Although San Mateo County saw over 72,000 new jobs boost its economy between 2010 and 2015, a new report says only 3,844 new homes were built in that time.
The San Mateo Housing Leadership Council’s report says the data shows dire conditions for low-income workers who are forced to travel further to work in the county.
Forty percent of commuters into San Mateo County make less than $50,000 a year, according to the report, and almost half of all new jobs in the county will pay less than $65,000 a year.
The report suggests that more housing would lead to less traffic, keeping workers local instead of forcing hours-long commutes. High-income workers struggle to find housing in the area due to the shortage, the report says, but employees who make less tend to have less flexible working conditions and schedules.
The result 19 new jobs to every one home, the report says, citing the California Economic Development Department and a U.S. Census community survey. If housing permits are taken into account, the report says the ratio becomes 10 to one. These houses have not yet been built. Also included in the report are salaries required to afford a home or condominium in the county. Residents would need an annual salary of $382,960 to afford an average-priced home of $1.6 million, the report says. This salary is 323 percent of the area’s median income.
The study was funded by, among other groups, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Hewlett Foundation and the Great Communities Collaborative.