Federal, State and Local Leaders to Celebrate the Opening of Much-Needed Affordable Workforce Housing in South San Francisco

Grand Opening at 636 El Camino, a Development of MidPen Housing

636 El Camino provides affordable rental homes for 109 families in South San Francisco.

May 10, 2013 — South San Francisco, CA — On Friday, May 10th, U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier, California State Assemblymember Kevin Mullin, San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine and South San Francisco Mayor Pedro Gonzalez will join other city and county leaders to celebrate the Grand Opening of 636 El Camino, an affordable rental apartment community developed by MidPen Housing. Property tours begin at 10:00am and the ceremony begins at 10:30am at 636 El Camino Real in South San Francisco.

636 El Camino is a response to the tremendous need for affordable workforce housing in San Mateo County which is ranked in the top three most expensive housing markets in the entire United States. Nearly 2,300 applications were received for the 109 affordable rental apartment homes.

A mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented, development, 636 El Camino is located adjacent to South San Francisco High School on the site of a former mobile home park. The community includes a children’s outdoor play area, community gardens, a fitness center and computer lab as well as 5,700 square feet of retail space on the ground level facing El Camino.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier speaks about the need for affordable housing in her district, the third most expensive region for housing in the nation.

“636 El Camino provides much needed workforce housing that’s affordable to our residents in South San Francisco,” said Pedro Gonzalez, Mayor of South San Francisco. “Moreover, this beautiful development has revitalized an integral neighborhood by transforming an underutilized site into a vibrant community that will be an asset to our city for years to come.”

“Building affordable homes is a business imperative for California,” said State Assemblymember Kevin Mullin who is a resident of South San Francisco and its former Mayor. “Rents that are affordable to our workforce are critical to maintaining California’s business competitiveness. 636 El Camino provides homes that working families can afford and its development generated over 250 jobs – both of which help fuel our economy.”

Located in close proximity to BART and most major bus lines, 636 El Camino was included in the South El Camino Real Area Plan, adopted by the City of South San Francisco to encourage higher-density, transit-oriented development along the El Camino corridor. This area plan was one of the first major re-zonings implemented by a city to advance the vision and principles of the Grand Boulevard Initiative which aims to transform El Camino Real into a safe, attractive and welcoming place to live, work and play.

“MidPen is very proud that 636 El Camino serves as a northern gateway to the Grand Boulevard and is a shining example of the Grand Boulevard Initiative,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “We applaud the City of South San Francisco’s vision to provide quality homes for their hard working, low-income families through this high-density, mixed-use community. This is really smart growth at its best.”

A 2013 winner of Sustainable San Mateo County’s Green Building Award, 636 El Camino provides many green features including a photovoltaic renewable energy system designed to provide at least 50% of the common use energy; a Solar Hot Water System to preheat domestic hot water; and the use of recycled or sustainably harvested materials.

636 El Camino provides 24 one-bedroom, 45 two-bedroom and 40 three-bedroom apartments which serve households with incomes no greater than 50% of Area Median Income which is $55,500 for a family of four. Rents range from $593 for the least expensive one-bedroom unit to $1,371 for the most expensive three-bedroom unit.

In partnership with a network of service providers, MidPen Resident Services manages many onsite supportive services including financial literacy courses, wellness programs, computer training, vocational development, and after school programs for the youth. MidPen Property Management provides professional, onsite property management.

Financing for the $46 million community was provided by the City of South San Francisco, the County of San Mateo, HEART of San Mateo County, County of San Mateo Housing Authority, CalHFA – California Mental Health Services Act, Union Bank, the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


Note to Editors: For interview requests or photos of 636 El Camino, please contact Beth Fraker at 650-356-2913 or bfraker@midpen-housing.org.

About MidPen Housing
It is the mission of MidPen Housing to provide safe, affordable housing of high quality to those in need; to establish stability and opportunity in the lives of residents; and to foster diverse communities that allow people from all ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds to live in dignity, harmony and mutual respect. Since 1970, MidPen has developed and professionally managed over 7,400 homes for low-income families, seniors and those with special needs. With offices in Foster City and Watsonville, MidPen works in 10 Northern California counties. For more information visit: www.midpen-housing.org