The equitable housing issues we are facing in San Mateo County affect everyone. They negatively impact the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations, such as seniors, the disabled and low-income individuals, as well as essential workers and middle-income residents. These problems make it difficult for companies to hire enough workers. No one benefits from the burden of housing insecurity, as it negatively impacts entire communities.
Today’s exclusionary practices began more than 250 years ago with the displacement of the Raymaytush Ohlone indigenous peoples. It continued with single-family zoning that created exclusive areas in cities that are primarily white and have the best schools. It pushed people of color into less desirable housing in parts of the county with high levels of pollution and high hazardous waste.
The purpose of this report is not to dwell on past mistakes, but to move forward and embrace solutions that will ensure that everyone in our county has housing security. To better understand the problems and opportunities, we spoke to elected officials, city and county staffs, nonprofit organizations, housing experts, housing developers and ordinary people.
Use the side navigation on this page to explore each section of the report or read one of the PDFs below.