Governor signs Wieckowski's bill to assist affordable housing project in Santa Clara

September 26, 2016

SANTA CLARA – State Senator Bob Wieckowski’s (D-Fremont) bill allowing the state Department of General Services to modify the terms of a property sale with the Santa Clara Housing Authority to allow an innovative housing development to move forward, was signed by Governor Brown today.  SB 680 is an urgency bill and takes effect immediately. 

“By signing my bill, the Governor is giving Santa Clara and the developer, The Core Companies, an opportunity to advance plans for a creative and crucial project to provide housing for seniors, veterans and people of all ages,” said Wieckowski, a member of the Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee.  “With a sustainable agriculture component, and educational programs in food production, horticultural sciences and gardening, this will be an innovative development in a terrific location for its residents.”

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Chris Neale, The Core Companies’ executive vice president, spoke in support of the project with Wieckowski last week at a press conference at the site.  The six-acre property is located on Winchester Boulevard.  It was formerly the Bay Area Research Extension Center, an agricultural branch of the University of California.

Last fall, the Santa Clara City Council chose The Core Companies to develop the site.  The proposed project includes a total of 359 housing units, comprised of 34 for sale market rate townhomes, 144 market rental units and 181 affordable rental units, of which 165 are for seniors with 20 percent set aside for a veteran preference for those over age 62.

“I thank Senator Wieckowski for moving SB 680 through the Legislature and being a strong advocate for smart urban growth and progressive developments,” said Kirk Vartan, a Santa Clara business owner and a leading supporter of the agrihood concept.  “This will benefit our community, our local economy and hopefully inspire other cities to think more creatively when considering development proposals in Silicon Valley.”

More than 100 supporters of the project urged the Governor to sign the bill by adding their names to a Change.org petition.  Local affordable housing organizations also support the project.

“We are in a housing crisis, especially in the Bay Area, and Santa Clara is ready to move forward on this project,” Wieckowski said. 

Senator Wieckowski’s district stretches from southern Alameda County to Santa Clara.