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Big San Jose affordable housing development edges closer to reality

Residential project gains key environmental clearances

SAN JOSE — A big affordable housing development in San Jose has edged closer to reality with an environmental approval that clears the way for the city to land federal funds for the project.

The project, which would contain nearly 100 apartments, would replace fire-scarred homes and a former restaurant that’s now closed.

The development of 99 affordable homes is being proposed for 797 South Almaden Avenue near downtown San Jose.

Berkeley-based Resources for Community Development bought the development site in 2021, paying just under $3.6 million for the five parcels where the homes would be built.

On August 9, San Jose officials said the city has determined the project poses no significant impact on the “human environment” and that a full-fledged environmental impact report isn’t needed as part of the approval process.

The city says it’s applying to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department for a release of funds to help the project advance and gain all the money that’s required to launch, complete and open the residential complex.

“The total estimated project cost” is slightly below $118.1 million, Christopher Burton, San Jose’s planning director, stated in public notices released this month.

The six-story housing project is slated to be built at South Almaden Avenue and East Virginia Street.

The development is expected to be geared toward “rapid re-housing or permanent supportive housing units for formerly homeless individuals or families” on floors two through six.

The ground-floor commercial space is expected to total 2,300 square feet.

The project’s amenities are slated to include a play area with a rubberized surface, a play structure, picnic tables, benches, and a non-gas barbecue with a sink and counter on the ground level.

Second-floor amenities include open space with built-in benches, shade trees, shrubs, and vines. A shared laundry room would be located on the second floor.

All of the existing structures on the development site are slated to be demolished, the planning documents show.

The proposed units would be reserved for households earning 30% to 60% of the area median income for Santa Clara County, according to city documents. The area median income is currently $181,300 for a family of four.

That means the income limits for a family of four would range from $54,390 to $108,780.


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