Our History, Mission and Core Values

An Enlightened Beginning to a New Industry

MidPen was founded in 1970 when David Packard, Bill Hewlett, and a small group of community and business leaders came together to address the racial discrimination and inequitable access to housing in the Bay Area and establish a self-supporting organization with a clear social mission. Driven by the belief that there had to be a better way to build affordable housing, MidPen ushered in a new paradigm: beautifully designed and well-managed housing built near good schools, jobs and transit. The kinds of communities that support racial and economic inclusion; make residents and neighbors proud; and revitalize cities and neighborhoods.

Since that beginning 50 years ago, MidPen has grown into a multifaceted organization with a staff of more than 500 employees and assets totaling well over $1.7 billion. Our founding principles continue to guide our beliefs today: attract passionate, high-caliber talent; stay focused on the mission; rigorously steward our assets; and collaborate with other industry leaders.

A Mission-Driven Organization

We stand by our Mission: To provide safe, affordable housing of high quality to those in need; establish stability and opportunity in the lives of residents; and foster diverse communities that allow people from all ethnic, social and economic backgrounds to live in dignity, harmony and mutual respect.

Core Values and Guiding Principles

In support of our mission we commit to uphold the following values:


We provide accurate, timely information, manage our company resources responsibly, and conduct all aspects of our business honestly and fairly.


We work as a team that seeks out and honors diverse opinions, ideas and skill sets in order to achieve common goals. We understand that individual success is linked with our collective success.


We follow through on the commitments we make to one another, our partners, residents and our communities. We deliver specific, defined results and take responsibility for the consequences of our actions or inactions.


We treat our employees, residents, vendors, partners, investors and the community in which we work with dignity. We welcome social and intellectual diversity and we recognize and value the unique contributions made by our diverse stakeholders.


We set and strive to meet a high standard for quality, professionalism and competence. We create a work environment that inspires extraordinary work, recognizes results, and gives everyone a chance to make a difference and share in the organization's success.

We believe in these guiding principles:


Diversity is the range of human differences represented at MidPen – including various personal characteristics, races, cultural experiences, and points of view – that make MidPen who we are as an organization. Diversity illustrates all the wonderful ways in which we differ, and how those differences make MidPen stronger.


Equity is how we achieve fairness and inclusion by considering different needs based on both historical and current disadvantages. We strive to meet the needs of MidPenners and residents. Equity is different from equality. With equality, everybody gets the same thing. With equity, resources are allocated and distributed based on different needs.


Inclusion is action. Inclusion is our everyday behavior and organizational norms that intentionally honor, appreciate and leverage the uniqueness that we bring – as individuals and groups – to MidPen.


Belonging is what happens when each MidPenner feels that they matter and are accepted unconditionally for who they are. Belonging turns “otherness” into “togetherness”.