Housing Affordability in Marin County

Housing Affordability for Homeowners & Renters

Preserving affordable housing is one of the top priorities for the County, and respondents of the resident survey concur. Home prices and rents are becoming increasingly less affordable for many residents and County employees. Over the past three years, the County has pursued a variety of initiatives to preserve and enhance affordable housing, including the investment of nearly $6 million to help create or preserve up to 240 affordable housing units.
The following dashboard displays the equity of rental affordability for households in Marin County.  The data visualizes the percentage of a residents in the county and what percentage of their median household income goes towards paying rent. To view other cities within the County choose a different city from the filter drop-down menu, titled, "Choose a city".

Housing Affordability across Marin County

This map by census tract shows what percentage of their income Marin County renters spent in 2018 on rent.

Housing Affordability by Age

Affordable Housing Options

In April 2020, the Board approved the renovation of a former U.S. Coast Guard facility in Point Reyes Station will be shared by two nonprofit housing agencies, the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin (CLAM) and Eden Housing, that will provide much-needed affordable housing options for the West Marin workforce.
The 32- acre site at 100 Commodore Webster Drive formerly was home to Coast Guard personnel and their families. With major assistance from Congressman Jared Huffman and his staff, the property was acquired by the County of Marin from the federal government in December 2019 for $4.3 million. The purchase agreement includes language that restricts the property’s use to public benefit. 
Community Land Trust Association of West Marin website.
In January 2020, breaks on building and permit fees for new separate rental units inside and adjacent to existing homes were extended and expanded by the Board, with new incentives for property owners to rent out ADUs to residents with household incomes below or around the local median income. The financial break comes after the passage of state legislation that requires local agencies to reduce regulatory constraints on such housing construction. But this is not the first such enticement for accessory development. The first proposed fee waiver for ADUs and JADUs in Marin was adopted by the Board in 2017 in response to sudden population displacement related to the North Bay wildfires. 

Making Progress

Marin has made tangible progress in advancing the County’s commitment to equity in housing. In 2018, the Board approved an ordinance requiring landlords to provide reason – a just cause – before evicting a renter within the unincorporated areas of Marin. Earlier, the County implemented source-of-income protections for tenants who receive third-party assistance in the payment of rent. The County collaborates with the Marin Housing Authority in an innovative Landlord Partnership Program that offers incentives to landlords who rent to participants of the federal government’s Housing Choice (“Section 8”) Voucher program.
House keys next to a toy house.