County of Marin - News Releases - Housing Affordability Workshops

For Immediate Release
November 03, 2015

Supervisors Continue Affordable Housing Discussion

Next public workshops set for November 17, December 15

San Rafael, CA – Following up on a successful public conversation in October, the Marin County Board of Supervisors will host two more workshops to continue the discussion about ways to preserve housing affordability and prevent displacement in unincorporated Marin.

A view across a pond of the Edgewater Place affordable housing complex in Larkspur.The sessions are set for 2:30 p.m. November 17 and 5 p.m. December 15 in the Board of Supervisors chamber at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael (exact start times subject to change). At both meetings, planners from the Community Development Agency (CDA) will start off the discussion with a review of the policy options presented on October 13. The staff presentation will be followed by a public commenting period. The Supervisors will not be voting to take any action on the topic either day, but they will provide direction to CDA staff about the various policy options.

For years, countless residents have told the Supervisors about the struggles of low- and moderate-income households to make ends meet because home mortgages and rental rates are growing faster than wages. In Marin, one of the world’s most beautiful and desirable places to live, housing affordability is hampering employee recruitment for local businesses, school districts and nonprofits. Case in point: Over half of the local Marin workforce commutes in from outside county lines, partly due to the lack of affordability.

The median single-family detached home in Marin costs more than $1 million and a condominium or townhome averages more than $500,000. So far in 2015, the monthly average cost of all Marin rental units is more than $2,500, up 66 percent since 2005. Local workers, seniors and families with low and moderate incomes are being priced out of their existing housing, forcing them out of Marin. Less affordable housing means longer commutes to work, clogged motorways, increased greenhouse gas emissions and more inconveniences.

The Supervisors are interested in hearing feedback on options such as:

  • purchasing existing housing to preserve economic diversity;
  • building new units for a variety of income levels;
  • providing incentives for affordable second units;
  • offering one-time incentives to landlords willing to rent to low-income tenants;
  • providing amnesty to those providing illegal second units; and
  • considering tenant protection options.

The two workshops will take place in the Civic Center’s Board chamber, (Suite 330) at 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael. Comments on the topic may be submitted via email to Alisa Stevenson, Planner for the Community Development Agency, at astevenson@marincounty.org.

All public meetings and events sponsored or conducted by the County of Marin are held at accessible sites. If you are a person with a disability and require information or materials in alternative formats – or if you require accommodation to participate in a county program, service or activity – please contact department staff at (415) 473-7331 or (415) 473-4381 (voice/TTY) or e-mail disabilityaccess@marincounty.org.

Contact:

Leelee Thomas
Planning Manager
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6697
Email: Leelee Thomas
Affordable Housing webpage