Affordable housing at about $200,000 a unit in San Jose?

I wish reporters would give  better sense of the financing and ownership details of these affordable housing projects. For example, from SJ Spotlight, an excellent new online newspaper serving the South Bay:

The two proposals on the agenda are located at 425 Auzerais Ave. and the corner of Gallup and Mesa Drives in San Jose. As part of the 10-year goal of creating 4,800 housing units across Santa Clara County, these sites would add 176 new homes for low-income and homeless residents. The board will consider allocating up to $33 million to support the developments – $15.6 million in Measure A funding and $17.4 million from No Place Like Home funds.

So at $33 m for 176 homes that is about $187,500 each. Pretty good. But maybe this is just a pure subsidy, and the actual cost per unit is $500,000? And this $33 m, does that entitle the county (and hence the residents of the county) to an ownership stake? Will the county get a stream of returns from the affordable rents? Will the county continue to own the property? Who benefits from appreciation? How long do the affordable rent deed restrictions last? 10 years? 20 years? Perpetuity?

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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