Our Community, Housing and Our Future Blog Update

Hear what the community is saying about housing, learn more about next steps and share your perspective!

Affording a home in Redwood City and the broader Bay Area is becoming increasingly more challenging. Achieving housing security for all in the community is a focus for the City and why the City Council recently approved several goals to help address this regional issue.

We are all connected. What happens to one part of the community impacts us all. Safe and affordable housing is important to our community’s well-being.

With help of many community partners, including the County of San Mateo, and Home for All, the City of Redwood City is conducting a wide range of outreach and engagement activities during the spring.

This blog provides more about what we have learned so far and offers more about next steps and ways you can share your perspectives around housing.

What We’ve Learned from the Community So Far

We appreciate the broad community input so far. On April 7, Casa Circulo Cultural hosted a community conversation about housing in Spanish with over 40 participants and on the evening of April 11 over 100 community members gathered at the Redwood City Downtown Library as part of the Our Community: Housing and Our Future education and engagement effort. The April 11 meeting provided a chance for a diverse mix of residents, property owners, developers, non-profits leaders and other members of the community to talk with each other at twelve discussion tables and share perspectives.

Due to proactive outreach on the part of the co-host team (a collaboration of the City of Redwood City, Home for All, the Redwood City Library Foundation, and Redwood City 2020, and Casa Círculo Cultural) about half of the attendees indicated that they were newer to the conversation. Participants gave the meeting high marks. Over three quarters agreed that it was informative and that the meeting format worked well. Attendees especially liked the diversity in the room and at their table; that the gathering was a less formal way to share and learn; and the different perspectives shared on housing issues facing the community.

Summary Report

For a more in depth summary on community feedback received at the April 7 and 11 community conversations, go here.

Community Conversations Memories Video

Watch this short video sharing memories of the April community conversations.

Defining Affordable Housing and Income Levels

Community members that attended the April conversations asked how affordable housing is defined and what criteria is use to apply for affordable housing.

Here is our take on defining affordable housing.

Based on Federal and State definitions, affordable housing means only 30% of your household’s monthly income should go to housing related expenses. When it becomes more than that, it affects a community members ability to buy food and support other essentials like healthcare. This is true for whether you rent or own a home.

When we use the term affordable housing, we mean housing that is in some way designed for lasting affordability (like City regulatory restrictions) to ensure households are not paying more than 30% of their monthly income on housing related expenses, such as rent and utilities or a mortgage.

For affordable housing income eligibility criteria, here are the income limits for each category of affordability:

For more details on affordability levels, go here.

Next Steps

Upcoming Community Conversations

Our next Our Community: Housing and Our Future community conversation, held in partnership with the Housing and Human Concerns Committee, will take place on May 22, at the Veterans Memorial Senior Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the conversation starts at 7 p.m. To RSVP, go here. For the event flyer and other details, go here.

Pop-up Events in the Community

The City and strategic partners including the Housing and Human Concerns Committee are planning a series of informal events to provide community members an opportunity to hear about what we have learned so far and to contribute suggestions as to how to work together to address the housing needs of the community.

Pop-up Dates and Details

Downtown Main Library: 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City

· Wednesday, May 16, 4 p.m.

· Friday, May 18 around 11am or 12:30 p.m.

Redwood City Farmers Market, 501 Arguello St, Redwood City

· Saturday, May 19, 8 a.m.to 12 p.m.

Check online for more pop-up events coming soon!

Online Survey

To gain as much community input as possible, the City recently released an online survey to help us understand how you and those you know are experiencing current housing conditions and what principles should guide Redwood City’s approach to housing.

We welcome any ideas you have to address housing challenges in our community.

Your answers will help Redwood City gain a more complete picture of housing issues affecting our residents.

Take the survey here.

Other Resources

· For more details about past and upcoming community conversations and other discussions on housing, go here.

· For a previous blog series on the City’s efforts to support housing issues in the community go here for PART 1 and here for PART 2.