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  • AB 1505
    AB 1505, signed by Gov. Brown on September 29, 2017 and generally referred to as the “Palmer fix”, allows local jurisdictions to again require BMRs or inclusionary units in rental housing. Mountain View clarified in February 2018 that its BMR ordinance was in effect and that 15% of the total(...)
  • ABAG
    The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is our regional council of governments, which allocates regional housing needs to the cities and counties in the Bay Area. When considering allocations, past RHNA performance, better public transit and existing jobs are key factors. The RHNA(...)
  • Accessory Dwelling Unit
    Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) (also referred to as Granny Units, Companion Units and Second Dwelling Units) are generally defined as a dwelling unit on a residential lot in addition to a primary dwelling. The ADU can be attached to the primary dwelling or be detached. An ADU provides(...)
  • ADU
    Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) (also referred to as Granny Units, Companion Units and Second Dwelling Units) are generally defined as a dwelling unit on a residential lot in addition to a primary dwelling. The ADU can be attached to the primary dwelling or be detached. An ADU provides(...)
  • Affordable housing
    Affordable housing is housing that costs 30% or less of a household's gross monthly income. Housing costs include rent, principal and interest, utilities, homeowner insurance, and assessments. Although many pay a higher percentage of their income towards housing cost, this is the standard(...)
  • AMI
    Area Median Income (AMI) is computed annually by County: Extremely Low Income (ELI) means less than 30% AMI; Very Low Income (VLI) means less than 50% AMI, Lower Income (LI) means less than 80% AMI; Moderate (M) means less than 120% AMI Above Moderate (AM) is greater than 120%(...)
  • Area Median Income
    Area Median Income (AMI) is computed annually by County: Extremely Low Income (ELI) means less than 30% AMI; Very Low Income (VLI) means less than 50% AMI, Lower Income (LI) means less than 80% AMI; Moderate (M) means less than 120% AMI Above Moderate (AM) is greater than 120%(...)
  • Assisted Housing
    Assisted Housing is housing where the monthly costs to the tenants are subsidized by federal, state or other programs. Sometimes the term subsidized housing is used for assisted housing. Most commonly, such housing is built as a development that is totally affordable to lower-income(...)
  • Association of Bay Area Governments
    The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is our regional council of governments, which allocates regional housing needs to the cities and counties in the Bay Area. When considering allocations, past RHNA performance, better public transit and existing jobs are key factors. The RHNA(...)
  • BAHFA
    Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA), established by AB 1487 passed in 2019, is a regional housing finance authority which will be trying to strengthen the partnership between ABAG and MTC and find funding to support Plan Bay Area.
  • Bay Area Housing Finance Authority
    Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA), established by AB 1487 passed in 2019, is a regional housing finance authority which will be trying to strengthen the partnership between ABAG and MTC and find funding to support Plan Bay Area.
  • Below Market Rate
    Below Market Rate units (BMRs) are financed and built by market-rate developers; this requirement is often referred to as inclusionary zoning. Typically, a certain percentage of the total units in a development are built to rent at below-market-rate rents. These are dispersed throughout the(...)
  • BMR
    Below Market Rate units (BMRs) are financed and built by market-rate developers; this requirement is often referred to as inclusionary zoning. Typically, a certain percentage of the total units in a development are built to rent at below-market-rate rents. These are dispersed throughout the(...)
  • Boomerang funds
    Boomerang funds is a term being used for the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) tax increment receipts that are now (since dissolution of the RDAs) being paid to various taxing entities, rather than to the RDA. There has been some success in persuading these taxing entities, including Mountain View,(...)
  • Building Homes and Jobs Act
    SB 2, the Building Homes and Jobs Act, was signed into law by Gov. Brown on Sept. 29, 2017. This bill creates a permanent funding source for affordable housing through a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents. The fee is capped at $225 per transaction and exempts commercial and(...)
  • CDBG
    Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are federal grants to help local jurisdictions meet their housing and community development needs. The program provides annual grants on a formula basis to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward neighborhood(...)
  • commercial linkage fees
    Impact fees (also called commercial linkage fees) are fees paid by developers of office, retail, and hotel developments. The fees must be based on a Nexus Study and are assessed at different amounts per square foot of development.
  • Community benefit
    Community benefit is a term used somewhat interchangeably with public benefit to describe a bonus program whereby a developer offers an additional component in exchange for a project bonus. The project bonus is most often additional density or additional FAR, but other benefits for the(...)
