U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


San Mateo County Consortia's 1995 Consolidated Plan constitutes a strategic vision for housing and community development in the Consortium, which includes the entitlement cities of Daly City and South San Francisco and all other cities within the county except for the cities of Redwood City, San Mateo, and Atherton. This document summarized the plan so that citizens in the County and the participating cities can have a quick overview of San Mateo consortium's housing and community development needs; the 3-year broad goals, strategies, and actions proposed to deal with those needs; and specific projects for carrying out this strategy during 1995.

Action Plan

The Consortiums's Consolidated Plan also includes an action plan constituting an application for funds under three different HUD formula programs for a total of $8,272,000: Community Development Block Grant Urban Consortia (CDBG) - $3,894,000, HOME investment Partnership Act - $1,742,000, and Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) program - $125,000. Entitlement City of Daly City - $1,718,000 (CDBG) and the entitlement City of South San Francisco - $793,000 (CDBG).

Citizen Participation

A total of three public hearings were held on the Consolidated Plan. Initial notices for the November 3, 1994 informal public meeting on the Consolidated Plan were sent to a large number of individuals and organizations during October 1994 and a notice of the proposed informal meeting was published in the San Mateo Times on October 24, 1994. The second meeting was held on January 25, 1995, following the previous described procedure of mailings and a notice in the San Mateo Times on January 13, 1995. The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors reviewed and approved the Final Consolidated Plan at the last public hearing was held on May 2, 1995.


The total population of the San Mateo County Consortium is 490,902, a 10% increase from 447,020 cited in the 1980 Census. Association of Bay Area Governments' (ABAG) projects a steady population growth rate of 10% to the year 2000. Average household size is also expected to increase slightly from 2.64 persons to 2.70 persons. The median household income and the percent of persons below the poverty level varies by urban area and city. For example, in Hillsborough the median income is $123,625 and the percent of persons below the poverty level is 4.2%, while in East Palo Alto the figures are $29,206 and 17.4%, respectively. Countywide, the figures are $46,437 and 6.2%, respectively.

Racial and ethnic composition data shows the White, Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic populations proportionally in larger representation in San Mateo County than in the Bay Area. In 1990 the White population represented the largest ethnic group at 284,433 persons (57.9%). The second largest ethnic group was Asian/Pacific Islanders at 90,019 (18.3%), followed closely by Hispanics at 85,162 (17.3%). Blacks numbered 28,746 (5.9%), Native American at 1,794 (0.4%) and Other at 748 (0.2%).


Housing Needs

According to ABAG's Projections '94, a twenty-year growth forecast projects an increase of 33,430 households in San Mateo County from 1990 to 2010. This estimate projects a shortfall of countywide housing needs by 1,900 units. The housing market is going through a major transition. Housing values have dropped since the real estate boom of the late 1980's, construction financing has become much more difficult to obtain, and new construction has slowed considerably. While the drop in prices and low interest rates has enabled some to become homebuyers for the first time, for the majority of low income households, renting is still their only option. Rent levels are not likely to come down substantially, as very few new rental units are being constructed and new persons to the area will continue to put pressure on the existing rental housing stock.

The characteristics and housing needs of low income rental and owner households follows: Twenty-seven percent of all renter households and 12% of all owner households fall into the very low income category [0 - 50% Median Family Income (MFI)]. Fourteen percent of all renter households and 6% of all owner households have extremely low incomes (0 - 30% MFI).

Eighty-one percent of total renters in the 0 - 30% MFI sub-category have some type of housing problem (defined as either physical defects, overcrowding and/or housing cost in excess of 30 or 50% of income). A full 90% of total renters in the 31 -50% MFI sub-category experience some type of housing problem. For homeowners, 58% in the 0 -30% MFI and 56% in the 31 - 50% MFI sub- category experience some type of housing problem. The rate is significantly higher (70% and 65%, respectively) for "owners other than elderly."

The large and extremely diverse elderly population in San Mateo county has a variety of housing needs influenced by income, renter or owner status and health factors. There are 37,706 elderly households in the Consortium, 20% of all Consortium households. Of this, there are 5,926 elderly renter households and 10,907 elderly homeowners in the very low (0 - 50% MFI) or low (51 - 80% MFI) income categories. Of these, 4,557 renter and 3,430 owner households have housing problems.

Housing Market Conditions

There is a total of 188,007 year-round housing units in the Consortium. Of the 180,941 occupied housing units, 67,002 units (37%) are renter-occupied and 113,939 units (63%) are owner- occupied. The vacancy rate in the County is relatively low, about 3.6%. The 1990 Census listed 2,991 vacant units for rent and 1,733 vacant units for sale. The County has approximately 11,000 units in need for rehabilitation and 600 units in need of replacement.

Due to the instability of the real estate market in California, home prices in San Mateo county decreased an average of 15.1% resulting in a median priced home to be priced at $291,971. If interest rates remain low, job stability is maintained, and concern over the future of the real estate market is erased, the decrease in home prices could mean increased homeownership opportunities for low and moderate income families.

Affordable Housing Needs

Residential construction has slowed in recent years as land suitable for residential development becomes harder to find. The urban "Bayside" area is nearly "built-out" while the rural "Coast side" areas are generally constrained by lack of infrastructure, poor access, hazardous terrain and geologic conditions, and State Coastal Act priorities regarding agriculture and scenic resource protection.

