Measure Y and Affordable Housing
San Mateans for Responsive Government (SMRG) is proud of their commitment to affordable housing. In 1991 SMRG created one of the first mandates in the Bay Area for what is known as inclusionary zoning. Known as Measure H at the time (now Measure Y) it required that affordable housing be included as part of all new residential and mixed-use development in San Mateo. Measure H also strongly encouraged - but did not mandate - that the city develop and implement a commercial/housing linkage program to address the jobs/housing imbalance. But the city dragged its feet and didn't adopt a commercial linkage fee until 2016, twenty five years later.
Measure Y extends the original affordable housing requirement until 2030. Although it requires a minimum of 10 percent affordable units, increases are encouraged and SMRG is happy the City Council recently increased the affordable requirement to 15 percent. More than half of the affordable housing built in the last 30 years in San Mateo is directly attributable to the legacy of Measure Y.
SMRG is open to increasing opportunities for more affordable housing, even making changes to the current Measure Y height and density standards. The General Plan Update process is where these changes should be discussed and debated, hopefully leading to community consensus.
We believe there are creative ways to provide more affordable housing. But significantly increasing heights and densities or up-zoning our residential neighborhoods should not be our first or only choices. Let's make sure that our City's General Plan process provides a range of options for consideration during the General Plan update.
"Affordable housing is critically important. That's a key reason I support Measure Y."
- Former Mayor Claire Mack