Santa Clara City Council Approves 108-Unit Affordable Housing Project at Civic Center Drive

By Robert Haugh

Last night, the Santa Clara City Council approved an affordable housing development. The vote was delayed from September 28 when Councilmember Raj Chahal led the effort against the project in his district.

Charities Housing got approval to construct a five-story 100 percent affordable housing development at 1601 Civic Center Drive.

They’ll build 108 apartments with 82 parking spaces on a 1.4-acre parcel.

Proposed development at 1601 Civic Center Drive

The site currently has a two-story office building that’s been vacant since 2019 with a surface parking lot that would be demolished and replaced.

Existing site at 1601 Civic Center Drive

Neighborhood residents who oppose the project circulated a petition last year with Chahal’s encouragement to build a neighborhood park instead.

The City looked into to park idea but it wasn’t really feasible. The City also evaluated buying the property from Charities Housing. That, too, wasn’t financially feasible.

The development was approved 5-2. 

Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Suds Jain, Karen Hardy, and Kathy Watanabe voted in favor of the project.

Chahal and Councilmember Kevin Park voted against it.


  1. I don’t understand how they don’t help the people that really need it. I am disabled and I can’t even find an apartment for myself and I make under 30,000. I wish they would consider these people because it’s just not the people that are homeless it’s other people that live here.

  2. I am happy to see that this passed and also pleased to see both Gillmor and Becker voting for this along with Hardy and Jain and Watanabe. We need more housing and more affordable housing and this was a project that I think is paid for without city subsidies and even contributes $3,000,000 to city park funding.

  3. Dear Community,

    Avaliable to who?

    San Jose said the same thing.

    Except the residents of the East Valley do not qualify for even the Extremely Low Income Housing.

    They do not make enough.

    That means that Extremely Low Incone Housing is for others who are making more then those in 95116.

    Santa Clara County A.M.I. = $168,000.00 which is an increase of $17,000.00 over ladt year.


    The AMI in 95116 is $46,000.00.

    We do not qualify to apply.

    Just a point of information about ‘Who’ is really being served by the happy words – LOW INCOME.

    In Community Spirit,
    Danny Garza

    Plata Arroyo Neighborhood Association and Gateway East N.A.C.

    • HOA Pres – AMI @ $168,500 is for a family of 4 with 2 wage earners. AMI of $46,000 is for a single wage earner.

      If you looked at the project for 5 seconds, you could have learned that there is a range of units sizes, including studios and 1’s, which means a range of affordability. Qualification for a studio under ELI is only $35,000. So ya, many many people will qualify for this project.

      This is massively subsidized housing for people that need it (regardless of ‘Who’) – try to be supportive for a change.

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