Skip to main content
American Planning Association - Opportunity and Empowerment

The HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award honors excellence in community planning that has led to measurable benefits in terms of increased economic development, employment, education, or housing choice and mobility for low- and moderate-income residents. The award stresses tangible results and recognizes the planning discipline as an important community resource. It emphasizes how creative housing, economic development, and private investments are used in, or in tandem with, a comprehensive community development plan.

American Planning Association - Opportunity and Empowerment


6080 Units of Affordable Housing in Five Years

San José, CA

During the past 5 years, the City of San José has waged an aggressive campaign to increase its affordable housing supply. The effort, called 6080 Units of Affordable Housing in Five Years, is in response to a shortfall of 17,000 units of affordable housing resulting from two decades of rapid growth when housing costs soared and the availability of affordable housing dropped precipitously.

Realizing that an acute housing shortage could impair the local economy, the city set out to provide more affordable housing through collaborative policy initiatives, effective regional partnerships, and innovative financing mechanisms. For each dollar of city funds invested, the City of San José leveraged 3.7 dollars of outside funding. The Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, a consortium of local businesses, vigorously supported the effort out of concern for their ability to recruit and retain workers—many of whom were spending 4 hours a day commuting to work because they could not afford to live in San José. Of the 6,080 units, 9 percent are affordable to extremely low-income households, 47 percent to very-low-income households, 37 percent to low-income households, and 7 percent to moderate-income households.