  • Community Development Block Grants
    Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are federal grants to help local jurisdictions meet their housing and community development needs. The program provides annual grants on a formula basis to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward neighborhood(...)
  • Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act
    The Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA) is the name given to the Charter Amendment (Measure V) passed by Mountain View voters in November 2016. An attempt to modify CSFRA, Measure D, was defeated by the voters in March 2020. Another ballot proposition to amend CSFRA is on the(...)
  • Companion Unit
    Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) (also referred to as Granny Units, Companion Units and Second Dwelling Units) are generally defined as a dwelling unit on a residential lot in addition to a primary dwelling. The ADU can be attached to the primary dwelling or be detached. An ADU provides(...)
  • Condo conversion
    Condo conversion refers to rental units being converted to condominiums. Typically not considered condo conversions are any rentals that were built and filed a condo map at that time, allowing use as condos later; usually done to avoid litigation regarding construction defects during the first(...)
  • Costa-Hawkins
    Costa-Hawkins is a state law passed in 1995 which prohibits buildings placed into occupancy after February 1, 1995, from rent control. These units, however, are subject to the just cause provisions of CSFRA if placed in occupancy before the effective date of CSFRA (12/13/16).
  • CSFRA
    The Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA) is the name given to the Charter Amendment (Measure V) passed by Mountain View voters in November 2016. An attempt to modify CSFRA, Measure D, was defeated by the voters in March 2020. Another ballot proposition to amend CSFRA is on the(...)
  • Density
    Density refers to the number of dwelling units per acre of land. The size of the units is irrelevant.
  • Department of Fair Employment and Housing
    Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the California agency charged with enforcing California's civil rights laws. California law prohibits discrimination in housing based upon race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, disability (mental or physical), sex, gender, sexual(...)
  • Development Agreement
    Development Agreement in affordable housing parlance is a voluntary agreement between a local jurisdiction and a developer that typically includes a concession from the city in exchange for the developer's giving something of value to the city. These are often used when the developer agrees to(...)
  • DFEH
    Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the California agency charged with enforcing California's civil rights laws. California law prohibits discrimination in housing based upon race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, disability (mental or physical), sex, gender, sexual(...)
  • Ellis Act
    Ellis Act is a state law passed in 1985 that allows an owner to evict tenants if he takes the building off the rental market. The Ellis Act allows landlords to get out of the rental business short of selling their property but does permit ways for a city to maintain some affordable units.
  • Eminent Domain
    Eminent Domain is the power to take private property for public use, usually a power exercised by a municipality, state, or the federal government. Typically, the property is needed for public utilities, highways, railroads, or public buildings. Fair market value must be paid as compensation(...)
  • Fair Market Rent
    Fair Market Rents (FMR) are rents determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be fair rent for a particular area, published annually for counties and by zip codes. Section 8 rents are based on these rents, which are typically a bit low in our area.
  • FAR
    FAR (Floor Area Ratio) is a term that measures the ratio of the total building square footage to the size of the parcel. A building that completely covers its entire parcel and is two stories high would have a FAR of 2.0. FAR measures the intensity of the building better than does density,(...)
  • Floor Area Ratio
    FAR (Floor Area Ratio) is a term that measures the ratio of the total building square footage to the size of the parcel. A building that completely covers its entire parcel and is two stories high would have a FAR of 2.0. FAR measures the intensity of the building better than does density,(...)
  • FMR
    Fair Market Rents (FMR) are rents determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be fair rent for a particular area, published annually for counties and by zip codes. Section 8 rents are based on these rents, which are typically a bit low in our area.
  • GBI
    Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) is a plan for redevelopment of El Camino Real from Daly City to San Jose that stresses collaboration between two counties and 19 cities, along with numerous other private and public agencies, in order to realize a regional vision that links land use and(...)
  • Grand Boulevard Initiative
    Grand Boulevard Initiative (GBI) is a plan for redevelopment of El Camino Real from Daly City to San Jose that stresses collaboration between two counties and 19 cities, along with numerous other private and public agencies, in order to realize a regional vision that links land use and(...)
  • Granny Unit
    Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) (also referred to as Granny Units, Companion Units and Second Dwelling Units) are generally defined as a dwelling unit on a residential lot in addition to a primary dwelling. The ADU can be attached to the primary dwelling or be detached. An ADU provides(...)
