UPDATE: The Board of Supervisors approved this allocation at its January 15 meeting.
San Rafael, CA – In its ongoing recognition of a severe local shortage of affordable housing, the Marin County Board of Supervisors plans to consider action January 15 to allocate $4.1 million from its General Fund to support the acquisition, preservation and development of more housing in the county. In the past three years, the County has invested nearly $5.9 million of Housing Trust funds to fund up to 241 affordable homes.
In June 2018, the County supported the proposed Victory Village housing project with $2.6 million from its Housing Trust Fund.
If approved, the money would go into the County’s Housing Trust Fund
, which provides financial and technical assistance to help affordable housing developers create and preserve affordable housing for low- and very-low-income households. The use of the Housing Trust is designed to advance the values of a balanced community by providing support for a variety of housing types available for households at a range of income levels.
Marin’s median price for a single-family detached home has hovered around $1 million in recent years, and typical rents are $2,250 for a one-bedroom apartment and $3,360 for a two-bedroom unit. The Board of Supervisors made the preservation of affordable housing and prevention of displacement top priorities several years ago as more and more Marin residents expressed concern about being priced out of the county because of high rents and mortgages. Marin has some of the highest home prices and development costs in the country.
“The Board’s Affordable Housing subcommittee has recommended this funding to continue our successful efforts to preserve and create more affordable housing in Marin,” said County Administrator Matthew Hymel. “This $4.1 million would be a significant investment in one of our top community priorities.”
“So many people have told the County that they can’t afford to live here anymore, even if they grew up here and have lived here for most of their lives,” said Housing Planning Manager Leelee Thomas of the Marin County Community Development Agency. “With a number of projects in the pipeline, there may not be adequate funds to continue to ensure that sources are available to support critical affordable housing needs. Adding additional funds will allow the County to work collaboratively with communities, funders, cities, towns, and other stakeholders to ensure that we are creatively looking at ways to address the affordable housing needs in our community.”
All Housing Trust Fund allocations must be approved by the Board of Supervisors. Most recently, in October 2018 the Board invested $250,000 of Housing Trust assistance as a predevelopment grant for a Novato project for up to 80 new affordable homes. In June 2018, the Board approved $2.6 million of Housing Trust assistance to the Victory Village project in Fairfax to create 54 affordable homes for seniors, including people transitioning from homelessness. The Board also allotted $200,000 to Homeward Bound of Marin to help create 12 affordable homes within the Larkspur city limits in May 2018.
Prior to this proposed infusion of funds, the balance of the Housing Trust was $3.1 million. A $4.1 million replenishment of the fund would bring the balance to $7.2 million, enabling the County to act quickly on current projects or new opportunities as they develop.
The mission of the County’s Affordable Housing Program, managed by the Community Development Agency (CDA), is to preserve and expand the range and supply of adequate, accessible, and affordable housing through housing policies, regulations and programs. The Board and CDA staff work in tandem to increase the local stock of affordable housing for the sake of enhancing socioeconomic balance in local communities.
Learn more by checking the Housing Trust Fund implementation guide on the County’s Affordable Housing webpage.