Daly City considers affordable housing law 

Residents priced out of the housing market are getting support from city officials, who are pressing for an ordinance requiring developers to include below-market-rate housing in any new developments.

Mayor Maggie Gomez said Thursday in her State of the City address that such an ordinance, intended to keep Daly City an affordable community for those who live and work there, would be a "legislative priority" while she led the city in the next year.

"An inclusionary housing ordinance will mandate a certain percentage of affordable units — thereby guaranteeing that below-market-rate housing opportunities will be available," Gomez said.

Daly City Manager Pat Martel said a City Council committee is studying and working on such an ordinance but nothing has yet been brought to the City Council.

Only nine cities in San Mateo County have citywide ordinances requiring any multi-unit housing development to include below-market-rate housing, according to the San Mateo County Housing Leadership Council, a non-profit that promotes affordable housing and manages the county’s regional housing trust.

Six cities in the county have redevelopment areas, which by state law require 15 percent of all new housing within their boundaries to be designated as below-market rate. Atherton, Foster City, Hillsborough, Portola Valley and Woodside do not have any below-market rate housing ordinances or redevelopment areas, according to the council.

According to the San Mateo County Building and Planning Department, the median household income in Daly City is $62,310 while the median value of "owner-occupied units" is $335,000.

That price puts housing outside the reach of many public servants, among others. Det. Frank Mangan, the president of Daly City’s Police Officers Association, said the number of police officers on the force who lived in the city was "extremely low."

"It would benefit the city to have its personnel within closer driving distance if there were any catastrophes," Mangan said.

It appears that a local housing stock would be very helpful to the police department, as well. Mangan has said some officers drive 100 miles each way when commuting to work.

Taking in both Gomez’s and Colma Mayor Fro Vallerga’s speeches were members of a trade mission from Cebu City in The Philippines, here on a weeklong stay to look for "micro-trade" opportunities in Daly City, which has the largest Filipino population in the U.S.

Vallerga said her town was looking toward future projects like the Hillside Boulevard beautification and the undergrounding of utilities along El Camino Real.

After her speech, Vallerga touted a new state law allowing no-limit wagering out Lucky Chances Casino, a primary source of funding for the small town.

dsmith@examiner.com

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