  • HOME Funds
    HOME Funds are federal grants (like CDBG) to states and local jurisdictions to implement local housing strategies designed to increase home ownership and affordable housing opportunities for low and very low-income people.
  • Housing Accountability and Affordability Act
    The Housing Accountability and Affordability Act (SB 35) was signed by Gov. Brown on Sept. 29, 2017. This bill streamlines the approval process for affordable housing in many jurisdictions. Cities must now report annually how they have met their RHNA goals. If the goals are not met, or an(...)
  • Housing Choice Voucher
    A Section 8 Voucher (also called a Housing Choice Voucher) is a rent voucher provided under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act. Eligible households can use the voucher for the housing of their choice. The voucher payment generally subsidizes the difference between the rent and estimated utility(...)
  • Housing Element
    A Housing Element is one of seven mandatory elements which must be included in a jurisdiction's General Plan. General Plans are more comprehensive than Housing Elements and must include Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Open Space, Noise, Safety and Conservation. There is no specific timeframe(...)
  • Housing Trust
    A Housing Trust is a nonprofit entity that receives financing, typically from local businesses and local jurisdictions, which it then allocates for various affordable housing programs. The Housing Trust of Silicon Valley is one of the largest in the US. Most local jurisdictions have(...)
  • HUD
    HUD is a cabinet department in the Executive Branch of the U.S. federal government, founded in 1965. CDBG and HOME funds are distributed by HUD. HUD also provides financing for affordable housing complexes, especially for developments that house developmentally disabled and chronically(...)
  • Impact fees
    Impact fees (also called commercial linkage fees) are fees paid by developers of office, retail, and hotel developments. The fees must be based on a Nexus Study and are assessed at different amounts per square foot of development.
  • In-lieu fees
    In-lieu fees are fees that developers are allowed to pay to a City's affordable housing fund instead of building units. Los Altos has not allowed in-lieu fees, but is reconsidering this issue. Until 2019 Mountain View encouraged the payment of in-lieu fees instead of building ownership BMRs,(...)
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
    The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is a program to generate equity for investment in affordable rental housing. The program requires a certain percentage of units be restricted for occupancy to households earning 60% or less of AMI. The rents on these units are restricted accordingly.(...)
  • Measure A
    Measure A is a bond measure passed by Santa Clara County voters in November 2016, allowing the County to borrow up to $950 million by issuing general obligation bonds. $700 million will be used to provide housing for those with extremely low incomes, especially the chronically homeless. $100(...)
  • Measure V
    The Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (CSFRA) is the name given to the Charter Amendment (Measure V) passed by Mountain View voters in November 2016. An attempt to modify CSFRA, Measure D, was defeated by the voters in March 2020. Another ballot proposition to amend CSFRA is on the(...)
  • Nexus Study
    A Nexus Study is an economic study that analyzes the impact of a particular kind of development on the need for affordable housing, or other needs. A jobs/housing nexus study was done in 2001 in Mountain View to document that creating new jobs leads to a need for affordable housing. In 2011,(...)
  • NOFA
    Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is a notice given by the local jurisdiction that funds are available for a particular project. In Mountain View a NOFA has typically been issued when the City has substantial funds to expend on affordable housing and is requesting developers to come(...)
  • Notice of Funding Availability
    Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is a notice given by the local jurisdiction that funds are available for a particular project. In Mountain View a NOFA has typically been issued when the City has substantial funds to expend on affordable housing and is requesting developers to come(...)
  • One Bay Area
    Plan Bay Area (also known as One Bay Area) is a plan adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Executive Board of ABAG in July 2013, incorporating the 9-county region's regional Sustainable Communities Strategy and its 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, along with the(...)
  • Overlay Zone
    Overlay Zone is a regulatory tool that is placed over an existing base zone to identify special provisions in addition to those in the underlying base zone. Regulations or incentives are attached to the overlay district to protect a specific resource, guide development within a special area or(...)
  • Palmer decision
    In Palmer/Sixth Street Properties L.P. v. City of Los Angeles, the California Court of Appeal held that local inclusionary requirements (also known as BMR requirements) applied to rental housing and in-lieu fees based upon those requirements violated the Costa-Hawkins Act, the State law(...)
