County of Santa Clara and City of San José Release Preliminary Results of 2022 Point-in-Time Homeless Census

Despite pandemic fears, community experienced only a modest overall increase and saw a decrease in unsheltered individuals; officials call for more investments to keep community members from falling into homelessness

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— The number of unhoused community members in Santa Clara County remains relatively steady compared to 2019, according to results of the 2022 Point-in-Time (PIT) homeless census released today by the County of Santa Clara and the City of San José. The overall number of homeless individuals counted this year increased by 3% in Santa Clara County (to 10,028) and increased by 11% (to 6,739) in the city limits of San José.

At the same time, the community saw a decrease in homeless individuals living outdoors, with a 3% decrease in Santa Clara County and a 2% decrease in San José. This trend coincided with an increase in sheltered individuals in both San José and countywide, as jurisdictions across the community have expanded interim housing and temporary shelter options by 25% in the last three years.

“The fact that we did not see a major increase in homelessness in the past three years really speaks to the heroic efforts of our community to protect our lowest-income and most vulnerable residents during the pandemic,” said Miguel Márquez, J.D., Chief Operating Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “Still, there are more people falling into homelessness each year and we must continue investing in permanent supportive and other housing options for all members of our community.”

“Homelessness and the human suffering it brings are perhaps the greatest challenges facing our City and our region,” said Jacky Morales-Ferrand, Director of Housing for the City of San José. “While I am heartened to see our investments begin to pay dividends with fewer people on our streets, we must do more. We must continue investing in the development of new affordable housing, and we must do everything in our power to prevent our neighbors from falling into homelessness.”

The preliminary data reflects deep investments made during the past several years to blunt the pandemic’s economic fallout, amid fears of a worsening homelessness crisis. Since 2020, the County’s supportive housing system has helped 6,890 people move from homelessness to stable housing and has prevented homelessness for thousands of households. In the five years since the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond was passed by voters, the County of Santa Clara has committed $588 million to build and renovate nearly 4,500 units in 41 housing developments across eight cities.

Yet, despite these significant efforts, the crisis persists because thousands of residents continue to fall into homelessness each year and more are on the brink of losing their homes – a result of deep, longstanding social inequities that include rising economic inequality, federal underinvestment in safety nets, and a lack of affordable housing. For example:

  • Our region suffers from the greatest income inequality in the nation. According to a 2021 analysis by the Brookings Institution, of the 53 largest metro areas in the U.S., Silicon Valley ranked #1 in prosperity but 46th and 50th in geographic inclusion and racial inclusion, respectively.[1]
  • The gap between rents and income grows larger every day. Renters in San José must now earn $54/hour ($111,680/year) to afford the average effective monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment. [2]
  • There is a huge shortfall of affordable and available housing in our community – with the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimating that there are only about 30 affordable and available rental units for every 100 extremely low-income households.[3]

"We will never end homelessness in our community if we don't address the enormous systemic factors that continue pushing vulnerable families onto the streets," said Jennifer Loving, CEO of Destination: Home. "And by far, the greatest single factor driving this crisis is the severe lack of affordable housing options for our lowest-income residents. Our community must remain committed to scaling the production of more permanent affordable homes, and we need our federal and state policymakers to match this commitment by investing in ongoing, sustainable funding for proven housing solutions."

In order to end homelessness, the County, local cities, and community partners must continue pushing on all elements of the Community Plan to End Homelessness, from creating more permanent housing to addressing the immediate needs of unsheltered neighbors.

Key milestones on the horizon include:

  • Of the 2016 Measure A Affordable Housing Bond developments in the pipeline, eleven projects (with an additional 1,280 affordable apartments) are currently under construction.
  • Three local motel conversions – the Arena Hotel in San José, the Crestview Hotel in Mountain View, and the Bella Vista Inn in Santa Clara – have received state Project Homekey funding, creating additional housing options for people currently experiencing homelessness.

About the Point-in-Time Count

The Point-in-Time Count is a census of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness on a single night. It provides data used for federal funding allocations and national estimates of homelessness. While it is a helpful tool, it is an imprecise method and is best used as a supplement to the many other ways we measure homelessness in our community. The data being released today are considered preliminary; data for other cities within Santa Clara County and the full report are currently being analyzed, with expected publication in July 2022.

Preliminary data from the 2022 Point-in-Time Count for Santa Clara County

 

2019

2022

% Change

Overall

9,706

10,028

3%

 

 

 

 

Sheltered

1,784

2,320

30%

Unsheltered

7,922

7,708

-3%

 

 

 

 

Chronic

2,471

2,838

15%

Vets

653

659

1%

 

 

 

 

Youth

1,868

1,155

-38%

 

 

 

 

Families (households)

269

276

3%

Families (individuals)

921

898

-2%

 

Preliminary data from the 2022 Point-in-Time Count for San José

 

2019

2022

% Change

Overall

6,097

6,739

11%

 

 

 

 

Sheltered

980

1,708

74%

Unsheltered

5,117

5,031

-2%

 

 

 

 

Chronic

1,553

1,906

21%

Vets

476

336

-29%

 

 

 

 

Youth

1,391

801

-42%

 

 

 

 

Families (households)

98

134

37%

Families

(individuals)

313

401

28%

Note: While the nine counties in the Bay Area are sharing their own preliminary PIT count numbers independently, they have also collaborated on a regional press release in recognition of the regional nature of this issue, and to provide context for each county's numbers.

 


[1] Data pulled from Metro Monitor 2021: https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/metro-monitor-2021/

[2] Based on Q4 2021 Costar average effective rents; income calculation assumes rents are 30% of income, 40-hour work week and a single-income household; "effective" rents include rent concessions such as free months' rent.

[3] National Low-Income Housing Coalition, “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes.” 2021. https://reports.nlihc.org/sites/default/files/gap/Gap-Report_2021.pdf

 

 

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ABOUT THE CITY OF SAN JOSÉ

With more than one million residents, San José is one of the most diverse large cities in the United States. It is Northern California’s largest city and the 10th largest city in the nation. San José’s transformation into a global innovation center has resulted in one of the largest concentrations of technology companies and expertise in the world. In 2011, the City adopted Envision San José 2040, a long-term growth plan that sets forth a vision and a comprehensive road map to guide the City’s anticipated growth through the year 2040.

ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA 

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.

Visit the County of Santa Clara at: https://www.sccgov.org

Like us on Facebook: http://Facebook.com/County.of.Santa.Clara/ 

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sccgov  

 

Media Contact: Laurel Anderson / Quan Vu,  Office of Communications and Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119, [email protected]; Jeff Scott, San José Housing Department(408) 975-2647,
[email protected]

Posted: May 16, 2022

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