MidPen’s Legislative Priorities

The Bay Area continues to be one of the priciest real estate markets in the country. Given the recent rebound from the mortgage crisis and soaring number of foreclosures, most Bay Area homes are too expensive for families with average household incomes. Low levels of housing production – relative to demand – contributes to this region’s high housing costs. MidPen is committed to narrowing the gap between the supply of quality affordable housing and the need for it. We work with local, regional, state and national leaders in both the public and private sectors to promote policies that increase affordable housing opportunities for the people who need them.

Local, Regional and State Initiatives to Fund Affordable Housing

MidPen is working with leaders across the state to raise awareness for the value of the following policies in order to get them adopted.

636 El Camino youth enjoy the playground.

Adoption of Housing Impact Fees

A Housing Impact Fee is a per square foot fee levied on market-rate housing that can be used to build affordable homes. The fees are based on the idea that the development of new market-rate housing will generate a need for services that require employees who make less than the median income, such as healthcare workers, preschool teachers, hair stylists, coffee baristas and gardeners.

Housing Impact fees have emerged as a key local government action that ensure affordable homes are built in the Bay Area’s fastest growing communities. MidPen is working alongside other housing advocates to encourage their adoption by key cities and counties. Bay Area communities that already have Housing Impact Fees include Berkeley, Napa County, Fremont, Mountain View, San Carlos, San Francisco, San Jose, Sonoma County, Sunnyvale and Walnut Creek.

As a next step, we will look at the feasibility of advocating for the adoption of Linkage Fees. Linkage fees “link” other forms of development with a community’s needs for affordable housing. They are typically charged to developers and then spent on affordable housing preservation or production through existing housing programs. Linkage fee ordinances are one way to leverage private markets to produce affordable housing, fund home ownership programs, or preserve existing affordable rental housing. Currently, Alameda County, Berkeley, Cupertino, Livermore, Marin County, Menlo Park, Napa County, Oakland, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Pleasanton, San Francisco Sunnyvale and Walnut Creek have adopted linkage fees

November 2016 Ballot Measures

Our Bay Area counties have an exciting opportunity to win significant revenue for affordable housing development and preservation, deepen our relationships and leadership in the public arena, and grow public awareness and support for affordable housing solutions. Join Bay Area residents, seniors, families, law enforcement, businesses, community leaders, affordable housing advocates and your neighbors in voting YES on your Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Mateo County local housing ballot measures to promote affordability and preserve vital community services.

Santa Clara County

What the measure will do: 
Measure A authorizes a $950 million general obligation bond for affordable housing in Santa Clara County.

This measure needs 67% YES votes to pass! 
Learn more about Yes on Measure A

Alameda County

What the measure will do: 
Measure A1 authorizes a $580 million general obligation bond to finance affordable housing programs across Alameda County. Bond funds will be used for both renter and homeowner programs.

This measure needs 67% YES votes to pass! 
Learn more about Yes on Measure A1

San Mateo County

What the measure will do: 
Measure K extends the current half-cent general sales tax approved by San Mateo County voters in 2012 (as Measure A) for an additional 20 years to fund critical services, including providing affordable homes.

This measure needs 51% YES votes to pass!
Learn more about Yes on Measure K