County of Marin - News Releases - Fairfax Affordable Housing

For Immediate Release
February 27, 2020

Fairfax Affordable Housing Gets County Assistance

Nonprofit receives $500,000 grant toward purchase of apartment complex

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin is using its resources assigned to preserve increasingly rare affordable housing units to help a local nonprofit purchase an existing complex near downtown Fairfax.

An exterior view of the Brookside Apartments at 300 Olema Road in Fairfax.The 10 apartments at 300 Olema Road in Fairfax will be preserved as affordable units under a proposed purchase plan by the San Geronimo Valley Affordable Housing Association.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors on February 25 approved a $500,000 grant to the San Geronimo Valley Affordable Housing Association so it can buy a 10-unit building at 300 Olema Road, just off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard about one mile north of the downtown area.

The 10 apartments, built in 1963, are rented out to lower-income tenants. The San Geronimo Valley Affordable Housing Association is seeking additional funds for the property purchase and, if a purchase is finalized, intends on preventing displacement of the current tenants and continuing the policy of assisting lower-income residents with affordable homes.

The grant comes from the County’s Affordable Housing Fund, earmarked to increase the stock of affordable housing in one of the nation’s most expensive counties in which to live. The median price for a single-family home in Marin hovers around $1.1 million; the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $3,121. The occasional use of the fund aligns well with County goals formed after more and more residents expressed concern about being priced out of Marin because of high rents and mortgages.

As designed, Affordable Housing Fund resources should advance the values of a balanced community by providing support for a variety of housing types and residents in a range of income levels. The fund is fueled by fees from market-rate housing developers and impact fees paid by property owners who are constructing or remodeling homes and transfers from the general fund. All allotments from the fund must be approved by the Board of Supervisors and are used for housing for low income families, seniors and others with special needs.

This is the third time in recent years that County funds have supported a major housing project in Fairfax. In 2016, the Board approved $675,000 to prevent 27 units of affordable family housing from being changed to market rates at the Piper Court Apartments. In 2018, the Board supported the construction of the 53-unit Victory Village complex at 2626 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Victory Village, which received a $1.5 million grant and a $1.1 million loan from the Affordable Housing Fund, is scheduled to open this summer.

In Marin, extremely low household income for a family of four is $48,350 or less per year, and low income is $80,601 to $129,150.

The San Geronimo Valley Affordable Housing Association also owns and operates affordable housing complexes in Forest Knolls.


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