San Mateo: First California County To Subdivide Housing Need Allocations

"Regional Housing Needs Allocations" are generally dreaded by California cities who resist state mandates to provide affordable housing. Rather than being assigned the requirement by the regional COG, San Mateo's 20 cities chose to do it themselves.

"All 20 cities (and the county government itself) of San Mateo County have agreed on a plan to divide the responsibility for creating nearly 16,000 new housing units over the next seven years. The cities (and county government) of San Mateo County decided to form a subregion as part of the process, termed the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, and to determine on their own how future housing should be balanced among them."

The county pact marks the application of the subregional process since the law describing the regional housing allocation process was amended in 2004.

"California housing officials told the Association of Bay Area Governments in April that the Bay Area will need at least 214,500 new units of housing by 2014, with 39 percent of those being low-income units. San Mateo County's share of that is 15,738 units."

(San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon) said collaboration among cities to agree on the needs allocations showed "we would rather do it ourselves than have someone (i.e. ABAG) impose it on us."

The sub-regional governing body in the county is the local coalition of governments, known as C/CAG, or City/County Associations of Governments, determined the local allocations. Since all 20 cities are represented on C/CAG, all cities were ‘at the table' when the allocations were determined amongst themselves.

C/CAG "gave the city of San Mateo the lion's share of the responsibility with 3,051 units. Redwood City is next with 1,832 units, followed by South San Francisco with 1,635 and the county's unincorporated areas with 1,506.

The small towns of Woodside and Colma were tied for the lowest allocation, at 65 units each."

"Housing remains the No. 1 problem in San Mateo County. We simply do not have enough units," Gordon said.

Thanks to Gladwyn d'Souza

Full Story: Cities form subregion, split up housing requirement

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