For Immediate ReleaseAugust 09, 2018
Following two years of success, pilot programs continued for $500,000
San Rafael, CA – Two pilot programs related to affordable housing in Marin County were successful in their first two years, and the Marin County Board of Supervisors has decided to support two-year continuations for both of them.
At its August 7 meeting, the Board voted to continue the Landlord Partnership Program offered by the Marin Housing Authority (MHA) and the Real Community Rentals Program offered by the Community Land Trust of West Marin, known as CLAM. Both are designed to address and help alleviate what the Board has called an affordable housing crisis in Marin. Their continuation will cost the County of Marin $500,000, funding that was included in the 2018-19 County Budget approved in June.
MHA’s $450,000 two-year program aimed to leverage federal funding for Housing Choice (more commonly known as Section 8) voucher program allows qualified low-income residents to use public subsidies to pay rent to private landlords. To promote economic and social integration in neighborhoods, Section 8 tenants use vouchers that allow them to pay 30 percent of their income toward monthly rent, and the rest is covered by the subsidy. The Landlord Partnership Program helps eliminate hesitancy of landlords to rent homes to Section 8 recipients.
From June 2015 to June 2018, the probability that a tenant could lease a home with voucher assistance rose 22 percent in Marin, and the Landlord Partnership Program is believed to be a big reason why. In addition, the County’s source of income protection ordinance and a similar one passed in Fairfax has led other Marin municipalities to consider extending protection from source-of-income discrimination to their own communities.
The North Bay Leadership Council recognized MHA for its leadership and creativity in government, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recent presented MHA with three awards, for Landlord Outreach and Customer Service, as Housing Choice Voucher Program of the Year and as Housing Choice Voucher High Performer.
CLAM’s $50,000 program, which had similar goals, resulted in the development of 13 new affordable rental opportunities in underutilized West Marin homes. CLAM plans to build on its partnership with the Bolinas Community Land Trust and the San Geronimo Valley Affordable Housing Association to support property owners who want to create units for lower-income renters.
“We are pleased to see the results of these innovative and collaborative partnerships,” Board President Damon Connolly said. “They are a key part of our strategy to ensure the housing of our most vulnerable residents. We wholeheartedly support continued funding for these programs.”
Learn more about affordable housing programs on the County’s website.
Debbi La RuePlannerCommunity Development Agency
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 308San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7309Email: Debbi La RueAffordable Housing webpage