The Department of Housing is made up of two divisions, Housing & Community Development (HCD) and the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo (HACSM), in addition to admin and fiscal staff.  The department is led by our Director, Raymond Hodges, and our Deputy Director, Rose Cade, who leads a team of talented and dedicated employees to work on affordable housing opportunities in one of the least affordable housing markets in the United States.

San Mateo County has a long history of working on creating affordable housing opportunities.  The work still performed by our department dates back to the new deal acts of the 1930s.  The Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo (HACSM) was organized on March 20, 1941.  Since their creation, there have been decades of hardworking staff both local and federal which made many historical housing events happen, including the creation of the Section 8 Program, which was literally taken from the 8th section of the Housing Act of 1937 authorizing the payment of rental assistance to private landlords on behalf of low-income households in the United States, with the Moderate Rehabilitation Program being added in 1978, the Voucher Program in 1983, and the Project-based Certificate program in 1991. While the term “Section 8” is no longer used, it morphed into the Housing Choice Voucher program which as the name implies involves a voucher program. A voucher may be either "project-based"—where its use is limited to a specific apartment complex—or "tenant-based", where the tenant is free to choose a unit in the private sector, is not limited to specific complexes, and may reside anywhere in the United States (including Puerto Rico) where a PHA operates a Section 8 program; the creation of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1965; the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1970 introduced the federal Experimental Housing Allowance Program (EHAP) and the Community Development Corporation and authorized larger outlays for housing subsidy programs and rent supplements for moderate-income households; HUD consolidating several housing programs into a new Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program in 1974 as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974; the HOME Investment Partnerships Program was authorized by the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (HOME is a federal block grant program that provides funding to states and localities to be used exclusively for affordable housing activities to benefit low-income households); and many others.

HACSM is considered a Moving to Work agency.  Moving to Work (MTW) is a demonstration program for public housing authorities (PHAs) that provides them the opportunity to design and test innovative, locally-designed strategies that use Federal dollars more efficiently, help residents find employment, become self-sufficient, and increase housing choices for low-income families. MTW allows PHAs exemptions from many existing public housing and voucher rules and provides funding flexibility with how they use their Federal funds. PHAs in the MTW demonstration have pioneered a number of innovative policy interventions that have been proven to be successful at the local level and subsequently rolled out to the rest of the country’s PHAs.

Both the HCD team and the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo were doing innovative work in San Mateo County to deal with ever-rising housing costs in San Mateo County.  In 2005, the Board of Supervisors brought these two units together and created the I Department of Housing (DOH) to increase focus on housing issues.

Housing & Community Development (HCD) HCD team members collaborate with diverse stakeholders to facilitate the development and preservation of affordable housing through the provision of local, state, and federal funding, along with the sharing of best practices and innovative policies. They support public service agencies, microenterprises, homeless and transitional shelters, core services, and fair housing organizations through grant funding and technical assistance.

Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo (HACSM) The Housing Authority serves over 4,700 low-income households by providing rental subsidies so that they may rent in privately owned properties in San Mateo County's expensive housing market. Currently, approximately 1,700 property owners participate in the HACSM's programs. By leveraging its Moving-To-Work (MTW) status and collaborating with HCD, the Housing Authority also provides funding and support in preserving existing and developing new, affordable housing units.

MISSION: The Department of Housing collaborates with partners as a catalyst to increase the supply of affordable housing and create opportunities for people at all income levels and abilities to prosper by supporting livable and thriving communities.

VISION: To be a national model for housing departments by fostering a dynamic, diverse, and productive team that leads change through the creation of innovative strategies and solutions to housing challenges in San Mateo County.

CORE VALUES: Innovative ○ Trustworthy ○ Client-Focused ○ Impactful