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MHSA Housing Program

General information

El Camino Street Apartments, a supportive housing development in South San Francisco

The San Mateo County MHSA Housing Program funds permanent supportive housing for individuals with severe mental illness and that meet the MHSA eligibility criteria as homeless or at-risk of being homeless.

Generally, supportive housing is community-based housing that is affordable to clients on a permanent basis, provides all the rights and responsibilities of tenancy, and is accompanied by appropriate and voluntary social services.

We have many people living with mental illness around us all the time, and we never notice. Supportive housing actually helps reduce what people don’t like — homeless people loitering in areas, and people in distress walking the streets.

Myth: My property value will decline if you build supportive housing nearby.
Fact: Property values do not decline when supportive housing is built nearby.

Myth: Crime will go up in my neighborhood if you build supportive housing nearby.
Fact: Crime does not increase when supportive housing is built.

Myth: Residents living nearby supportive housing will be scared of the housing and the people in it, changing the neighborhood character.
Fact: Residents’ fears disappear once the supportive housing is built.

Read The Impact of Supportive Housing on Neighborhood Crime and Property Values for more on information on the research of supportive housing.

Developments in San Mateo County

Since 2006, the funding has supported 50 housing units across four housing developments in Redwood City, South San Francisco, San Mateo and North Fair Oaks community. Most recently, BHRS contributed the last of the MHSA Housing dollars, about $1.1 million, to the Affordable Housing Fund administered by the Department of Housing for the development of affordable housing, which led to 12 additional MHSA units expected in 2018 as listed below.

  • Cedar Street Apartments in Redwood City (14 MHSA units) - 2009 
  • El Camino Family Housing in South San Francisco (20 MHSA units) – 2010
  • Delaware Street Apartments in San Mateo (10 MHSA units) - 2011
  • Waverly Place Apartments in North Fair Oaks area (15 MHSA units) – 2015
  • Bradford Senior Housing in Redwood City (6 MHSA units) – 2017
  • 2821 El Camino Real in North Fair Oaks (6 MHSA units) – 2017