San Mateo to develop first sub-regional housing
allocation in California
"There is just such a huge need for affordable
By Caitlin Cassady
December 16, 2007
At a public hearing Monday regarding affordable housing in San
Mateo County, representatives will vote to adopt the first Sub-Regional
Housing Needs Allocation in the state, which will take control
of allocating housing throughout the county.
The housing initiative will allow all jurisdictions in the county
to work collaboratively for housing planning rather than following
regional mandates that assign housing quotas to individual cities
and the county.
By taking control of the distribution of housing, the county
can develop areas near transit-oriented hubs, and do a more comprehensive
job of distributing housing to regions that really need the development,
said Matt Jacobs, legislative aide to San Mateo County Supervisor
"There is just such a huge need for affordable housing in
San Mateo County," Jacobs said.
With a regional approach, housing is more likely to be built
for all income levels, according to the county. Representatives
from the 20 cities in San Mateo County along with county officials
are expected to adopt the agreement, which will have a strong
foundation for housing planning efforts on the Peninsula.
A second part of the hearing will be for developers, non-profit
groups and city planners to discuss how to access state funds
to build affordable housing, Jacobs said.
Speakers at the hearing will include state Department of Housing
and Community Development Director Lynn Jacobs, state Assemblyman
Gene Mullin and San Mateo County Supervisors Rose Jacobs Gibson
and Gordon. A panel from the Department of Housing and Community
Development will inform local leaders how they can access funds
from Proposition 1C. The proposition was passed in November 2006
and permits the state to sell $2.85 billion in bonds to support
a variety of housing and development programs.
The hearing "will allow people here (in San Mateo County)
access to state officials who are in charge of distributing funds,"
Jacobs said. By establishing how developers and other residents
can apply for funding dedicated to affordable housing, the county
believes that the amount of housing will increase.
Studies have shown that San Mateo County needs to expand the
supply of affordable housing and workforce housing, according
to the county.
Having available, affordable homes for nurses, retail workers,
librarians, service workers and other middle-income residents
will create a successful community.
At the final part of the hearing, participants will be asked
for ideas on how to create an ongoing dedicated source of revenue
to finance affordable housing. State funds will not last forever
and the county should have funds specifically dedicated to providing
affordable housing to its residents, Jacobs said.
Recent figures from the California Association of Realtors who
say that the percentage of households in San Mateo County that
could buy an entry-level home was 17 percent in the third quarter
of 2007. The minimum household income needed to purchase an entry-level
home of $816,000 in San Mateo County was $168,280.
Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.