Community Resources

Housing Resources

Provided below is a list of community resources that we hope is helpful for those who are in need of finding a home or a better living condition. It may be difficult to find affordable housing in the Bay Area, but by simply placing yourself on housing lists, you will be informed when open units are available. These resources range from food, clothing, vouchers, and enlisting in affordable rental housing lists. Please note that the description below is brief and does not explain all of the services that each organization provides.

EHP provides food, clothing, and vouchers for families and individuals who experience economic hardships to help them regain stability and independence.
San Mateo County Department of Housing provides a list of affordable rental housing for low and moderate income households in the County of San Mateo.
The East Palo Alto Senior Center provides food (Brown Bag), health screening, exercise classes, and other beneficial services for seniors.
The Rent Stabilization Program promotes fair-housing by protecting rental residents from excessive rent increase and unjust evictions.

HEART provides loans to homebuyers and to developers who want to create more affordable housing in San Mateo County.

Project Sentinel is a non-profit agency, funded by the County of San Mateo and various cities, to develop and promote fairness and equality in housing. From our Redwood City Office, we provide Tenant-Landlord Counseling via our San Mateo County Rental Housing Helpline and Fair Housing Investigation (housing discrimination).  

ADU (Backyard Second Units) Organizations

Search the web sites below for ideas, financial assistance (for affordable units), help with design or process, previous experience, or projects to streamline building ADUs.

 

EPACANDO’s project, CANDO-ADU,  provides free property assessment and project management if the proposed unit will be affordable to a low-income household.

Second Unit Resources Center – San Mateo County “one-stop shop” for ADUs.  It includes:

 

Soup.is is a community of designers, developers, and activists working to make housing more affordable, accessible, and beautiful for working families. Their 2020 portfolio, featured on their web site, includes finished ADUs in Menlo Park and Sunnyvale, California.

Planning documents, regulations, and financial grants for ADUs. Links for all types of accessory units, planning resources/handouts.
(Note: in late 2020, East Palo Alto’s ADU ordinance is being revised, so some information may be out of date.)

HEART provides loans to developers and homeowners who want to create more affordable housing in San Mateo County.

ADU/GLADUR is HEART’s green and livable accessory dwelling unit resource program.
To increase the number of environmentally friendly ADUs built, Heart is developing free designs and full plans.

Project Sentinel is a non-profit agency, funded by the County of San Mateo and various cities, to develop and promote fairness and equality in housing. From our Redwood City Office, we provide Tenant-Landlord Counseling via our San Mateo County Rental Housing Helpline and Fair Housing Investigation (housing discrimination).  

Nonprofit organization Hello Housing/Bright  project is seeking a cohort of motivated homeowners who daydream about adding a second unit to their property, but could really use a trusted helping hand to help navigate the process and turn their dream into a reality.

We are developing strategic, right-sized incentives that can motivate a homeowner to create public benefits for our community while achieving a personal goal.

Non-Profit which assists low-income homeowners to renovate or improve their properties.

The EPA-ADU project is a community-driven initiative to promote Accessory Dwelling Units in East Palo Alto. The web site describes experiences and successes to inform others.

City Systems is a nonprofit consultancy founded in 2017, currently focused on a handful of data-driven projects in partnership with cities, counties, and community-based organizations in Northern California.

To help East Palo Alto, the Garage Conversion Dashboard provides a detailed discussion and estimate of what is involved in such a project.

ADU Tools and references