Wieckowski's Santa Clara 'agrihood' bill passes Assembly committee

Bill allows Santa Clara to go forward with innovative affordable housing project

June 29, 2016

Sacramento – The Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee today approved with bipartisan support an urgency bill by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) to modify the terms of a sale between the Department of General Services and the Santa Clara Housing Authority to allow an affordable housing project to move forward in the city of Santa Clara.

“This is a critical site that will provide affordable senior housing, veteran housing, low and moderate rentals, with an urban farm component and additional market rate units,” said Wieckowski, a member of the Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee.  “By revising the terms of the agreement, this development can go forward and the community will have an innovative ‘agrihood’ that matches well with the history of this location as the previous site of an agricultural research extension center.”

In 2005, the Santa Clara Redevelopment Agency agreed to purchase the property, which was the former site of the University of California’s Bay Area Research and Extension Center (BAREC). The Core Companies was selected by the city council last fall to develop the site.  Neighborhood activists spearheaded the push for the agrihood component, an urban farm within the development, to bring together the multi-generational residents who will reside at the site.

“The people of Santa Clara have been working to see affordable housing built on the former BAREC site for over 10 years,” Santa Clara Vice-Mayor Teresa O’Neill said. “We greatly appreciate the leadership of Senator Bob Wieckowski in authoring SB 680, which will allow our residents, city staff, and our development partner, The Core Companies, sufficient time to design a project that includes affordable housing for all ages and veterans, along with an innovative urban agriculture component.  We look forward to Senator Wieckowski celebrating with Santa Clara at the groundbreaking of this project.”

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District, which includes northeast Santa Clara County and southern Alameda County.