San Jose mayoral candidate Mahan calls for state support to tackle housing crisis

San Jose mayoral candidate Mahan calls for state support to tackle housing crisis

Metropolis Councilman and mayoral candidate Matt Mahan mentioned the state just isn’t doing sufficient to assist San Jose’s response to the housing disaster.

“The state would not present a whole lot of funding to cities for housing,” he mentioned. “Now we have nothing close to reasonably priced housing funding sources to realize these objectives.”

In an interview with The Peninsula Press on Oct. 20, Mahan mentioned his plans to deal with San Jose’s housing scarcity, handle the wants of homeless individuals, and reform the felony justice system. The Peninsula Press will interview the opposite mayoral candidate, Cindy Chavez, on October 25.

San Jose mayoral candidate Matt Mahan met with Stanford pupil journalists on Thursday, October 20, 2022. He mentioned his plans to deal with the native housing disaster, carbon neutrality and police misconduct. (Janelle Chavez/Peninsula Press)

Mahan, 39, is serving his first time period on the San Jose Metropolis Council. His opponent, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, served in metropolis authorities for eight years, together with as vice mayor of San Jose. Mahan, a former public faculty trainer and chief expertise officer, has centered his marketing campaign on authorities accountability, together with utilizing information to evaluate the impacts of metropolis initiatives.

Mahan asks for a neater path to develop new housing

California’s most up-to-date regional housing wants evaluation, which quantifies native housing shortages by revenue ranges, estimated that San Jose wants 62,200 new properties, greater than half of which must be designated as housing. reasonably priced or beneath market worth.

Mahan mentioned state funding for reasonably priced housing is inadequate. “It is orders of magnitude,” he mentioned. He urged California lawmakers to raised incentivize cities to construct properties relatively than industrial actual property.

“The state has a task to play in altering the incentives that cities face,” he mentioned. “The cleanest approach can be to reward cities with property tax income if they’re extra profitable in assembly their RHNA objectives.”

Mahan additionally cited California’s Environmental High quality Act as well-intentioned however typically misused laws, a serious obstacle to efficient housing growth. He mentioned “effectively over 50%” of lawsuits filed underneath the regulation “had nothing to do with environmental considerations”, however relatively slowed, altered or halted property developments.

Requested how his housing plans would accommodate academics, a lot of whom are compelled to reside away from work within the high-priced Bay Space, Mahan mentioned he needed to sort out housing as a complete, relatively than to give attention to individuals in particular professions who battle to seek out locations for Direct.

“I believe we have now an enormous imbalance between provide and demand, and we have to considerably take away limitations to development,” he mentioned.

“When it comes to academics specifically, I believe we have now instructional establishments with land which might be able to construct housing for his or her workforce, and I am typically in favor of that,” he mentioned. -he provides.

“An actual humanitarian disaster”

Addressing the issue of individuals experiencing continual homelessness and drug habit — round 250 individuals died on metropolis streets final yr — Mahan mentioned the town wanted to supply extra aggressive social companies and discover extra reasonably priced methods to supply shelter.

“I need us to behave with a higher sense of urgency,” Mahan mentioned. “I believe we have now an actual humanitarian disaster on the streets.”

Since starting his work on metropolis council, Mahan has referred to as for low-cost prefabricated housing as a approach to supply “secure, dignified and particular person shelter” for extra individuals.

Latest development tasks funded by the Inexpensive Housing Measure A adopted in 2016 have been too gradual and too costly. “It is simply to not scale,” he mentioned. Utilizing prefabricated housing models might “cut back the lead time to a couple of yr and the price per unit to lower than $200,000.”

Mahan envisions on-site companies similar to counseling and job coaching for residents of the brand new properties.

Different elements of Mahan’s plan to deal with homelessness are extra controversial, nevertheless, because the adviser himself acknowledged. For individuals with critical psychological sickness or habit in addition to continual homelessness, Mahan helps the enlargement of guardianship legal guidelines, primarily court-mandated take care of adults deemed unable to take care of themselves.

“It is affordable when somebody is at some extent the place a well being knowledgeable and a choose agree they don’t seem to be making good selections about their private care,” he mentioned.

Whereas Mahan mentioned he would not imagine in compelled medicine or forcing individuals to remain in psychological well being services indefinitely, he urged that San Jose implement a coverage “making somebody who’s in actual misery to return inside for 90 days in a supportive atmosphere after which have the choice to remain or go.