The greatest opportunity for housing continues to be on an in fill basis within existing urban areas on the Bayside and on the Coast. Several large and many smaller parcels, including abandoned schools, or industrial and commercial sites may provide opportunities for future housing development. However, very few new housing units are affordable to lower income households unless the project is publicly assisted. As housing prices and interest rates decrease, an increased opportunity exists for public or nonprofit agencies to acquire existing properties that were previously too expensive, for conversion to affordable housing.

Homeless Needs

San Mateo County has a wide variety of facilities and services for the homeless. Four emergency or short-term shelters can accommodate in excess of 155 persons and ten transitional housing facilities offer prospective residents participating in a training or counseling program housing up to 2 years. In addition, there are "soup kitchens" providing hot meals and a number of community- based agencies which provide free food boxes or grocery vouchers. The exact number of homeless persons is not known, but the Hunger and Homeless Action Coalition's study for the period extending from March 1989 to February 1990 conservatively estimates some 8,665 men, women and children experienced homelessness during the period.

More emergency shelters for single men are needed. The only overnight shelter operating within the County is the National Guard Armory Winter Shelter. Homeless families primarily require greater affordable housing opportunities. Long term transitional housing is a secondary need A smaller portion of homeless families may also require job skills training, medical care or counseling. The children may need an array of services, including proper nutrition, health care, education, counseling and most importantly, a stable living environment.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

There are 3,400 Section 8 Certificates/Vouchers in use in the County. The County Housing Authority operates one conventional public housing development consisting of 150 units and also operates an elderly apartment complex of 60 units. In addition, there are 61 publicly assisted housing projects for low/moderate income household totaling 3,473 units. Of this number, 20 developments containing 1,977 subsidized affordable units are at risk of converting to market-rate units within the next 15 years as the public subsidies they receive terminate. Nine developments totalling 853 units are owned by profit motivated organizations.

As of June 1994, there were over 18,000 families on the Section 8 and public housing waiting list. The list was last opened in May of 1994 for a period of seven days. Given this number, the average time for consideration for housing could be as long as seven to ten years.

Lead-Based Paint

There are 162,929 or 87% of the year-round housing units in the Consortium constructed prior to 1979. Of this number, 118,703 or 73% may be subject to lead-based paint hazards. Units occupied by very low and low income households with children are particularly at risk. It is estimated that 4,648 non-elderly very low income households and 8,000 non-elderly low income households (7% of all Consortium households) have a particular susceptibility to lead-based paint.

Community Development Needs

A combination of factors are at work in the County influencing community needs. These are increased unemployment caused by the current recession being experienced in the Bay Area; changes in the work force and family structure due to the need for two incomes; and cutbacks in local public services due to California's lingering economic recession. Needs specific to the respective Consortium jurisdictions are:


Vision for Change

The strategic plan lays out a long-term strategy to deal with housing and community development needs.

Housing Priorities

Housing priorities for the San Mateo County HOME consortium are:

  1. Provide housing opportunities and supportive services for very low income renter households. Place special emphasis on assisting extremely low income renters, very low income family renter households, and those very low income households meeting federal and local preferences.
  2. Provide housing opportunities and supportive services for low income renter households. Place special emphasis on assisting low income family renter households.
  3. Help existing very low, low and moderate income homeowners maintain and repair their homes and promote neighborhood revitalization.
  4. Provide homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers earning less than 120% MFI.
  5. Provide emergency shelter for homeless persons and families.
  6. Continue to support existing and develop new service enriched transitional shelter facilities.
  7. Prevent households at-risk from becoming homeless, particularly households with special needs and those earning less than 30% of Median Income who pay more than 50% of their income for housing.
  8. Help the homeless, including homeless persons with special needs, to make a transition to permanent housing.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

The following high priorities have been identified by San Mateo urban county, Daly City and the City of South San Francisco:

Urban County

Daly City

South San Francisco

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The County and cities offer a number of programs and services which help meet the needs of those living in poverty and provide them with resources to improve their standard of living. These activities generally fall into the following categories:

  1. Increase coordination between housing, social service and health providers (e.g. joint planning and administration of programs, and special committees on joint issues);
  2. Increase economic opportunities (e.g. small business development, economic and technical assistance to businesses, and job creation);
  3. Revitalize neighborhoods to stimulate private investment (e.g. infrastructure improvements, land assembly, code enforcement, affordable housing construction, and rehabilitation); and
  4. Improve public safety and access to social services (e.g. reduce crime, and provide community outreach).

Housing and Community Development Resources

Three major sources of funding are available to the County and Cities for affordable housing and community development project:

Coordination of Strategic Plan

In 1992, the County completed a major departmental reorganization, creating the Human Services Agency to administer housing and related human service programs and a consultant was hired to prepare an "Affordable Housing Strategy". The report, adopted by the Board of Supervisors in July, 1993, finds that improvement of the County's housing and supportive service delivery system is key to increasing affordable housing opportunities. To improve coordination between the County and cities on housing and community development issues, the report recommends:

The "Affordable Housing Strategy" also recommends that the County take the initiative to significantly increase the private sector's capability to organize, propose, coordinate finance and build affordable housing projects by offering on-going information programs to entities such as but not limited to Fannie Mae, HUD, builders, realtors, lenders and others who are actively willing and able to build, finance, and operate affordable housing developments.


Description of Key Projects

The Consortium has a total of 111 projects and activities proposed for 1995. The location of these projects range from site specific to county wide. Projects fall in the following categories: housing development, housing rehabilitation, capital improvements, economic development, and public services.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects; in addition; a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on San Mateo's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Ms. Pat West
Program Manager
PH: (415) 802-5024

Return to California's Consolidated Plans.