Join in the many activities during Silicon Valley Affordable Housing Week!

May 13 – 18, 2013 is Affordable Housing Week in Santa Clara County.
Join supporters of affordable housing for panels, tours, presentations and discussions in Santa Clara County – part of the Bay Area’s Affordable Housing Month.

Click on “contact” links below to email or RSVP.

For the most up-to-date information on times for the events below, please visit the website for the Housing Trust, Silicon Valley.

Activity calendar coordinated by Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the City of San Jose,
Santa Clara County and Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Pre-Event: Thursday, May 9, 2013
5:30pm to 9pm Cities Association of Santa Clara County hosting General Membership Meeting on “Affordable Housing for our Workforce: Can a Regional Approach Lead to Innovative Opportunities?” sponsored by Microsoft, in collaboration with American Leadership Forum, Charities Housing, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Tri-County Apartment Association. Location: Microsoft, 1065 La Avenida, Mountain View, CA 94043. Contact: RSVP by May 3rd to Agenda: Reception & Tour of Microsoft Technology Center 5:30 – 6:30; Dinner & Program 6:30 – 9:00.

Monday, May 13, 2013
5pm to 7pm EVENT: FAIR — West Valley Community Services (WVCS) is hosting an Affordable Housing Fair with various vendors, apartment complexes, and City Housing Staff to provide current and future residents housing program opportunities and other resources within the Santa Clara County community. Location: Cupertino Community Hall, 10300 Torre Ave., Cupertino, CA. Contact: Saron Savoy,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
3pm EVENT: DISCUSSION — Community Technology Alliance will present data regarding homeless individuals in permanent housing from the Help Management Information System. We will lead a discussion among attendees about using this information to develop a coordinated assessment system to efficiently direct homeless individuals to the most appropriate housing intervention. Location: 1671 The Alameda, San Jose. Contact: Jen Padgett,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013
9am to 10am EVENT: TOUR — The Habitat for Humanity Home Tour is an affordable housing tour at our recently completed Humboldt & Vine project in San Jose. Participants can learn about affordable homeownership, the Habitat for Humanity model, and our expanded services to address broader community needs. This home features sustainable and “green” materials and appliances to help keep the home affordable for the family in the future. Location: 260 West Humbolt St., San Jose CA. Contact: Megan Fitts,

11am EVENT– TOUR ROEM Development Corporation, Housing tour of a newly constructed 51-unit 100% affordable family project in the heart of Downtown Mountain View. Project amenities include community room, homework and computer room, courtyard with bbq and tot-lot, bike storage, solar PV, and LEED for Homes certification at Gold level. Showcase newly completed affordable development with green and sustainable features. Location: 135 Franklin Street, Mountain View. Contact:

Thursday, May 16, 2013
5pm EVENT: TOUR — South County Housing, Housing Tour. Join us for a housing tour of the first development in southern Santa Clara County dedicated to providing permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals. The Gilroy Sobrato Apartments provide 26 studio units and service space as well as case management. Operations are funded largely through a capitalized subsidy from the MHSA program and HUD McKinney funds. Location: Gilroy Sobrato Apartments, 9389 Monterey Rd., Gilroy, CA. Contact: Andy Lief,

6pm EVENT: HOMEBUYER EDUCATION — Neighborhood Housing Services Silicon Valley. NHSSV’s HomeBuyer Opportunities Orientation (HOO) offers future low to moderate income earners an overview of affordable & local Below Market Rate HomeOwnership Programs & available financing for First Time HomeBuyers. HOO attendees will learn the basics on BMR eligibility and how to take the first step in their home purchase process. Location: Wheeler Manor, South County Housing, 651 W. 6th Street (Community Room) ADA Accessible, Gilroy, CA. Contact: Teresa Martinez Gonzales, 408-579-6565.

