Housing & Land Use


Since 1994, the Leadership Group has advocated for the construction of over 80,000 homes with consistent criteria for support that can be viewed here. In 2016, Leadership Group staff attended over 33 city meetings in support of housing developments and pro-housing policies. The Leadership Group seeks to add needed housing, affordability and connectivity to major transportation hubs and will continue to advocate on behalf of much needed housing and progressive city planning as Santa Clara County is expected to add more residents than the current population of Sunnyvale by 2020.

The Leadership Group’s Housing and Community Development Team aims to preserve and increase the quality of life and economic vibrancy of Silicon Valley by increasing opportunities for workers and residents to secure affordable homes, close to their work. In Silicon Valley, residents are struggling to find affordable housing while employers are struggling to keep and attract the talented workforce they need to grow. On a yearly basis, the Leadership Group conducts a survey of its member companies (The CEO Survey) to track which issues impact employers and their employees’ ability to live and do business in the region. For the past 10 years, the CEO survey has confirmed that housing is the top issue impacting their ability to live and do business in this area.

The Leadership Group recognizes that Silicon Valley cannot build its way out of the housing crisis alone, and subsequently considers and supports legislation at the state level that seeks to improve accessibility, affordability and ease building restrictions. Bills supported by the Leadership Group in the current legislative session can be seen below.

Through partnerships with elected leaders, city staff, non-profit organizations, community leaders, developers, and member companies, the Leadership Group will help find solutions to the housing challenges Silicon Valley faces.  To find out how to get involved or for more information, please contact:

Don Tran, Associate, Health Policy and Community Development, dtran@svlg.org

Matthew Quevedo, Senior Associate, Transportation, Housing and Community Engagement, mquevedo@svlg.org

Work Plan 2017 – 2019

Local Policy

The Leadership Group seeks to promote affordable and workforce housing developments at the city and county level through fees and policy measures, and to advocate for projects and programs serving the homeless. This work includes efforts to increase overall quality of life through open space and park advocacy.

Each year brings unique challenges for our region, and 2016 was no exception. In responding to the need for more homes, and to continue to elevate the quality of life in our region, the Leadership Group undertook the following activities in 2016:

  • The Leadership Group supported developments for 5,688 new homes in our region by advocating before 29 different city councils and planning commissions in eight cities throughout 2016.
  • With policy partners at Housing California, The Leadership Group co-sponsored, “Affordable Housing and CEQA,” a convening of local elected officials, city staff, state appointees and advocates to discuss how affordable housing development is often stopped by CEQA abuses and how we can work to address this problem. View the presentation by Holland & Knight HERE.
  • The Leadership Group served as a part of the campaign to renew Santa Clara County’s Park Charter Fund, through the “Yes on A” campaign in June, 2016. The measure passed with 78.08 percent support and ensures that Santa Clara County parks have the funds needed to serve our communities as they grow. Read the Mercury New editorial by the Leadership Group and the San Jose Earthquakes, a member company, HERE.
  • As a member of San Jose’s 2016 General Plan Task Force’s 4-year Review, the Leadership Group advocated for additional affordable housing considerations and for urban villages near transit centers to move forward more quickly. View our coalition letter with SV@Home HERE.

Regional Planning

The Leadership Group advocates for land-use patterns that best meet the needs and promotes economic growth of the region. With the adoption of the Lawrence Station Area Plan by the Sunnyvale City Council in December of 2016, the Leadership Group completed its two-year advocacy efforts to revitalize the Lawrence Station Area. As supporters of high density, transit oriented, and mixed used developments, the Leadership Group believes that advocating for such land use patterns presents tremendous opportunities to increase the economic and environmental sustainability of the region. Read our letter to Sunnyvale City Council HERE.

Project Advocacy

The Leadership Group endorses 10 housing proposals annually and supports them at city councils and planning commissions.

  • The Leadership Group’s Housing and Land Use Committee meets every second Tuesday of the month. Requests by developers to present projects to the committee and completed worksheets must be received a month in advance. Developers must be prepared to present a 10 minute overview of the project they want endorsed. Presentations can be aided by a PowerPoint or story board presentation. Developers must be present to answer questions and provide extra details as needed.
  • For our Endorsement Criteria, please click here (Active Link to be added with tool from website)
  • For our Developer Worksheet, please click here. (Active Link to be added with tool from website) (Please note that the Developer Worksheet must be submitted by the 1st Monday of the Month)

Contact: Don Tran, Associate, Health Policy and Community Development, dtran@svlg.org



Community Outreach and Education

The Leadership Group organizes one housing tour each year. Through a program called the Neighborhood Leaders’ Council, local leaders can learn about the importance of housing and city planning decisions through policy focused convening’s throughout the year.

2016 Housing Tour

The Leadership Group held its annual 2016 Housing Tour as a part of Santa Clara County’s Affordable Housing Week. The Tour invites elected officials, planning commissioners, and passionate community members to join city staff and housing developers in tours of ideal affordable and market rate housing developments. The Tour shows how decisions and advocacy can impact the lives of all community members. Last year’s Housing Tour featured sites in Milpitas and San Jose and included over 40 attendees with City Council members from Cupertino, Milpitas, and San Jose. Planning Commissioners from Mountain View, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale also attended.






Neighborhood Leaders Council

The Neighborhood Leaders Council is an annual cohort composed of a select group of current and aspiring community leaders who meet four times a year to engage in policy conversations about issues that impact our city councils. The goal of the program is to create an environment for aspiring leaders all over Santa Clara County to come together to learn, collaborate, and stay informed. Our quarterly meetings consist of a guest speaker, panel discussion, and an interactive “question and answer” segment. Our program is free and never partisan.

Interested in nominating someone? Please fill out this Google Form!


 State Policy

The Leadership Group seeks to help shape and promote state legislative efforts around permanent funding, housing element law, local finance, regional planning, inclusionary zoning, and transit oriented development. The Leadership Group takes positions on bills through votes that take place at the Housing and Land Use Committee and then the broader Working Council level. If you are a legislator or legislative staff member and would like to have the Leadership Group support legislation, please contact Don Tran: dtran@svlg.org

Current California Legislation

Supported Legislation

  • SB2 (Atkins)- Building Homes and Jobs Act
  • SB53 (Steinorth)- Personal Income Taxes: deduction: Homeownership Savings Accounts
  • AB45 (Thurmond)- California School Employee Housing Assistance Program
  • AB71 (Chiu)- Taxes: credits: low-income housing: allocation increase

Oppose Unless Amended Legislation

  • AB59 (Thurmond) Local Housing Trust Fund Matching Grant