San José Housing 2.0 Symposium to help tackle high cost of housing and encourage talent to live and stay in the city – Knight Foundation

San José Housing 2.0 Symposium to help tackle high cost of housing and encourage talent to live and stay in the city

Knight Foundation invests $45,000 to support City of San José initiative

SAN JOSÉ, CALIF. — July 7, 2015 —The San José Department of Housing will host the Housing 2.0 Symposium in 2016 to help develop a better system for creating housing that will address the broad needs of residents, employees and businesses in one of the most expensive housing markets in the world. The symposium is supported by $45,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Related Link

Building solutions for the high cost of housing in San Jose” by Wayne Chen on Knight Blog, 7/7/2015

“We face a tremendous crisis in our local housing market and Housing 2.0 will bring together experts to share ideas and identify practical solutions to the high cost of housing and the long-term sustainability of our Silicon Valley economy,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “By connecting people, ideas and resources, we hope to kick-start an effective long-term plan for creating new policies, programs and partnerships that will deliver results to meet our critical housing challenges.”  

Silicon Valley and San José are facing a dire housing shortage, with the nation’s most expensive housing market, highest rate of economic growth and one of greatest levels of income inequality. The current housing system no longer meets the spectrum of needs that include a new generation of young talent seeking market-rate, affordable and diverse living options; affordable and convenient housing for employees in the service and support economy; and ways to combat growing economic inequality and expand opportunities for all.

“Affordable and widely available housing is critical for a thriving city – helping to attract and keep the talent that contributes to a healthy economy,” said Danny Harris, Knight Foundation program director for San José. “In order to ‘hack’ our current housing system, we need to create more opportunities for experts across sectors to gather, brainstorm and act upon new ways to make San José more of a place where people want to work, live and play.”

Funding for the San José Housing Department is one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to support the urbanization of San José, a traditionally sprawling city, as a way to attract and retain talent, expand opportunity, and build a culture of civic engagement.

Since 2008, Knight Foundation has invested more than $19 million in San José, including a recent $1.7 million grant for efforts by SPUR, a nonprofit urban policy organization, to propel the city’s suburban-to-urban transformation.

“We’re looking for a new conversation with key players who can get things done in Silicon Valley,” said Jacky Morales-Ferrand, interim director of the San José Housing Department. “The existing system has worked in many ways, but it has not been adequate to achieve a sustainable and equitable future for Silicon Valley. This is pushing us to think about our housing system differently in terms of funding, land use, design, governance, partnership, and technology, and to look for new models and partners.”

San José will immediately start the planning for Housing 2.0. For more information and updates visit

About the San José Department of Housing

San José Housing Department strengthens and revitalizes our community through housing and neighborhood investment aimed at three core impacts:

  • Create Housing for All – Ensure that residents have access to a variety of housing choices at prices they can afford.
  • Build Great Places – Create sustainable neighborhoods with quality infrastructure, and access to community facilities, services, and social networks that promote healthy lives.
  • Invest in People – Provide opportunities for residents to improve the quality of their lives, access services to meet their basic needs, and obtain the tools they need to become self-sufficient.

For more information, please visit

About the City of San José

Known as the Capital of Silicon Valley, San José is the nation’s tenth largest city, and the largest city in Northern California, with an ethnically diverse population of more than one million. San José was founded in 1777, once served as the state capital of California, and now encompasses 180 square miles. Facts about San José can be found at: The City’s website is

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

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Wayne Chen, Acting Division Manager, City of San Jose Department of Housing, 408-975-4442, [email protected]

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, [email protected]