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Voters Likely to Support Santa Clara County Affordable Housing Bond

Contact: Nancy Sanchez / [email protected] / 408-501-7879

Silicon Valley Leadership Group Poll: Santa Clara County Voters Likely to Support Santa Clara County Affordable Housing Measure to Find Solutions for Veterans, Homeless, Seniors and the Disabled

San Jose, CA – May 19, 2016 – A poll conducted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group found that a resounding 65 percent of voters are likely to support a potential Santa Clara County Affordable Housing Bond. The bond, if placed on the November ballot by the Board of Supervisors, would issue $750 million to finance the construction, development, acquisition and preservation of affordable housing for veterans, seniors, the disabled and homeless, including wraparound services for special needs populations.

The bond makes sense both from a compassion and economic viewpoint since data show that leaving people on the streets proves to be extremely costly. A Destination: Home 2015 study on the cost of homelessness across Santa Clara County from 2007-2012 revealed:

  • More than $3 billion worth of services went to homeless residents in the six years covered by the study, costing the community $520 million per year.
  • $1.9 billion was spent over six years for medical diagnoses and the associated health care services —the largest component of homeless residents’ overall public costs.
  • $786 million over six years was associated with justice system involvement —the second largest component of the overall cost of homelessness.

As demonstrated through the County’s program work with Housing 1000 (a Housing First program), the most chronically homeless within the study were shown to cost an average of $62,473 while homeless. The average post-housing cost is estimated at $19,767, resulting in an annual cost savings of $42,706 for those who remained housed.

“Instead of the expense involved in treating the symptoms, let’s consider a cure – permanent housing with specific services for those needing long-term care,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group President and CEO Carl Guardino. “The true cost of homelessness isn’t just the price tag each year, it is the battered lives and broken hearts of human beings living in the streets and in the shadows.”

“We have a moral obligation to take care of our most vulnerable populations by providing them with housing,” said Dave Cortese, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “Permanent, affordable housing also gives them the strength and stability to re-enter the workforce and become valuable contributors to our communities.

“As skyrocketing home prices are putting more people at risk of becoming homeless, we need innovative solutions to create affordable and accessible housing for hard working families who struggle every day in our community,” said Jennifer Loving, Executive Director of Destination: Home. “Our cost of homelessness study, Home Not Found, showed us that leaving people on the streets is less cost-effective than ending their homelessness. This potential housing bond will provide our county with the resources we need to create housing opportunities for thousands of vulnerable men, women and children in our community.”

Affordable Housing Bond – Potential Ballot Language
Santa Clara County Affordable Housing Bond. To finance the construction, development, acquisition and preservation of affordable housing for veterans, seniors and the disabled, the homeless including supportive mental health and substance abuse programs, victims of domestic abuse, and other highly vulnerable, low-income individuals and families; shall the County of Santa Clara issue $750 million in general obligation bonds, subject to independent citizens’ oversight and regular audits?

Would you likely vote “yes” or “no” on this measure?
Yes. ……………. 65
No. …………….. 26
No Opinion……. 9

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Annual Poll
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group conducts an annual poll with pollster J. Moore Methods of 600 likely voters in Santa Clara County. The poll was conducted from April 23, 2016 to May 1, 2016 and has a +/- 4.2 percent margin of error.

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents more than 400 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and generate more than $3 trillion in annual revenue.

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