“None of us are home unless all of us are home.” -- Project Home

Permanent Supportive Housing offers a long-term solution to homelessness by providing a unit of deeply affordable housing and supportive services to those who are at risk of homelessness. Below are some examples of Permanent Supportive Housing developments financed by the County of San Mateo.

Colma Veterans Housing Fair Oaks Commons Waverly Place Willow Veterans Housing 1390 El Camino Real, Millbrae (in development) Casa Esperanza Shores Landing
How many people are experiencing homelessness in San Mateo County?

The 2022 San Mateo County One Day Homeless Count and Survey found that 1,808 people in San Mateo County were experiencing some form of homelessness on the night of February 23, 2022.  1,092 of these people (60%) were experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

How is the County of San Mateo addressing homelessness?

San Mateo County has identified housing the homeless as a key priority. The County is committed to reaching functional zero, when every county resident experiencing homelessness can be safely sheltered in an emergency shelter, or in temporary or permanent housing, to achieve functional zero in our county it requires additional interim shelter and permanent supportive housing.

Is Permanent Supportive Housing a homeless shelter?

No, Permanent Supportive Housing is a long-term solution to homelessness by providing a unit of permanent housing that a tenant can rent indefinitely. Each tenant enters into a lease of an individual apartment and pays rent based on a portion of their income. They have the same rights and responsibilities as would any tenant of an apartment building. In contrast, a shelter is temporary emergency housing in which the occupants do not have a lease to occupy a private unit, do not pay rent, and are not in a landlord-tenant relationship. Clients stay at a shelter only until a permanent housing solution can be found.

Who lives at Permanent Supportive Housing sites and how are the tenants selected?

Permanent Supportive Housing provides permanent housing for individuals and families who are currently homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless. Residents are households exiting interim housing in the County who have been evaluated and screened for appropriate services and placement. The County in partnership with property management companies at each complex conduct criminal background checks and collect available prior landlord references for all referrals prior to providing a lease.

Do Permanent Supportive Housing units count towards local Regional Housing Needs Allocation goals?


What services are offered at Permanent Supportive Housing sites?

Providers offer a robust program of services to residents including case management, education and employment services, benefits assistance, mental health and well-being counseling, physical and behavioral health services, substance use services and peer support activities. 

What staff do Permanent Supportive Housing properties have onsite?

Like any relatively large apartment complex, Permanent Supportive Housing developments employ property management staff, and most have staff that live on-site available 24/7.  Permanent Supportive Housing also includes on-site supportive service staff who offer the types of services described in the question above.  Many also include front desk concierge/security staffing.

What is the County’s experience with Permanent Supportive Housing?

The County of San Mateo has financed development of roughly 1,000 units of Permanent Supportive Housing over time. Most recently as part of its efforts to reach and maintain Functional Zero status, the County looked to quickly add Permanent Supportive Housing stock through the acquisition and renovation of underutilized hotel/motel properties in partnership with highly experienced operators of Permanent Supportive Housing. These communities are home to young adults aging out of the foster care system, veterans, persons living with disabilities, and other formally homeless individuals and families. Each site provides comprehensive programs to address the needs of the residents.

Does Permanent Supportive Housing affect nearby property values?

Numerous national studies have found that low-income housing, including permanent supportive housing, does not negatively impact neighborhood property values. 

Do residents work?

Residents often work, particularly after they have been stably housed. However, persons dealing with disabilities and retired persons (seniors are the fastest growing homeless population subset in San Mateo County) may be unable to work.