Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Last updated on 6/12/20
Below are some frequently asked questions we have received to date from community members. We have compiled these questions and our answers so that this information can be available to the community, especially those who were not able to attend the community meeting.
These FAQs may be updated as we further develop the plans for the proposed development. Please check the website for additional questions and updated responses.
What is affordable housing?
A home is generally considered affordable if a household pays approximately 30% or less of their gross income (before taxes are taken out) towards rent. The term usually refers to homes affordable to people with low, very low and extremely low incomes, including low-wage working individuals and families, seniors on fixed incomes, formerly homeless individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities. It is anticipated that the rents at any future MidPen community will be regulated so that they are affordable compared to other unregulated rental communities in the area.
How is a “household” defined?
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) defines a household as, “All the people who occupy a housing unit. A household includes the related family members and all the unrelated people”. In some instances, a live-in aid may also be a part of the households.
Where can I find Affordable Housing?
If you are looking for affordable housing at a MidPen property, please visit MidPen's website here at www.midpen-housing.org/find-housing/ to learn more about where our properties are located and which have open waitlists or interest lists. The Housing Authority of Santa Clara County also has a link to affordable housing resources in the area: https://www.scchousingauthority.org/community-resources/find-a-home/
How can I add my name on a waitlist or interest list?
MidPen properties fill vacancies from a property’s waitlist. Please visit MidPen’s website at www.midpen-housing.org to see which existing properties have open waitlists. For MidPen properties currently under construction, each property has its own interest list. Please visit MidPen’s website here at www.midpenproperty.midpen-housing.org/LeasingNow to see which properties are under construction and if you're interested in a particular property, please complete an Online Inquiry Form to be added to the interest list. Before the property is ready to accept leasing applications, MidPen will mail those on the interest list (to the mailing addresses provided) information on when and where to pick up a leasing application.
Does this proposed development have an interest list open?
Since this proposed community will be a Permanent Supportive Housing development serving formerly homeless individuals, potential future residents will be referred through the County of Santa Clara Office of Supportive Housing’s Coordinated Assessment process. Coordinated Assessment is a County-wide process that refers eligible households who are the most vulnerable and in need with the available housing programs. If you want to know more about the Coordinated Assessment process, please visit the County website at https://www.sccgov.org/sites/osh/continuumofcare/coordinated-assessment/pages/home.aspx
Permanent Supportive Housing
What is supportive housing?
Supportive housing looks like any other housing, but includes individualized support services to help residents remain housed and live productively in their community. Support services typically focus on physical health and wellness, job training, mental health counseling, addiction recovery, social interaction, meaningful daily activities, and community engagement. Supportive housing is a proven strategy to reintegrate vulnerable formerly homeless families and individuals into the community by addressing their basic housing need and providing ongoing and tailored support.
Is supportive housing like a shelter?
Homeless shelters provide a temporary place to sleep for homeless people, usually limited to three months or less. By contrast, supportive housing provides permanent homes and wraparound support services to ensure residents are able to stay in housing.
Who manages the operations and maintenance of the property?
In supportive housing developments, professional property management provides building management, maintenance, and security, and enforces the lease rules like in other apartment buildings. For this specific project, MidPen Property Management Corporation will be the manager.
Who will live in new supportive housing?
A county-wide assessment system is used to prioritize the supportive housing for homeless people in need of housing and support services. The County’s goal is to end homelessness for the people most in need.
What is Housing First?
Housing First is a recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness that centers on housing people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing and then providing supportive services as needed. In the past, individuals experiencing homelessness were expected to get clean and sober, find a job, or commit to treatment before receiving help to find a home. Studies have shown, however, that most people need housing before they are able to successfully work on other concerns. In most cases, a home provides the stability for people to find and keep a job more easily, stay sober and take better care of themselves and their neighbors. Housing First results in long-term housing stability and improved physical and behavioral health. This approach also reduces the use of crisis services such as emergency rooms, hospitals, and jails.
How successful is Housing First?
Housing retention or the ability of a resident to maintain their housing is a measurement of success for the Housing First approach. Nationally, the Housing First model has an 80% housing retention rate. The Housing First model in the County of Santa Clara currently has a 93% housing retention rate.
How many apartments is MidPen proposing to build?
MidPen proposes to construct 106 new studio apartments. There will also be 2 on-site manager apartments. The proposed building will be no taller than 60 feet with a secure parking garage on the first floor and four stories with the studio apartments and residential courtyard and amenities above.
Will there be parking provided?
The proposed plan will dedicate 37 spaces on the 1st floor for on-site parking. MidPen’s experience at other properties that serve formerly homeless individuals has shown that 1 out of 5 to 6 formerly homeless individuals own a car. We have studied this further through a parking study of comparable properties. MidPen will work with the residents and partners to promote alternative transportation, such as public transit, bicycle use.
Who will manage the building?
MidPen Property Management Corporation will manage the building. In addition to 2 on-site manager units, there will be a desk clerk at the building entry and security services to provide 24/7 monitoring of the building.
Who will provide the supportive services for the residents?
MidPen Resident Services Corporation will work collaboratively with the County of Santa Clara’s Office of Supportive Housing to provide intensive case management and support services to the residents. There will be dedicated offices and community space at the property to provide services on-site.
If the Property is approved, when will people start moving in?
The earliest construction could start would be in the spring of 2021 with construction completion / move-ins beginning in late 2022.
What is the typical profile of a future resident at this property?
We are proposing to house chronically homeless households in need of a permanent home. Chronically homeless is defined as an individual who has a disabling condition or a family with a head of household with a disabling condition who:
Has been continuously homeless for 1 year or more and/or;
Has experienced 4 or more episodes of homelessness within the past 3 years.
Disabling conditions can include a developmental disability, HIV/AIDS, or a long-term physical or mental impairment that impacts a person’s ability to live independently but could be improved with stable housing.
How would someone qualify for this development?
The future residents will be referred to the property by Santa Clara County’s Office of Supportive Housing through their coordinated entry system. Santa Clara County’s coordinated assessment works with homeless individuals and families to complete a standard assessment tool (the Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assessment Tool or VI-SPDAT) that considers the household’s situation and identifies the best type of housing intervention to address their needs. An eligible household will be selected from the Community Queue when a space becomes available at the development. This coordinated process reduces the need for people to traverse the county seeking assistance at every service provider separately. If you are homeless and want to get assessed, you can visit any of the Santa Clara County access points: http://scc.hmis.cc/participating-agencies/
Will the future residents have addiction/mental health issues?
Some of the residents may have substance addiction and/or mental health issues. The purpose of permanent supportive housing is to give an individual a safe place to call home to provide stability. Permanent supportive housing will come with on-site wraparound services (including addiction recovery services, mental health services, health, wellness and employment services) to assist residents with addiction/mental health issues to live stably in their homes.
Is this a sober property?
In regards to drug and alcohol use on-site, our property management staff will enforce the terms of the lease, house rules, and a crime free property agreement. However, this is not a sober living facility or temporary rehab center, rather it is permanent housing with wraparound services. There will be health and wellness, employment, and mental health services, in addition to addiction recovery services for those who need it.
Will the future residents be housed for free?
The residents will benefit from a housing voucher. Under this voucher, they will have to pay approximately 32% of their gross income as rent, with a minimum rent of $50 a month.
What happens when their situation improves and they get back on their feet?
Residents may choose to move to a different home if their situation improves. However, residents may stay in their apartments as long as they abide by the lease.