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MBE logo
WBE logo
SEC 3 logo

The County of San Mateo Department of Housing (DOH) supports capacity building efforts for aspiring and existing Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE) and Section 3 workers and enterprises. 


DOH is committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive business environment within the County. Integrating assistance and procurement processes with MBE/WBE and Section 3 standards is essential to the realization of progressive social and economic development goals. 

Compliant with HUD standards, DOH collects and analyzes data on utilization of Business Equity Firms within the County annually. Additionally, we collect and analyze contract closeout. This data is used to assess equity, participation levels.

The following Firm Categories are eligible in the County of San Mateo: 

MBE — means a minority business enterprise owned by a United States citizen(s), Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, and Native American. The business must be at least 51% owned by such individuals. In a publicly owned business, at least fifty one percent (51%) of all classes of the stock of which is owned by one or more minority individuals (i.e., the management and daily business operations controlled by those minority group members).  


WBE — means women business enterprise owned by a United States citizen(s) who are one or more women. The business must be at least 51% owned by such individual(s). In a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals (i.e., the management and daily operations controlled by one or more women).  

Section 3 – is a federally mandated program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

Section 3 business concerns are classified based the HUD Section 3 Benchmark: 

  1. at least 51% owned and controlled by low-income persons,
  2. over 75% of the labor hours over the previous 3-month period are performed by Section 3 residents, or
  3. at least 51% owned and controlled by current residents of public housing or Section 8 assisted housing. 

Section 3 business can be registered or searched at the HUD registry here.

Section 3 workers currently fit or when hired within the past five years fit at least one of the following categories: 

  1. meet HUD’s income limits in the previous calendar year,
  2. is employed by a Section 3 business concern, or
  3. is a YouthBuild participant. 

HUD states that the 5-year lookback period is intended to reward retention of Section 3 workers. 

The Final Rule adds a new preference and definitions for “Targeted Section 3 worker.” In addition to establishing an “hours worked” benchmark for Section 3 workers, HUD will also establish a benchmark for “Targeted Section 3 worker.”   

For housing and community development assistance, targeted workers also include workers who currently or when hired (within the last 5 years) were living within the service area or neighborhood of the project or YouthBuild participants.

For questions, contact (650) 802-5050 or email Gina Russell at