7pm to 9pm EVENT: FILM SCREENING — Housing Trust Silicon Valley, “American Winter” film screening. See the award winning documentary currently playing on HBO that follows six American families who have fallen from the middle class into poverty. Question and answer session with Director Joe Gantz and Co-producer Aaron Butler immediately following the screening. Location: Camera 12, 201 S. 2nd St., San Jose, CA 95113. Free event, $10 donation suggested. Reserve your seat at: Contact: Stephanie Lahat,

Saturday, May 18, 2013
8am to 1pm EVENT: TOUR — Silicon Valley Leadership Group Housing Action Coalition, Milpitas Affordable Housing Tour, Key Note Speaker: Hon. Dave Cortese. Tour of four affordable housing communities. City staff and developer representatives will provide through direct conversations insight during the tour regarding the challenge and benefits of building affordable homes. Attendees will consist of community advocates, city staff, elected and appointed officials from throughout Silicon Valley. Location: City of Milpitas. Contact: Sandra Escobar, Register: Fee: $10, includes breakfast & lunch.

9am to 12pm EVENT: WORKSHOP — Housing Trust Silicon Valley, SurePath Financial Solutions and ACE Hassett Hardware. Post-Purchase Education workshop. Financial and maintenance tips for new homeowners, including live maintenance demonstrations. Location: Willow Glen Community Center. Free event, space is limited. Contact: to reserve your seat.

11am to 1pm EVENT: HOMEBUYER EDUCATION — NHORA of Santa Clara County. Live seminar to explain the important steps to buying a house, the down payment assistance programs available in Santa Clara County, the loan pre-approval process and the best way to go about making offers in this changing market. Location: Mayfair Community Center, 2039 Kammerer Ave., San Jose, CA. Contact: Jorge Zegarra,

Event Focuses on Stabilizing Homeownership after Foreclosures in California

Foreclosure in California: 2010 to 2012

Editor’s note: This is post #2 in a two-part series. (Read Post #1)

By Sean Coffey, Program Manager, Foreclosure Help

The California Housing Consortium recently sponsored the 1st Annual  Homeownership Forum.  The theme for the day was “Stabilizing Homeownership and Communities in the Post-Foreclosure World” and panelists and participants discussed current efforts to repair the housing market, while creating and retaining affordable housing.    To see the agenda and speaker slides, visit the CHC website.

Keep Your Home CA, California’s Role in AG Settlement, Homeowner Bill of Rights

The first panel discussion was moderated by Rick Jacobus, from NCB Capital Impact and included Rick Okikawa from CalHFA, Steve Gallagher from Keep Your Home California, and Frances Gunder, from the Attorney General’s office.  France Gunder discussed about the high-stakes negotiations that ultimately led to California signing on to the Attorney General settlement.  California had walked away from the negotiating table at one point in the negotiations because of concerns the settlement didn’t provide enough relief to California homeowners.

Gunder also discussed the California Homeowner Bill of Rights that includes similar mortgage servicing requirements as the AG settlement.  However, the California Homeowner Bill of Rights applies to ALL banks/servicers who are servicing mortgages in California.  In contrast, the AG settlement only applies to the five largest banks: Ally, Chase, Bank of America, Citi, and Wells Fargo, and expires after three years.

Steve Gallagher gave an update on Keep Your Home California, and in response to a question about programs designed to assist with second mortgages, suggested that participants look at the Local Innovation Fund.

California’s Economy and Real Estate Market

Dr. Selma Hepp, Senior Economist for the California Association of Realtors, presented an overview of the economy and real estate market in California.  While the market is recovering, a few trends could be worrisome for housing advocates, including the number of homes that are still upside down in California (and the amount they are upside down), the increase in all-cash offers beating out first-time homebuyers, and an interesting difference in how buyers and sellers view the current market.  Dr. Hepp noted that homebuyers have far more optimistic perspectives on the potential for a house to increase in value as compared to home sellers.

Pilots to Heal the Market

The third panel was moderated by Kevin Zwick, from the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County.   Rose Cade at Enterprise Community Partners discussed pilots to preserve affordable housing stock in California, including the ROOT program in Oakland, and a pilot with Waypoint Homes.  Rebecca Regan, with the Housing Partnership Network, discussed the Mortgage Resolution Fund and the Community Restoration Corporation, which allows for banks to donate homes to a non-profit (instead of the bank walking away from them).

