Damon Connolly on Housing

We are making progress in building community consensus around strategies to preserve affordable housing options for people at a range of incomes in Marin.  We’ve pursued solutions to meet the needs of our communities, striking a careful balance between responsible development and the many unique features that make Marin a great place to live.

Expanding Landlord Participation in Affordable Section 8 Housing

The Housing Choice Voucher Program, or Section 8, is a huge investment of federal funds into the County of Marin. After receiving many calls from constituents holding vouchers – including seniors, working families and veterans – who were unable to find rental opportunities to use them, I partnered with the Marin Housing Authority and leaders from our local landlord community to create the Landlord Partnership Program. This new approach makes landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher program more attractive and feasible by addressing specific concerns that we heard during our outreach, and by making the entire program more streamlined. The Landlord Partnership Program is exceeding the initial goals of the Partnership, and we now have over 90 new landlords accepting Section 8 vouchers.

Supporting Affordable Housing Acquisition and Conversion Efforts

Securing existing housing infrastructure for conversion to affordable housing mitigates potential impacts to our communities. We have had success with this approach by acquiring 27 units at the Piper Court Apartments in Fairfax, 8 units in Stinson Beach, and 20 units at the Forest Knolls Trailer Court.  We’ve committed funds to bolster the Affordable Housing Trust Fund as part of this effort. 

Supporting and Streamlining Second Units and Junior Second Units

We have pushed for ways to facilitate the production of Accessory Dwelling Units as an opportunity to increase affordable housing without significantly impacting the density or character of our neighborhoods. I worked with my Board colleagues, the Community Development Agency, local Fire Protection Agencies, advocates and service providers to craft regulations that will streamline and promote second and junior second units for homeowners. This kind of housing also helps keep families connected with senior relatives. These changes were facilitated by statewide legislation that we helped to enact.

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