San Rafael, CA – The Bolinas Community Land Trust was granted $250,000 from the County of Marin for the acquisition of a property that will be converted to much-needed housing for lower-income West Marin residents.
Stinson Beach has a shortage of homes considered affordable for extremely low in come and low income households.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted December 3 to approve the grant from the County’s Affordable Housing Fund
, a source earmarked to increase the stock of affordable housing in one of the nation’s most expensive counties in which to live.
Working with the Stinson Beach Affordable Housing Committee, which has raised more than $650,000 in local support, the Bolinas Community Land Trust plans to acquire a lot at 3755 Shoreline Highway in Stinson Beach and convert the existing five homes into affordable workforce homes. The trust also applied for a $250,000 grant from the Marin Community Foundation to go toward the same project.
It was the second time in the past month that the Bolinas Community Land Trust received such an allocation from the County. On November 5, the Board approved a $400,000 grant toward predevelopment costs and construction for two new projects in Bolinas.
“These allocations not only improve the chances of local families living close to where they work and reducing carbon footprints, but it helps maintain population diversity in an area of our county that has a mix of mostly wealthy residents and a less affluent workforce,” said Planning Manager Leelee Thomas of the County’s Community Development Agency. “West Marin has many more vacation rentals for our visitors than it has affordable housing for the lower-income people who live there year-round.”
One of the Stinson Beach lots has a building with five housing units that are fully occupied and described by County CDA as well-maintained. The other lot is vacant and mostly in a flood plain, but there is a small buildable portion that could be considered later for development of additional affordable homes.
Households with annual incomes in the extremely low and low designations will be eligible to purchase the workforce homes. 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.
In recent years, the conversion of existing homes into short-term vacation rental units has resulted in a shortage of workforce housing in West Marin. Housing units designated as affordable for lower-income residents are in high demand near the Pacific coast, where many residents – especially those working on farms and ranches – earn a fraction of Marin’s median household annual income of more than $94,000. The median single-family home price in Marin hovers around $1.2 million as of fall 2019.