On Tuesday the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to secure five acres located at 10333 North Wolfe Road in Cupertino to construct affordable housing for faculty and staff from local school districts. The County will swap a 1.5-acre parcel at 10591 North DeAnza Boulevard for the land, which is currently owned by Apple through Wolfe Properties, LLC.
The decision is aimed at providing West Valley’s public school district staff with opportunities to affordably live in the expensive communities where they work. In the face of a regional housing affordability crisis, South Bay teachers and their administrative colleagues often earn too much to qualify for traditional low-income housing programs but not enough to afford market rate rents within the school districts that employ them. This dynamic has led advocates to refer to the type of housing that the County hopes to build on North Wolfe Road as the “missing middle.”
Tuesday’s decision comes after school districts in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties have invested in a future workforce housing project in Palo Alto with similar aspirations. That project, which is located at 231 Grant Avenue, also seeks to affordably house faculty and staff from school districts around the property that otherwise would not be able to afford to live nearby. Meta (formerly known as Facebook) contributed $25 million to advance that project in 2019.
Like Meta’s commitment to the 231 Grant Avenue project, Tuesday’s 1.5-acre for 5-acre land swap appears to represent Apple’s continued efforts to help the region address its housing affordability challenges. In 2019, the tech giant pledged $2.5 billion in loans, investments, and real estate to combat these issues.
The North Wolfe Road property sits in an area of Cupertino that is no stranger to conversations around the need to address housing affordability. The site abuts the Vallco Mall property, now known as The Rise, which will one day host 2,400 homes and almost 2 million square feet of retail space.
The Mercury News has reported that Cupertino’s Mayor Hung Wei is supportive of the North Wolfe Road teacher housing project.