Housing Options

A home for each, a community for all

The County of San Mateo counts diversity among its strengths — the diversity of its residents’ backgrounds, experiences, needs and economics.  Our residents know that San Mateo County is a great place to live, which is why we are committed to helping individuals and families find their home.

Not any one size fits all, whether in housing or in affordability solutions. Reaching the answers is an ongoing process, begun with a Board of Supervisors’ directive in October, continued with a study session on possible recommendations in March and following with proactive steps.

We invite you to use this site as a holistic tool to stay educated about housing options and the County’s efforts to provide every opportunity. A home for each San Mateo County resident creates a community for all.


Why is the County of San Mateo studying affordable housing?

The Board of Supervisors recognizes the County, like much of the Bay Area, is currently experiencing an affordable housing crisis with demand far outweighing the available supply. Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is now $2,648 and HIP Housing reports having 10 individuals interested in shared housing for each one offer.

What has the County of San Mateo done so far?

To date, the County has already contributed to the development of 1,554 affordable housing units, grants developers density bonuses for affordable units and, in 2013, created an Affordable Housing Fund that has awarded $18 million to date. In October 2014, the Board directed staff to come back with recommendations at a March 17, 2015 study session on promoting new units and preventing displacement of existing tenants.

Does the County currently use rent control?

In 2004, the Board of Supervisors approved a rent control ordinance for mobile homes. Rent control is one of 11 recommendations currently under review by County officials. If imposed, approximately 2,000 households will be affected, primarily in North Fair Oaks.

Who is affected by County action?

Any adopted policies or ordinances will only apply to the unincorporated areas although they could act as a template for cities to emulate.

When will the Board of Supervisors take action?

The Board is currently forming an affordable housing task force with cities and will consider other recommendations during its June budget process. The County is also working on forming a task force with cities, housing organizations and other key stakeholders.

Where can I find information about existing affordable housing resources?

Visit the County of San Mateo Department of Housing at. www.smchousing.org

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