Santa Clara Housing Advocates is a grassroots group of local residents working towards sustainable and practical solutions to the housing crisis in our city in order to improve quality of life for all individuals and communities in Santa Clara.
SCHA's shared values guide our advocacy at every stage
WE BELIEVE THAT:
All people are worthy of equitable access to safe and dignified housing
When our communities are diverse, inclusive, and equitable, all residents' lives are made better
Housing is a crucial determinant of both individual and societal health and well-being
Housing is central to addressing other important social problems, including racial equity, gender justice, health, ability, etc
WHEN WE ADVOCATE, WE REMEMBER THAT:
We are committed to nurturing vibrant, safe, healthy, and compassionate communities which allow us all to thrive
We aim to make it economically viable for people of all income levels to live and work here
We work to support housing for all with a particular focus on groups that are disproportionately housing insecure
As a group of local volunteers, we value collaboration and seek input and insight from all interested parties
Housing is a complex issue, so we strive to approach it with nuance and care by listening to and elevating the voices of impacted people
SCHA's advocacy is built by our agreed strategies
An organically grown group of volunteer residents
SCHA was created in response to the Benton & Lawrence HomeKey project in March 2023. About five individuals gathered at the end of the March 1 community meeting, which was full of hostility and aggression from those opposing the project. A few days later we met over Zoom and Santa Clara Housing Advocates was born.
Over the next two months, as we prepared for City Council and County Board of Supervisors to vote, we launched several different advocacy tactics. We dropped over 2000 fliers in the neighborhood, met with decision makers, created educational materials including fliers and this website, collected support from nonprofit, political, and community leaders, and spoke at public meetings, including a 14 minute presentation at the April 25 City Council meeting.
As we wait for a response from the state on the grant application, SCHA leadership is discussing the future of our group. This started with the mission, values, and strategy statements above. We plan to focus primarily on the city of Santa Clara as we work to address such an important issue.
SCHA has no funding and no affiliations. We are not connected in any way to the city, county, LifeMoves, or any other institution. No one asked us to do this. We are just a group of people with shared values who believe in advocating for projects such as this one.
Our membership is entirely volunteer and consists of dedicated residents with a broad range of skills and backgrounds. We include members and leaders with experiences in former advocacy work, political leadership, business professionals, administrative experts, teachers, parents, and more. Our diverse group includes homeowners, renters, young adults, older adults, LGBTQ+ folks, immigrants, many religious beliefs, and countless other identities, all of which provide value to our group. We take pride in the high value we place on collaboration and learning from each other's expertise.