeds of the state’s Cap-and-Trade auction administered by the California Air Resources Board, which provides for the sale of carbon allowances to incentivize reductions in CO2 emissions by utility companies, manufacturers and other large-scale GHG emitters. AHSC is currently HCD’s largest funding program and the most significant state investment in affordable housing since the end of California’s redevelopment agencies. By combing transit-oriented affordable housing with sustainable transportation infrastructure to achieve GHG reductions, Laurel Grove is representative of California’s leadership in combining equitable development and climate change strategies.