Equity & Housing

An aereal view of a neighborhood.

Assessment on Fair Housing

The Assessment of Fair Housing is the County’s requirement to affirmatively furthering fair housing and identify and address barriers to fair housing choice in Marin. Affirmatively furthering fair housing means, “taking meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics.” Specifically, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions that, when taken together,
  • Addresses significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunities;
  • Replaces segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns;
  • Transforms racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity; and
  • Fosters and maintains compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws
While often associated with affordable housing, fair housing is not the same as affordable housing. Fair Housing laws are civil rights laws and apply to owners and renters at all income levels. These laws include policies that ensure that people are not denied equal opportunities because of their race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, or familial status.

Tenant Protections

"Housing is a human right, and we have a responsibility to ensure those rights for all of our residents."
-Debbi La Rue, Planner, Community Development Agency.

Institutional Racism was Rampant Back in the Day  

The National Housing Act of 1934 and protective covenants (such as the Marin example pictured here) prevented people of color from buying homes in many parts of Marin. The covenants in loan documents rolled out the red carpet for white buyers but blocked purchases by people of color in a practice known as redlining. The result was a blatant lack of diversity in many neighborhoods, fully endorsed by governments at the local, state and federal level. Learn more about the history of inequity in Marin housing. Although such covenants were outlawed in 1964, the historical effects of segregational redlining remain.
An excerpt from a 1934 "protective restrictions" handbook for one neighborhood in Marin.
A female attorney (left) speaks to a man at a table with law books on a bookcase in the background.
A restaurant employee holds a towel on his forearm.
An elderly woman sits on a couch and shakes the hand of a housing official.

Mandatory Mediation

A Marin County ordinance helps resolve disputes when an annual rent increase of more than 5 percent is being sought by a landlord.

Source of Income Protections

A Marin County ordinance precludes landlords from advertising or stating a preference for certain sources of income for tenants.

Just Cause for Eviction

A Marin County ordinance requires landlords with three or more rental units in unincorporated areas to provide a reason before evicting a tenant.

Get Involved

Equity Summit 2019

Marin County was ranked No. 1 statewide in racial inequity among its residents in 2017 because the gap between wealthy and needy was widening. A grassroots group seized the opportunity for deep and meaningful discussions and hosted the Marin Equity Summit in November 2017. It was a full house, and another event is in the planning stages for later in 2019.  Check back here for more information.

Community Advisory Group

Residents from all parts of Marin have volunteered to assist the County in its assessment of fair housing. They identified issues of concern and worked with Community Development Agency staff to identify barriers to fair housing and create action plans to rectify troublesome policies.  Recruitment for the next Community Advisory Group is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2019.