It is disappointing that the Voice chose to write an incomplete editorial, sensationally titled "A crisis of character" in the May 17 edition. It starts by saying "It isn't clear what Mountain View City Council plans to do about" the Bay Area housing crisis.
Let us take this opportunity to remind the Voice -- and its readers -- what we have already done since the Voice's 2014 editorial about jobs-housing imbalances. First, the council adopted an award-winning precise plan that transforms a suburban office park into complete neighborhoods, allowing up to 9,850 new housing units with 20% designated as affordable housing. And we are poised to adopt another plan for East Whisman, making 5,000 more units possible. We have approved 4,400 new housing units since 2014, and another 3,100 are currently under review.
The council updated the below market rate (BMR) ordinance to increase affordability requirements on new rental developments from 10% to 15%, and is expected to do the same for ownership units this month. In just the past three years, we have added 210 affordable units; 183 affordable units will open later this year for veterans and families; over 200 affordable units were approved just this month; and more than 600 additional affordable housing units are currently in various stages of planning.
We have made it a city priority to address displacement. It is also worth noting that Mountain View is one of only two cities in the county with a tenant relocation assistance ordinance (TRAO) for complexes under 50 units, and in May 2018 the council amended the TRAO to increase the amount of assistance provided.
Our city has probably done more than any other city of its size on the regional issue of homelessness. As of March, 116 Mountain View affiliated households have been placed in housing, with an additional 44 households on the path to more stable housing. We continue to combine both funding (nearly $2 million) and resources with the county and local nonprofits, such as CSA, Hope's Corner, the cold weather shelter at Trinity United Methodist Church, the Graduate House transitional shelter, and the Quetzal House youth shelter. We helped fund the nonprofit MOVE Mountain View to organize and operate a safe parking program, and have identified two city-controlled lots to expand local capacity to around 60 parking spaces -- giving Mountain View nearly 50% of all such locations operating in the county at this time. And we have implemented an affordable housing strategy that includes facilitating the development of 200 to 250 units of permanent supportive and rapid rehousing.
We believe the Mountain View City Council has shown incredible character, compassion, and leadership on these very complex regional issues. And we challenge you to find another city in the area that has done more, relative to our size, on housing and homelessness.
Lisa Matichak is the mayor of Mountain View and Margaret Abe-Koga is the vice mayor.