San Mateo County Faith-Based Housing Summit – Redwood City Table

February 6th, 2016

San Mateo County Multifaith Housing Summit 
Summary of Redwood City Discussion –
February 5, 2016

Rental evictions (910 Clinton and more) as buildings are purchased & redeveloped, not returning at affordable rates.
Competition for purchased housing is so great.
RUMOR: One company owns 30% of RWC rentals – need verification
Children are impacted by unstable housing (equivalent stress to losing a parent). Communities are also affected as schools lose teachers and parent support groups.
100 homeless students at Sequoia High, many due to families being split up among houses.
Problems at school districts hiring teachers, clerical, bus drivers because no affordable housing.
Long-term homeless have higher bars to jump getting back on their feet.
St. Pius recently had 50 parishioners show up at a meeting on affordable housing, most Hispanic – racial dimensions to housing shortage.

Challenges in other Cities, Statewide, Nationally (these are only the items shared with the large group,  I’m sure each group had more to say):
EPA – Facebook buying up land
HMB – folks living in shipping containers
San Mateo – decrease in economic diversity of residents
Belmont/San Carlos – NIMBYism, opposition to change
Burlingame – very dense, neighbors leaving area so communities disintegrating, schools full.’
Statewide  – 85% Fed restriction on how much RE lending can be done by Credit Unions
Loss of Redevelopment Agencies
No state policies on affordable housing

Successes in RWC (& beyond):
Property on Franklin St. currently up for bid for non-profit development
New Accessory Dwelling Unit law (permanent buildings)
New Developer Housing Impact Fees into fund for affordable housing.
Habitat for Humanity still has some ongoing projects
Match up with individual landlords (rather than multifamily buildings) (Abode Services, through San Mateo Housing Partnership Program).
New $328M State affordable/sustainable housing fund we may be able to access.

Suggested Actions & Opportunities:
Guidelines to allow garage conversions
Guidelines to allow tiny houses
Eliminate Prop 13 for commercial buildings
Extend time frame for evictions
Support SFO PIA ballot measure on Rent Stabilization
Moratorium on rent increases
Shipboard housing
Tax credits or other benefits to landlords for maintaining affordable housing stock

Adjust psychological  barriers to change
Many churches (schools, colleges) are land rich/cash poor – how to leverage land for housing (Barbara Christensen is Community College contact with much experience)
Reach out to landlords to voluntarily be part of solution
Clergy education of congregation at the pulpit of housing as moral issue.

Regulatory & Existing Programs:
Form group to talk to banks about Federal Community Investment Act regulations on affordable housing loans and how/if they are meeting them (Rhonda Coffman). Banks are supposedly rated on this criteria.
Community colleges using land for housing (see Barbara Christensen, above)

There was an awesome Redwood City turnout at this event especially our elected officials (current & former): Ian Bain, John Seybert, Shelly Masur, Barbara Pierce, Diane Howard.
Clergy members: Mother Anna Lange-Soto (El Buen Pastor) and Rev. Katie Goetz (Woodside Rd Methodist)
Government, non-profit and community members at-large: Evie Dwyer (St. Matthias), Jessica Stanfill Mullin (San Mateo County), Joaquin Sanchez (Bay Area Industrial Areas Foundation, St. Pius), Julie Sanchez & Gina Zari (San Mateo County Assn of Realtors), Diane Dittmar (Abode Services), Rhonda Coffman (City of Redwood City), Steven Rozzi (Peninsula Covenant Church), Steven Grabianowski.

Respectfully Submitted,
Claire Felong