The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors today voted to invest $43.75 million over two years to increase the supply of affordable housing for working families, seniors and formerly homeless veterans in one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States.

The Board voted 5-0 to allocate funds for affordable housing from Measure K, a half-cent sales tax extension approved by voters in 2016.

The newly approved Measure K housing recommendation for Fiscal Years 2017-2019 includes:

·         $35.75 million for the County’s Affordable Housing Development and Preservation Fund;

·         $5 million for the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust (HEART);

·         $1.4 million for tenant assistance programs;

·         $1.6 million for ongoing programs and staffing.

With today’s vote, the Board committed more than a quarter of the annual proceeds from the Measure K sales tax toward bolstering affordable housing. The half-cent tax raises approximately $80 million annually.

The Board has also committed Measure K funds to improve health and mental health services, expand early learning and literacy programs, maintain and expand County parks, build a new Regional Operations Center for 9-1-1 public safety dispatchers and other emergency services and support services for seniors and veterans, among other investments. Additional information on Measure K can be found at https://cmo.smcgov.org/measurek.

Since 2012, the County has spent $56.5 million on housing for both new development and rental housing preservation. Over the past four years, the County has contributed to the development of 16 housing projects with a total of 908 new units. Of those units, 268 are complete, 73 are under construction and 567 are in the pre-construction stage.

The County has also contributed $13.1 million toward the preservation of 86 affordable rental units in four apartment buildings purchased by nonprofit organizations. In addition, the County has increased housing affordability through partnerships with HIP housing which placed 375 clients in 160 new home shares, adopted ordinances like the mobile home conversion moratorium which keeps units in place, and created other tenant assistance programs.

The Board will consider its entire recommended two-year budget for Fiscal Year 2017-19 in June and adopt the final budget in September.