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SSMC’s Indicators Report Offers Solutions to Housing Crisis

Samira Tasneem

November 11, 2021
SSMC’s Indicators Report Offers Solutions to Housing Crisis

The eco-conscious nonprofit Sustainable San Mateo County (SSMC) published its 25th Indicators Report “Equitable Housing” on October 19. This year’s in-depth research report not only focuses on the causes behind the increasing housing crisis in San Mateo County but also offers 30 practical solutions to tackle the housing crisis. 

Each year Sustainable San Mateo County, the nonprofit publishes an Indicators Report offering an in-depth analysis on one aspect of sustainability performance within the county. This year, the report focuses on Equitable Housing covering key research areas, such as historical context, driving forces behind the crisis, an analysis of the impact of climate change on housing, case studies, and recommended solutions.

The virtual launch of the report also featured three experts working passionately to create affordable and sustainable housing solutions, including the Deputy Mayor of San Mateo County. All of the experts pointed that a positive political approach, necessary funding, and sustainable land usage are crucial to solving the housing shortage issue.

The Indicators Report identifies two major reasons behind the crippling housing shortage in the county — the imbalanced eleven-to-one job creation and housing unit ratio and the staggering house rents.

While a renter has to earn about $51/hour to afford a two-bedroom house in the county, the minimum wage stands at $15.62/hour.

While it’s great news that the county saw 102,500 more job creation (compared to 9,494 housing unit creation) between 2010 and 2019, the imbalanced ratio is quite alarming. The report also points that the extremely low-income population is on the brink of homelessness!

“Those people in the low income and very low income … There aren’t that many slots for them because realistically the people running these programs have to have enough money coming in the door to maintain the building and keep the lights on. Adequate housing is essential for human survival with dignity. There is still much work to do.”


Terry Nagel, Chairperson, Sustainable San Mateo County (former Mayor of Burlingame)

However, not everything is dark and bleak in the Indicators Report. It also offers a plethora of positive solutions to the issue. 

Nagel pointed to the $100 Billion California Comeback Plan, the largest investment in housing in state history as a potential solution. Apart from that, she also discussed other probable solves, including — 

Moreover, readers can find over 30 practical solutions in the complete Indicators Report along with some insightful case studies on the current conditions of the residents of San Mateo County. 


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