Affordable Housing

Community Development Agency
three photos of affordable housing in Marin County

 

About

The mission of the Affordable Housing Program is to preserve and expand the range and supply of adequate, accessible, and affordable housing through housing policies, regulations and programs. While our Agency does not manage housing units or services directly, we have included a list of resources and links to local services and providers in the ‘where can I find affordable housing’ section of this website.

Marin County ADU Affordability Program

On January 14, 2020, the Board of Supervisors approved the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Affordability Program, which augments and extends the County’s existing fee waivers for the creation of ADUs. This program further responds to the affordable housing crisis in Marin County by further incentivizing the development of second units that are rented to low- and moderate-income households.

Under the program, in exchange for a property owner’s agreement to rent their unit at affordable levels, County permit fees for ADUs may be waived up to the following:

  • Up to $10,000 for homeowners who rent their ADUs at rates at or below 80% the Area Median Income,

  • Up to $5,000 for ADUs that are rented at rates between 81-120% of the Area Median income,

  • Up to $2,500 for ADUs that are rented at market-rate.

The fees waived may include: Community Development Agency fees such as planning, building and safety, and environmental health services, and Department of Public Works fees such as traffic mitigation.

Review the ADU Affordability Program packet and accompanying Frequently Asked Questions document for more information and details. In order to be considered for fee waivers, owners should submit the attached Fee Waiver Application in the ADU Affordability Program packet.

ADU Affordability Program Packet
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Please contact the Housing & Federal Grants Division with any outstanding questions at (415) 473-7309, or affordablehousing@marincounty.org.

Where Can I Find Affordable Housing?

Are There Affordable Homes in Marin?

Yes there are. Affordable homes are found in nearly all neighborhoods and come in all sizes. Some examples may be seen in the slideshow.

What is Affordable Housing?

According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing costs should equal 30% of a household's gross income. For homeowners this includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance and for renters it includes rent and utilities.

 

Board Work Plan to Preserve Affordability and Prevent Displacement

On February 9, 2016, the Marin County Board of Supervisors directed staff to pursue an 18-month, 3-phase workplan to preserve housing affordability and prevent displacement. Updates on those workplan items are provided below. 

Visit our Housing Element webpage to learn more about other work being done by the Housing and Federal Grants Division.

Affordable Housing Policies

Resources & Publications

  • Marin County Affordable Housing Inventory 2008 - provides a comprehensive picture of income-restricted housing in the 11 cities and towns and the unincorporated area of Marin. The inventory surveyed all affordable housing providers, which together supply 2616 units at nonprofit rental properties, 274 inclusionary rental units, 758 Below Market Rate ownership units, 573 units of public housing and 2269 Section 8 vouchers.

    The study compares the overall Marin housing market with affordable housing, including an overview of Marin's housing stock, household demographics, employment, income, and commute patterns. Data indicate that affordable housing plays a key role in providing homes for low income residents of Marin County.

  • Marin County 10-Year Homeless Plan - is a broad based, creative effort to do new thinking around homelessness and homeless prevention (2006)
  • Miles From Home - the Traffic and Climate Impacts of Marin's Unaffordable Housing (2011)
  • Driving Home Economic Recovery - How workforce housing boosts jobs and revenue in Marin (2011)

Marin County Housing Trust Fund

Marin County Housing Trust Fund

New and Upcoming Projects

Coast Guard Property

From the 1970s until the early 2000’s, families and officers lived in the 36 homes and barracks building on the Coast Guard property have been part of the Point Reyes community, with children attending local schools and residents using local businesses.

In 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard designated the Point Reyes Station facility as surplus with the intention of selling it on the open market. After strong community advocacy, in 2016, the U.S. Congress passed legislation that required the Coast Guard to sell the property to the County to be used as permanently affordable homes.

In December 2019, the property was acquired by the County of Marin from the federal government for $4.3 million. The purchase agreement includes language that restricts the property’s use to public benefit. In April 2020, a developer was selected for the project and the first phase funding process was initiated. More information about this project is available here.

Project Status: First Phase Funding Committed through the purchase of the land. Pending Local Housing Trust Fund Application.

Homeward Bound HUD Parcel

Homeward Bound of Marin, in partnership with the City of Novato and the Department of Veterans Affairs, proposes development of the 2.8-acre site on the former Hamilton Army Airfield, now known as the “HUD Parcel.” Two types of housing units are planned for the site, 24 units of permanently supportive housing for homeless veterans and 26 supportive housing units for people exiting homelessness and entering the local workforce.

Project Status: First Phase Funding Committed.

Second Unit Program

During the last four years, the Marin County single family home rehabilitation program expanded to incorporate ADUs and JADUs and has funded the rehabilitation of 20 existing second units and the creation of 10 new second units. All of the units developed as part of the Second Unit Program will be rented to qualifying applicants at 60% or below the Area Median Income.

The Marin Housing Authority (“MHA”), through the Home Ownership Programs Department (“the Department”) will perform the loan servicing on these loans. The Department has extensive experience over 45 years of servicing a deferred loan portfolio of over 215 loans consisting of Residential Rehabilitation Loans, Down Payment Assistance Loans, ADDI loans and CalHome Mortgage Assistance Loans. Marin Housing is working closely with the Marin County Community Development Agency, as well as local jurisdictions as they respond to the new State Laws regarding accessory dwelling units.

Project Status: First Phase Funding Committed pending LHTF Application.

Community Development Block Grants and HOME funding

The Federal Grants Division provides Marin communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Federal funds are awarded to non-profits which provide community development activities, anti-poverty programs, and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households throughout Marin County.