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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

San Mateo County explores new territory to expand housing

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As the peninsula faces a severe housing shortage, San Mateo County is exploring where to plan for growth and ways to expand and protect affordable housing supply over the next decade.

The final plan will help shape the future of the region, the county said in a statement, after communities that have long relied on relatively affordable housing to attract new residents and fuel economic and job growth can no longer count on with that advantage.

Thus, the County has published for public review the draft Housing Element that describes the expected housing needs for the next eight years, from 2023 to 2031, which incorporates strategies to create up to 3,414 new housing units of various types. in unincorporated areas.

Draft Housing Element 2023-31 covers the unincorporated areas of the San Mateo County, that is, the half of the county that is not within the limits of a city or town, including Pescadero, Montara, Broadmoor, Emerald Lake Hills, North Fair Oaks, and unincorporated Colma.

The primary focus of the project is to ensure decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing for current and future residents of the unincorporated areas, including those with special needs.

Key goals also include protecting existing affordable housing, supporting housing for extremely low to moderate income families, and promoting housing near employment and transportation hubs.

Of note, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the Housing Element Project at its regularly scheduled meeting on December 6, 2022.

The draft notes that "housing costs remain unaffordable for most county residents, and many households...overpay for housing."

In 2019, more than half of renter households paid more than 30 percent of housing income, and approximately one-third paid more than 50 percent, with the vast majority of them being of Hispanic and/or Latino or other heritage communities of color.

The county noted that these renter households are much more likely to experience overcrowding, and in some areas can reach 20 to 30 percent of renters in such a circumstance.

State law requires the County, like all local governments, to update the Housing Element every eight years, while allocating a number of housing units that must be planned during that time.

Key strategies to achieve the goal of creating up to 1,414 housing units include identifying all available sites for housing, rezoning industrial areas for additional housing, incentivizing the creation of accessory dwelling units, protecting mobilehome parks from conversion and lower barriers to housing production throughout the county.

You may be interested in: California announces $53 million in grants for senior housing

Peninsula 360 Press
Peninsula 360 Presshttps://peninsula360press.com
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