Healthy Housing Successes
The County’s Jobs/Housing Gap Task Force reconvened this month and is developing a new structure to build on the existing momentum, continuing to provide support to local leaders and make San Mateo County a more livable place. Staff presented the initial products of the Task Force, including a new website, PowerPoint presentation, brochure, and talking points. Participants were thankful for all the work the County put in and excited about the Home for All San Mateo County initiative the County will advance as an outcrop of the Task Force.
The San Mateo County Department of Housing, the Health Plan of San Mateo, and nonprofit developers have forged a new partnership to better serve low-income seniors. This new Duals Demo program sets aside a portion of units in new affordable senior housing developments for seniors currently living in or at-risk of moving into long-term care and could live independently with support. Launched at Half Moon Village, the program will roll out in new senior affordable housing projects as they come online.
The Grand Boulevard Initiative recognizes the importance of housing for creating people friendly places along the El Camino. They are in the process of developing a sophisticated housing toolkit specific for the Grand Boulevard Corridor. When complete, the toolkit will include the following sections: existing conditions, policies and programs, and implementation mechanisms. This will support member jurisdictions in identifying critical gaps and opportunities to advance housing needs for their communities.
Grab some popcorn and sit back to learn all about how data and research can shed light on ways to create healthy, equitable communities that prevent displacement of low-income residents. Check out our own Shireen Malekafzali on the SF Federal Reserve’s panel, “Stemming the Tide of Displacement,” where she shares more about the impacts of housing on health and discusses the value of data in supporting healthy housing – jump ahead to around minute 41 for the health connection.
The City of South San Francisco recently explored how to support local workforce housing by modifying existing regulations and/or utilizing new financing models. Tools like the Urban Land Institute’s recent report looks at the financing tools available for preserving multi-family housing. The report specifically calls on private sector and community-based institutions to play a greater role in preserving existing affordable properties and producing new affordable units.
BART is one of the largest landowners in the Bay Area, and with that comes huge potential for transit-oriented developments. BART made great strides for all Bay Area residents last month when the BART Board adopted an affordable housing policy. Now, 20% of new homes developed on BART land must be affordable housing. Kudos to BART and community partners who have been working on this effort to support healthy housing for all!
The 21 cities and jurisdictions in San Mateo County have been supporting one another in drafting their state required Housing Elements. 21 Elements provides opportunities for municipalities to share resources, successful strategies, and best practices to better accommodate growing and changing populations, while ensuring and enhancing the qualities that make each of the 21 communities livable and unique.
Redwood City’s City Council recently reviewed and considered action on 5 affordable housing items at their October 2015 meeting, and moved forward on a new developer fee that will raise money for affordable housing projects. Way to go Redwood City for taking direct action to support housing affordability! Stable and affordable housing protects health and provides the ability to engage in healthy opportunities.
At the end of November 2015, the Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted an ordinance to ban closures and conversions of mobile home parks in unincorporated areas of San Mateo County until 2017. During this time, the County will study potential land use regulations and other opportunities related to mobile home parks.