  • Palmer fix
    AB 1505, signed by Gov. Brown on September 29, 2017 and generally referred to as the “Palmer fix”, allows local jurisdictions to again require BMRs or inclusionary units in rental housing. Mountain View clarified in February 2018 that its BMR ordinance was in effect and that 15% of the total(...)
  • PDA
    A Priority Development Area (PDA) is a neighborhood within walking distance of frequent transit service. Cities, including Mountain View, suggested PDAs as Plan Bay Area was being developed. 80% of housing needs/production in the next 25 years is expected to be in PDAs. Mountain View envisions(...)
  • Plan Bay Area
    Plan Bay Area (also known as One Bay Area) is a plan adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Executive Board of ABAG in July 2013, incorporating the 9-county region's regional Sustainable Communities Strategy and its 2040 Regional Transportation Plan, along with the(...)
  • Precise Plan
    Precise Plan as used in Mountain View is a planning tool for coordinating future public and private improvements on specific properties where special conditions of size, shape, land ownership, or existing or desired development require particular attention. Recent and pending examples are the(...)
  • Priority Development Area
    A Priority Development Area (PDA) is a neighborhood within walking distance of frequent transit service. Cities, including Mountain View, suggested PDAs as Plan Bay Area was being developed. 80% of housing needs/production in the next 25 years is expected to be in PDAs. Mountain View envisions(...)
  • Proposition 13
    Proposition 13 was an amendment to the California Constitution enacted in 1978 through an initiative process. It was declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1992. Prop. 13 limits the property tax to an annual increase of assessed value to an inflation factor not to exceed 2% per(...)
  • public benefit
    Community benefit is a term used somewhat interchangeably with public benefit to describe a bonus program whereby a developer offers an additional component in exchange for a project bonus. The project bonus is most often additional density or additional FAR, but other benefits for the(...)
  • RDA
    A Redevelopment Agency (RDA) (called the Revitalization Agency in Mountain View) was a governmental agency, typically focused on a particular geographic area that meets specific legal criteria for being blighted. Cities often issued tax-exempt bonds backed by the real estate tax increment to(...)
  • Redevelopment Agency
    A Redevelopment Agency (RDA) (called the Revitalization Agency in Mountain View) was a governmental agency, typically focused on a particular geographic area that meets specific legal criteria for being blighted. Cities often issued tax-exempt bonds backed by the real estate tax increment to(...)
  • Regional Housing Needs Allocation
    The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) is the fair share of the regional housing need for all economic segments of the community and is closely related to the Housing Element. The most important aspect of housing element law is that each city must include an inventory of sites that(...)
  • Relocation benefits
    Relocation benefits typically include various forms of assistance to tenants displaced if their building is to be torn down or converted from apartments to condominiums. If public funds are being used for the new development, then federal and/or state guidelines are triggered. In situations(...)
  • Rent Control
    Rent Stabilization includes a variety of ordinances (or in Mountain View a charter amendment) limiting the amount rent can be increased, usually within one year. Some jurisdictions tie the increase to CPI and others state a percentage such as 3 or 4%. Nearby, East Palo Alto, San Francisco,(...)
  • Rent Stabilization
    Rent Stabilization includes a variety of ordinances (or in Mountain View a charter amendment) limiting the amount rent can be increased, usually within one year. Some jurisdictions tie the increase to CPI and others state a percentage such as 3 or 4%. Nearby, East Palo Alto, San Francisco,(...)
  • Rental Housing Impact Fees
    Rental Housing Impact Fees (RHIF) are imposed upon developers of market-rate rental housing for the purpose of constructing affordable housing in the City. The fee is based upon a nexus study, which shows the linkage or nexus between the market-rate housing and the demand for affordable(...)
  • Revitalization Agency
    A Redevelopment Agency (RDA) (called the Revitalization Agency in Mountain View) was a governmental agency, typically focused on a particular geographic area that meets specific legal criteria for being blighted. Cities often issued tax-exempt bonds backed by the real estate tax increment to(...)
  • RHIF
    Rental Housing Impact Fees (RHIF) are imposed upon developers of market-rate rental housing for the purpose of constructing affordable housing in the City. The fee is based upon a nexus study, which shows the linkage or nexus between the market-rate housing and the demand for affordable(...)
  • RHNA
    The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) is the fair share of the regional housing need for all economic segments of the community and is closely related to the Housing Element. The most important aspect of housing element law is that each city must include an inventory of sites that(...)
