Affordable Housing

Community Development Agency
three photos of affordable housing in Marin County

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.

Updates and Announcements

 ADU/JADU Fee Waiver Program - Property Owners: Property owners in unincorporated Marin may apply to receive building and planning fee waivers for the development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs). Visit the County's ADU webpage for more information and ADU Marin for additional resources on how to build and rent second units in Marin County.

 County Affordable Housing Fund/Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) - Affordable Housing Developers: Funding recommendations for the2022 allocation of PLHA funds, matched with Marin County Affordable Housing ("Housing Trust") funds, will be brought forward to the Countywide Priority Setting Committee (PSC) on Thursday April 7, 2022, and then to the Board of Supervisors for final consideration on May 10, 2022. See the Affordable Housing Funding panel below for more information.

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

Affordable Housing Funding

Marin County Affordable Housing Fund

The Marin County Affordable Housing Fund was created to increase the stock of permanently affordable housing units in the County. The Housing Trust provides a local funding source for financial and technical assistance to help affordable housing developers produce and preserve affordable housing. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please submit applications by email to

Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA)

Senate Bill 2 (SB2) was part of a 15-bill housing package adopted in 2017 aimed at addressing the state’s housing shortage and high housing costs. Specifically, it establishes a permanent source of funding intended to increase the affordable housing stock in California, a permanent local housing allocation (PLHA). Marin County is eligible for non-competitive, entitlement funds.  

The five-year plan for these funds allocates funds to match Housing Trust funds for predevelopment, development, acquisition, and preservation of multi-family projects, with an emphasis on projects that house those that are at or under 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI), as stipulated in the PLHA Final Guidelines. Applications submitted by February 17, 2022, will be considered for a PLHA match in 2022. Additional funds may become available, and applications are encouraged throughout the year.

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.

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. 

  • 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. 

  • Homeward Bound Mill Street Center

    Homeward Bound of Marin has been operating Mill Street as a center for people experiencing homelessness since 1986, purchasing the property in 1994. In 2009, Mill Street Center expanded permanently from 40 beds to 55 beds to meet increased demand caused by the 2008 economic crisis. The new Mill Street Center will have four floors, including a parking structure, a 40+-bed, emergency shelter, and two upper floors with 32 studio units of permanent supportive housing. 

    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.

Resources & Publications

  • Marin County Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing (AI) (2020) - The AI identifies barriers to fair housing choice by 1) assessing conditions, both public and private, affecting fair housing choice for all protected classes, 2) reviewing the jurisdiction's laws, regulations, and administrative policies, procedures and practices, 3) assessing how those laws, etc. affecting the location, availability and accessibility of housing, and 4) assessing the availability of affordable, accessible housing. 

    The report identifies four key impediments to fair housing choice in the county: 1) community opposition to affordable housing, 2) the cost of developing affordable housing, 3) lack of affordable housing sites, and 4) lack of opportunities for home ownership by people of color and on-going concerns of gentrification.

  • 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.