We are happy to report that the much anticipated San Mateo County Agricultural Workforce Housing Needs Assessment (Needs Assessment) is being released.

In 2014, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, in response to the leadership of Supervisor Don Horsley, set aside Measure A funds to support a variety of initiatives related to Farm Labor Housing. The Needs Assessment is one of the first of these initiatives to be completed. The Needs Assessment was also made possible in part by a grant from the Community Opportunity Fund grantmaking strategy of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

We appreciate the work done by our consultants BAE Urban Economics and Puente de la Costa Sur and sub-consultants at California Farmlink and Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE). The efforts were supported by a team of County staff.  There was also significant support by agricultural operators, agricultural workers, the San Mateo County Farm Bureau and the Central Coast Collaborative Regional Alliance of Farmer Training (CRAFT). You can read or download the report below.

In addition to the Needs Assessment, the County has contracted with the California Institute for Rural Studies and the California Coalition for Rural Housing to complete a Best Practices Study (Study). The Study will gather best practices in agricultural workforce housing for both on-farm and off-farm housing that would be suitable for potential implementation in San Mateo County. The work will leverage the findings from the Needs Assessment and will serve as an important guiding tool to assist the County, agricultural landowners and operators in moving forward on a diversified approach to develop and improve agricultural workforce housing, target funding to increase impact, and focus efforts to address the need.

We look forward to continuing our efforts to address this key housing challenge. For additional information about the Needs Assessment or Study and for those who are interested in exploring a partnership to create housing, please contact the Department of Housing's project lead Heather Peters via e-mail at hpeters@smchousing.org or by phone at 650.802.5039.

Ken Cole, Director
Department of Housing