Interfaith Group Working for Affordable Housing

February 21, 2000

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On February 21, 2000, The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on the efforts of Peninsula Interfaith Action to see more affordable housing in the San Jose/Silicon Valley area of California. Peninsula Interfaith Action, a group of 20 member churches, will send about 1,000 members to a public meeting on the Silicon Valley housing crisis on Monday, February 28th. Pastor Scott Wagers of the First Christian Church in San Jose stated: "Churches have a role in raising awareness of a moral issue...With the amount of money San Jose has, if it doesn't see homelessness as a problem, its priorities are backward, in an ethical sense, because people die on the streets." The interfaith group wants to work with county officials to develop solutions to the housing crunch. County supervisors point out that the government is already spending millions on housing and that most of the land available for development lies within city, not county, borders. Though there has been a great deal of effort and money allocated to build more housing, Wagers insists that the lowest paid workers are still excluded: "It's a clever use of semantics - when they say affordable housing, it means people earning the median household income which is $82,000 for a household of four...For students, minimum-wage earners, people who work service jobs, there's just no housing."