Mountain View Housing Justice
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Mountain View City Council to Appoint New Member

Our good friend and long time ally, Sally Lieber, has left City Council after being elected to statewide office as a member of the Board of Equalization. Council has voted to replace her with our ally Emily Ramos. Congratulations, Emily!

Mountain View Housing Justice Endorsements

We enthusiastically endorsed

Lucas Ramirez
Outgoing Mayor

Alison Hicks
Incoming Mayor

and we are grateful for their reelection to the Mountain View City Council!

Mountain View Housing Justice Candidate Responses

The following candidates completed our questionnaire and expressed interest in MVHJ endorsement.

We asked candidates 18 Agree / Disagree questions. See the results by clicking here.
We also asked candidates two narrative questions:
How should cities accommodate the needs of people living in RVs, cars, or vans?
Lucas Ramirez
Cities must make safe parking available on public land and implement the land use regulations necessary to allow safe parking on private property. The safe parking program should allow 24/7 participation, since the residents will need that stability to work towards permanent housing. However, other solutions may better serve the needs of this community. For some, non-congregate interim shelter, like the Project Homekey site on Leghorn, will better address the needs of families and individuals who have medical or other needs that may be exacerbated by living in a vehicle. In all cases, cities should work aggressively to increase permanent supportive housing to meet the needs of all unhoused people.
Alison Hicks
Ideally, we, at the city, regional and national level, should have a greater commitment to building affordable housing, and for the few people who truly prefer living a mobile life, we should have more campgrounds. Given the current situation, in which funding is inadequate and building is slow, cities should set up safe parking lots with services including full bathrooms, community facilities and shade structures. If there is more demand than room at the safe parking lots, additional streets, preferably near the safe parking lots, should be designated for safe parking. Every city should also have a robust affordable housing development program so that vehicle residents can be referred to affordable housing.
Ellen Kamei
I support the City of Mountain View as a Community for All and believe the City has a role to assist all residents. For our unstably housed residents, we collaborate with our nonprofit partners to provide shelter, food, showers, and laundry services. We also provide a 24/7 Safe Parking Program, interim housing, and comprehensive social services.
What tools and funding mechanisms would you use to stop the displacement of lower income Mountain View residents?
Lucas Ramirez
I support replacement requirements (like those in SB 330, but preferably enforced through a local ordinance), tenant relocation assistance, first right of return/refusal, COPA/TOPA, and local preference policies to prioritize residents applying for affordable housing. I support exploring a local ballot measure to generate revenue to support these and similar programs. For instance, San Jose Measure E enacted a progressive real estate transfer tax that has generated a significant amount of revenue for affordable housing.
Alison Hicks

Stopping displacement is an absolute top priority for me. The 2020 Census shows displacement of Latinx and other households at an alarming rate. Our planners have said that, despite the 100s of units of affordable housing Mountain View has created over the last RHNA cycle, developers have torn down so many naturally affordable housing units that the city has created net zero affordable housing units.

These are the programs or tools I would use to stop displacement:

  • Strong rent control for apartments and mobile homes
  • Building more affordable housing
  • Building affordable or mixed-income senior housing which is often welcome in neighborhoods that are otherwise skeptical of affordable housing
  • Put park fees more on office development and less on housing to make housing more affordable to produce
  • Rezoning from office to housing
  • Clear right of first refusal programming
  • Programming to make vacant units available to people living in units to be demolished
  • COPA &/or TOPA programming and funding to preserve existing affordable housing
  • A local ordinance to establish unit replacement requirements
  • Community Land Trust housing &/or other community ownership models
  • An enhanced Housing Help Center to get people find and retain housing in the city
  • Actions to overcome barriers related our affordable housing programs related to race and ethnicity (like no longer requiring Social Security numbers for program entry)

These are the funding sources I would suggest:

  • Update our commercial linkage fee so that offices pay more for affordable housing
  • Support the regional mega-bond that is now in the planning stages with the Bay Area Housing Authority
  • Private and philanthropic outreach, particularly for exciting model programming for our area like COPA/TOPA, Community Land Trust and community ownership housing
  • Cooperate with public agencies and state and federal funding sources
  • Study other city revenue sources like a vacancy tax, an updated hotel tax &/or a real estate transfer tax
Ellen Kamei
I support the City addressing displacement in a two-prong approach: 1. Keeping people housed and 2. Helping people stay in the City. This is done by working to keep people in their current location/housing via rental assistance as well as exploring "displacement strategies". The latter will return to the City Council at the end of the year. I hope existing programs like our Guaranteed Basic Income Program, "ElevateMV", will also be impactful in assisting our most vulnerable.