  • SB 2
    SB 2, the Building Homes and Jobs Act, was signed into law by Gov. Brown on Sept. 29, 2017. This bill creates a permanent funding source for affordable housing through a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents. The fee is capped at $225 per transaction and exempts commercial and(...)
  • SB 3
    SB 3, the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond of 2018, placed a $4 billion bond measure on the November 2018 ballot to fund numerous critical affordable housing programs in California, which passed.
  • SB 35
    The Housing Accountability and Affordability Act (SB 35) was signed by Gov. Brown on Sept. 29, 2017. This bill streamlines the approval process for affordable housing in many jurisdictions. Cities must now report annually how they have met their RHNA goals. If the goals are not met, or an(...)
  • SB 50
    This is a bill proposed by Sen. Wiener which would intensify development, primarily near transit.  It reduces parking requirements and permits heights that are greater than city zoning codes may allow.  It was reconsidered briefly in 2020 as Wiener failed to get enough support during 2019 and(...)
  • Second Dwelling Unit
    Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) (also referred to as Granny Units, Companion Units and Second Dwelling Units) are generally defined as a dwelling unit on a residential lot in addition to a primary dwelling. The ADU can be attached to the primary dwelling or be detached. An ADU provides(...)
  • Section 8 Voucher
    A Section 8 Voucher (also called a Housing Choice Voucher) is a rent voucher provided under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act. Eligible households can use the voucher for the housing of their choice. The voucher payment generally subsidizes the difference between the rent and estimated utility(...)
  • Senior Housing
    Senior Housing under California law means projects developed for and used as housing for seniors. This means that the housing is occupied by at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80% of the units and adheres to a policy that demonstrates intent to house persons 55 and older. Under(...)
  • State Density Bonus Law
    State Density Bonus Law provides that if a developer agrees to build a certain percentage of units as BMRs (or Senior Housing with no BMRs) the developer is entitled by law to additional density. The law is very specific as to what income levels must be targeted, and for each percentage of the(...)
  • subsidized housing
    Assisted Housing is housing where the monthly costs to the tenants are subsidized by federal, state or other programs. Sometimes the term subsidized housing is used for assisted housing. Most commonly, such housing is built as a development that is totally affordable to lower-income(...)
  • Tax increment funds
    Tax increment funds are the increase in the total real estate taxes paid in the RDA district after the base year in which the RDA was created accrued to the RDA. Tax increment funds were used to pay for eligible activities within the RDA.
  • TDM
    Transportation Demand Management (TDM) is the application of strategies and policies to reduce travel demand, especially in single-occupancy vehicles, or to distribute the demand over space or time. Some techniques include expanding alternatives (i.e., wider use of free Marguerite bus system(...)
  • TOD
    Transit-oriented development (TOD) is the focus of Plan Bay Area as well as SB 375. The concept is to encourage mixed use (housing, office and/or retail) within close proximity to good public transit. Most often, this is within 1/2 mile of BART, Caltrain, light rail or bus routes with a(...)
  • Transit-oriented development
    Transit-oriented development (TOD) is the focus of Plan Bay Area as well as SB 375. The concept is to encourage mixed use (housing, office and/or retail) within close proximity to good public transit. Most often, this is within 1/2 mile of BART, Caltrain, light rail or bus routes with a(...)
  • Transitional Housing
    Transitional Housing under California law is buildings configured as rental housing, but operated under program requirements that require termination of assistance and recirculating of the assisted unit to another eligible program recipient at a predetermined future point in time that shall be(...)
  • Transportation Demand Management
    Transportation Demand Management (TDM) is the application of strategies and policies to reduce travel demand, especially in single-occupancy vehicles, or to distribute the demand over space or time. Some techniques include expanding alternatives (i.e., wider use of free Marguerite bus system(...)
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
    HUD is a cabinet department in the Executive Branch of the U.S. federal government, founded in 1965. CDBG and HOME funds are distributed by HUD. HUD also provides financing for affordable housing complexes, especially for developments that house developmentally disabled and chronically(...)
  • Unbundled parking
    Unbundled parking is the practice of separating payment for rent of the apartment from the rent for a parking space. If the tenant opts not to drive, the tenant can save money by not paying the additional cost of the parking place.
  • Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond of 2018
    SB 3, the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond of 2018, placed a $4 billion bond measure on the November 2018 ballot to fund numerous critical affordable housing programs in California, which passed.