Housing solutions:
youth housing promise
A new housing program in response to the affordable housing crisis that disproportionately impacts young men and women of color.
More than 30% of those who attend SJCC+CS lack stable housing, impacting their ability to focus on their education and learn marketable job skills.
A stable home would give them a sense of security and improve their overall well-being.
The Approach
  • Build our own affordable housing i.e., portable dwelling units (PDUs)

  • Pay students to learn how to build PDUs

  • Place PDUs in host families’ backyard

  • Match students and families

  • Students pay below market rents, they can afford

  • Host families receive passive rental income

On May 21, 2020, SJCC+CS gave a virtual presentation about Youth Housing Promise as part of Affordable Housing Month 2020.

What are portable dwelling units (PDUs)?
PDUs are:


  • Dwelling units on top of a trailer


  • The trailer allows them to be towed (they are not self-propelled)


  • The trailer is registered with DMV


  • The dwelling is built to ANSI or NFPA code


  • Utilities (water, electricity and sewer) connect to primary home

  • They are NOT RVs or travel trailers

  • They are NOT sleeping cabins

  • In the Bay Area, PDUs are only permitted in backyards of single-family homes in unincorporated Santa Clara County and the city of San Jose

 PDUs are independent living facilities consisting of

160 sq. ft. (18'L x 8'6"W plus a 2'x4' niche) of living space and:

accommodations for 1-2 people with fold out futon and murphy bed; fold out bar table and stools

Full bathroom: sink, medicine cabinet, toilet and shower

Appliance package: HVAC mini-split, washer/dryer, Amazon’s Echo Show and keypad and Ring entry system

Kitchen: Counter space, sink, refrigerator, stove top and microwave/hood

Host a Portable Living Unit and help a student succeed

Earn $500/mo in Rental Income

Process for homeowners interested in hosting a PDU for students:
  • Sign up on the interest list

  • Complete a host family profile

  • Schedule a FREE site assessment

  • Complete a backyard lease agreement

  • Schedule installation

  • Property management matches students and families based on profile

  • Student move in!

  • Host families receive rental income

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PLU Interior 5_1.jpg

If you are not ready to host a PDU for a student, you can still help by donating to the program. Your contributions are appreciated.