Mahan additionally expressed his assist for Governor Gavin Newsom recently passed Neighborhood Help, Restoration, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, supposed to divert individuals from incarceration or homelessness. The regulation will introduce a brand new authorized framework the place first responders and members of the family can ask a choose to order remedy for individuals with critical psychological sickness or habit.

In an Oct. 13 discussion board hosted by KQED, Chavez, Mahan’s opponent within the mayoral race, expressed hesitation about implementing CARE Courtroom. She mentioned she was not satisfied the regulation would result in actual change and that the county ought to search for different options.

Mahan suggests data-driven ‘early warning system’ to enhance police conduct

A urgent problem for this election is police misconduct and efforts to construct belief in regulation enforcement. The San Jose Police Division has drawn criticism for extreme use of pressure, similar to reported by the Marshall Challenge.

Mahan favors the enlargement of the police pressure. He mentioned San Jose had too few cops for the town’s inhabitants.

“One of many considerations I’ve with the understaffing is that the officers are overworked,” he mentioned. “We’re not, in my view, implementing neighborhood policing as we must always resulting from a scarcity of employees.”

Mahan mentioned he envisions a bigger police division with officers extra concerned in particular communities and making policing extra preventative than reactive. He additionally proposed an expanded impartial oversight system to enhance accountability inside the ministry.

“I believe it is actually necessary that we have now a robust impartial audit perform,” he mentioned. “When there are complaints, individuals must belief that it isn’t simply the police watching themselves.”

The info will also be a software to watch San Jose police efficiency, Mahan mentioned. He described an early-warning system that may flag officers suspected of utilizing extreme pressure or racial bias, so the division might step in to “catch issues earlier than they flip into tragedy.”

“Information is an underused approach of making an attempt to know what is going on on,” he mentioned.

“That being mentioned, I believe the huge, overwhelming majority of our officers … are skilled, courteous, loyal,” he added.

Related to San Jose regulation enforcement is transportation inside the metropolis. Based on information from the Metropolis of San José’s Imaginative and prescient Zero process pressure, in 2021, 41 pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists have been killed in accidents within the metropolis; tons of extra have been injured. To this point in 2022, no less than 23 pedestrians, 5 cyclists and 5 motorcyclists have already died in accidents, together with one final Thursday. Deadly crashes are on observe for the deadliest yr on file since no less than 2011.

“Now we have to get again to site visitors enforcement in San Jose,” he mentioned.

California wants ‘large funding’ in power to realize carbon neutrality

Final November, San Jose pledged to realize carbon neutrality by 2030. Mahan, whereas supportive of that objective, has reservations about its feasibility.

“Aspiratively, that is the proper objective,” Mahan mentioned. “We must be transferring on this route, however we even have to acknowledge that we are going to solely be carbon impartial by 2030 in accounting phrases.”

In April, San Jose had the very best degree of power from sustainable sources among the many 10 largest US cities. Nonetheless, Mahan mentioned “renewable power intermittency” and inadequate power storage are nonetheless main hurdles on the trail to true carbon neutrality.

“We have to create a marketplace for innovation in grid-scale power storage,” Mahan mentioned. “We’re not even shut right now.”

Moreover, greater than 50% of San Jose’s carbon emissions come from personal vehicles or different transportation sources. Mahan expressed his assist for persevering with to encourage the transition to electrical autos. However that is solely a small a part of the work that must be performed to make San Jose actually carbon impartial.

“If we do every part proper, we’re most likely on a 20-year interval of large funding in expertise innovation and infrastructure funding to get to a spot the place we will actually meet most of our wants with power. renewables,” Mahan mentioned, including, “Mathematically, in order for you the quickest path to decarbonization, it’s important to go nuclear.”

Writer: Hannah Bassett; Senior Author: Grace Doerfler; Contributors: Andrew Cao, Janelle Chavez, Alex Dakers, Mengyu Dong, Kalyn Epps, Shayna Freedman, Hannah Freitag, Alex Hughes, Malia Mendez, Evan Peng, Phoebe Quinton, Lisa Setyon, Savanna Stewart, Özge Terzioğlu, Gilare Zada ​​​​and Tracy Zhang.


Peninsula Press reporters are grasp’s college students in Stanford’s journalism program, in addition to Stanford undergraduates enrolled in journalism programs. Be taught extra about us.


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