Housing Leadership Council's mission is to accelerate the production of new homes in San Mateo County at all affordability levels to create opportunities and a viable quality of life.
Executive Director's Corner - May 2013
When The Tide Goes Out
May 21, 2013
The following is an exerpt of the welcome speech that HLC Executive Director, Mark Moulton, gave at this year's Legislative Policy Breakfast on Friday, May 10th.
There’s a meaningful metaphor about unseen things for those of us who live on the coast. When the tide goes out, you see the rocks that were invisible. So that spirit in our community has emerged now, in a hard time for affordable housing. After fifty years, the public consensus has receded that acts through Federal Government programs to put financial support behind our work to deliver homes. At the same time, bonds from the State of California, City local inclusionary zoning, linkage fees and in lieu fees are going out, like the tide. As a result of local government budget contraction, a lack of will to bargain hard with developers and the fear of providing services to new residents, our affordable home creation local funding stream, so important to leverage Federal and private sector funding is, well, drying up.
The need for more housing here has been understood. The partial remainders of local subsidies will not leverage what we need in this county, where the dirt is as golden as anywhere in California. What remains for us at HLC are the rock solid intentions to deliver a community where many people can succeed. No one here will back off what we can ask of Federal, state and local pass-through sources of funding. At the same time, we are determined to bring home policies that will provide funding that is dependable, more often locally grown and that will renew a strong, effective nonprofit – public partnership for housing.
We know who our customers are. As San Mateo County welcomes its own children, seniors and community employees home, there must be development of housing by our nonprofits who love to build, concurrently and separately from the reinvigorated market-driven rental development trend we now see in our cities. Since the tide has gone out, taking old alliances, funding streams and deal structures with it, the rocks left behind, becoming visible, are a mature nonprofit housing industry worthy of local investment. Nonprofit home builders are delivering a product so much in demand, that customers are 20 families deep for every home completed.
For all the years we’ve protected our quality of life in San Mateo County by “no growth” policies, the side effects have finally, visibly, manifested the opposite effect. Please help HLC educate, persuade and provide reasons for our county leadership to assume a far-sighted role, that considers inclusive housing growth in our community. Support HLC with your membership, a sponsorship or donation. Join us by your attendance at our events, follow our website as we work for policies that make sense. We have ambitious plans, we can use more Board members and we can take our work forward with your financial support. Activate the envelope and pen at your table that may not have been seen, please make your support for our work visible. When you do, the importance of HLC’s mission to accelerate the growth of housing here, moves forward and also becomes visible.
Mark Moulton Executive Director
Affordable Housing Week 2013 Video
Affordable Housing Provides Opportunity and Piece of Mind:
At the recent Housing Endowment and Regional Trust (HEART) of San Mateo County Executive Briefing this video was shown to illustrate the power that affordable housing has to change lives.
Affordable Housing Week 2013 Thank You
Thank You to Everyone Who Made Affordable Housing Week 2013 a Success!
Housing touches so many parts of our community and our lives
Made Possible By:
Homes and Jobs for Californians
Support the creation of more housing and job opportunities by telling your local lawmakers to support SB 391 - The California Homes and Jobs Act. It is expected to generate $500 million per year for affordable housing.
Making lemonade out of lemons. Last year was a dark day for affordable housing with the loss of local Redevelopment Agencies (RDA). Locally millions of dollars were lost that would have gone towards the creation of more desperately needed affordable housing here in San Mateo County. Some of that money is coming back to local coffers and we want to keep it for housing. Tell local officials to keep local housing money for housing.
Executive Director's Corner
Land, Money, and Political Will
February 20, 2013
There has been and continues to be a growing market for the type of multi-family affordable apartments delivered by our nonprofit housing development sector. Such housing provides strict rules for use, sensible amenities and safety for families with children. If you get a chance to take a tour of such development, please take advantage of the offer! Join us in working to meet the needs of our affordable housing customers, who bring so much to our town and city economies.
The rising cost of land here continues to make it difficult to deliver affordable housing. The customers are families whose incomes are not increasing at the rate of rents and who have incomes that allow payments for housing costs only if rents are substantially below those offered in the market. These families are being driven out of San Mateo County, one family at a time. This trend of “income-related squeeze-out” has been uninterrupted for thirty years. These families have members who hold jobs we need filled for business success here in our county. Also, their incomes are not sufficient to allow for commuting as a “lifestyle choice”. While we often highlight our teachers, hospital workers and local small business staff as necessary to every-day community quality of life, there are others we also need here every day. Jobs we offer here in restaurants, on town and city staffs, for our homes’ gardeners and other small business service providers, put workers in a bind because of the cost of housing. These working families double-up putting more people in homes and apartments, creating sub-standard living conditions, in order to keep housing costs achievable.
To build affordable housing here in San Mateo County, there is a formula that says we need “land, money, and political will”. The last ten years have been a roller coaster ride in relationship to land values. While our prices rose between 2004 and 2007 before they crashed in 2008, San Mateo County, like much of the Bay Area, did better at holding land value and regaining it. Today, the problem faced by would-be renters and buyers here is scarcity of available opportunity and rising prices. Of course, if you already own a property, this is good news. If, however, your housing costs have felt the impact of a rise in rents of 17% in the last year, you may not be such a fan of our “recovery.”