Beth Haiken from Waypoint Homes explained their model of purchasing homes and setting up two-year leases, with a system that allows renters to accumulate points that can be used for a later purchase of a home.  She also cited research that each 1% drop in homeownership equates to a need for 750,000 more rental units.    Drew Collins, from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, described online counseling resources, and also said that in his experience, current homeowners are ready and excited about buying homes, but are often losing out when competing against all-cash buyers.

Dr. Carolina Reid, from the University of California, Berkeley, was the third keynote presentation and talked about the impact of the crisis on low-income communities and minority homeowners.  She began by suggesting that contrary to some suggestions, the subprime melt-down wasn’t due to lenders being force to make loans to low-income people or people of color to increase homeownership.  In fact, she suggested that the subprime lending boom undermined homeownership for people of color and low-income people.

Reid explained that  the recent final rule for the Qualified Mortgages was published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January 2013 and cited estimates that as many as 30 to 40% of low-income people will be unable to qualify for mortgages under this new regulation.

Local Innovation

The final panel of the day was moderated by Sean Spear from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee and included Denise Bickerstaff, from the County of San Bernardino, Craig Ferguson from the California Rural Home Mortgage Finance Authority, Ed Mayer from the California Affordable Housing Agency, and John Perfitt from Restore Neighborhoods LA.

Denise Bickerstaff discussed efforts to address foreclosures in San Bernardino County, the largest county in California and in the United States, and where an estimated 50% of homes are underwater.  Bickerstaff touched on the controversy surrounding the possibility of using eminent domain to seize mortgages, and explained that the risks involved with using this as a tool to address the crisis had been a large obstacle.  She suggested that people may be interested in the RFQ announced by the Joint Powers Authority Home Ownership Protection Program Joint Powers Authority , and also suggested visiting

John Perfitt, the Executive Director of Restore Neighborhoods Los Angles, discussed implementing the NSP program in partnership with the city of Los Angeles to purchase and rehab homes and strengthen neighborhoods that had been affected by the foreclosure crisis.

Craig Feguson discussed the Residential Energy Retrofit Program, which allows eligible homeowners in 44 counties of California to apply for a 6.5% fixed interest rate loan, up to $50,000, to make energy efficiency home improvements.

Ed Mayer discussed a partnership between CalAHA and Cascadia that will allow people in several counties to lease single family homes with the option to purchase the home in the future.

The agenda as well as PDF’s of the presentations are available here:

Congratulations to the organizers, presenters, and sponsors for putting this event together.

If you are a homeowner living in San Jose or Sunnyvale and are struggling with your mortgage, please contact ForeclosureHelpSCC, a program funded by the City of San Jose and the City of Sunnyvale at (408)-293-6000 or visit us:

Our housing counselors can help you evaluate your options, learn more about federal and state programs that may help you with your mortgage issues, and will help you create a plan forward.Please note: All content included in the ForeclosureHelpSCC blog is provided for information only and should NOT be considered legal or tax advice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on our hotline: (408)-293-6000, or visit our website: or send us an email:

Si usted es dueño de una casa en San José o en Sunnyvale y están luchando con su hipoteca, por favor póngase en contacto con ForeclosureHelpSCC, un programa financiado por la ciudad de San José y la ciudad de Sunnyvale, al (408) -293- 6000, o visite nuestro sitio: consejeros puede ayudarle a evaluar sus opciones, aprender más acerca de los programas federales y estatales que pueden ayudarle con sus problemas de hipoteca, y le ayudará a crear un plan para seguir.

Por favor, tenga en cuenta: Todos los contenidos incluidos en el blog ForeclosureHelpSCC se proporciona únicamente a título informativo y no debe ser considerada como consejo legal o fiscal. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor no dude en contactarnos a nuestra línea directa: (408) -293-6000, o visite nuestro o envíenos un correo electrónico:

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