Amourence Lee · LIKE IT IS with MAYOR LEE
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  • Writer's pictureCouncilwoman Lee

MidPen Project: Affordable & Inclusive Housing

225 New Affordable Homes Downtown

The MidPen Project could be the greatest achievement of our City in 2020. It is the largest 100% affordable housing project in San Mateo's history that will create 225 units downtown where 2 surface-level parking lots exist today.

I've been advocating for this project since 2018, when I rallied our neighborhood association to support the 100% affordable housing proposal to ensure that public land is used to provide the greatest public benefit.

On the council, I voted to increase the height and density of the project which increased the number of units from 164 to 225. Financing for affordable housing is the biggest barrier and our City's investment of $12.5M made it possible: including $7.5 million for the affordable housing and $5 million for the parking garage, in addition we waived internal building and planning fees.

The MidPen project has evolved to include:

  • 100% electric design & rooftop solar (no natural gas infrastructure)

  • 57 homes (25%) for public employees including school district, county, and city

  • 100% preference for all San Mateo County residents and employees

  • 80 homes have project-based vouchers, including 8 homes designated for adults with developmental disabilities, plus 13 homes designated for homeless referred through the County

  • Replacing the existing 235 public parking spaces to create a parking structure with 696 spaces (532 public/164 residential), netting 297 new spaces

  • Adding bike lanes along 5th Ave and high visibility cross-walks at 5th and Claremont

The need for affordable housing is so great and this project cannot get built fast enough! Construction of both the parking structure and housing will start concurrently in the Fall of 2021 and the goal is to be ready for residents to move in at the end of Fall 2023.

Inclusive Housing for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

It's easy to think about these projects as buildings, instead of the people that it will serve. I sat down with Nicole Adler, California State Councilmember of Developmental Disabilities, who attended our council meeting to advocate to make this an inclusive community by designating 8 project-based vouchers for people with developmental disabilities. She reminds us that every unit of affordable housing is a person's story.

Learn more about Housing Choices, a local nonprofit that is working to create housing opportunities to enhance the lives of people with disabilities.


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