Supporting an increase in the housing supply across the Monterey Bay region

In 2016, MBEP launched our housing initiative to support an increase in the supply of all housing at all income levels in the Monterey Bay region. Our initiative starts with a broad, regional coalition of individuals and organizations to advocate for the construction of all types of housing through our MBEP Action Center.

Thank you to Cosmic Design for producing this great video and FORA for their support.

To encourage development, we joined forces with Housing Trust Silicon Valley to create the Monterey Bay Housing Trust: a local housing trust fund that provides a new loan pool to bring affordable housing projects to reality throughout the region. In just one year, we’ve surpassed our fundraising goal, raising over $12M, and have funded three projects.

And lastly we are showcasing regional innovation by providing inspiring examples of employer-sponsored housing. Dive deeper into each of these areas in the boxes below.

Housing Focus Areas
  • MBEP Action Center

    MBEP and the residents of our region need you to be an advocate for housing at the local, state and/or federal level. We invite you to learn more and encourage you to take action today. Your voice does matter!

    Learn More

  • Monterey Bay Housing Trust

    The Monterey Bay Housing Trust (MBHT) is a revolving loan fund managed by MBEP, enabled through a partnership with Housing Trust Silicon Valley. The goal of this fund is to increase the supply of affordable housing in the region, with an emphasis on low to very low income households. MBHT loans can finance acquisition, pre-development or construction of affordable housing in the Monterey Bay region, inclusive of Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties.

    Learn More

  • Employer Sponsored Housing

    Employers are increasingly playing a larger role in the welfare of their employees. In addition to health care benefits, retirement plans and wellness programs, some employers have raised the bar and created much needed, affordable homes for their employees. MBEP applauds these creative and innovative efforts that provide benefits for the company, the employees and the community.

    Learn More

  • Enhanced Bonus Density White Paper

    The intent of this white paper, a collaboration between MBEP and Member Envision Housing, is to encourage the implementation of Enhanced Bonus Density ordinances in the Monterey Bay region to improve housing affordability and supply. Such ordinances can increase total housing production and significantly alter what is produced to include more lower-income affordable housing, rental housing, smaller housing units, and transit-oriented housing.

  • Housing Policy Change White Paper

    MBEP and Member Envision Housing announced the latest effort to positively affect local housing affordability based on proven policy changes in other locations with highly constrained housing markets. This white paper asks local jurisdictions to examine, discuss, and consider policy changes that will increase housing affordability throughout the Monterey Bay region.

  • Housing Advocacy

    Affordable housing is too often misunderstood. Many residents in our region work extremely hard to provide the services we rely on every day, yet still do not make enough money to afford the average rent. As a community, we have a responsibility to speak up and support affordable housing.

     Matt Huerta, MBEP Housing Program Manager, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership

    What is Housing Advocacy?

    Housing advocacy is a way to make your voice heard and influence the outcome of a project or policy at the local, state or federal level. There are several ways you can be a housing advocate. Housing advocacy activities include:

    • Promoting an issue among your social networks
    • Calling or writing to your elected officials
    • Writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
    • Writing to the City Council, Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors
    • Attending City Council, Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors meetings
    • Meeting with your elected officials or their staff

    Why Housing Advocacy?

    • To promote sound housing policy
    • To voice your approval of housing development
    • To support the natural growth of our community

    Who Engages in Housing Advocacy Activities?

    Anyone can engage in housing advocacy and MBEP has provided some resources below to make it easy for you to get started.Also, if you have a specific housing policy or project you would like MBEP to consider supporting please complete one of the following endorsement forms: Policy Endorsement Request or Project Endorsement Request.

    Helpful Resources for Advocacy Communication:

    Where Can I go to Learn More About Advocacy?

  • Policy & Project Endorsement Request

    If you have a specific housing policy or project you would like MBEP to consider supporting, please complete one of the following endorsement forms: Policy Endorsement Request or Project Endorsement Request

  • Understanding Regional Housing Needs

    In the Monterey Bay region, AMBAG (Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments) provides a Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) to project the number of homes needed in our region during a specified time period. The 2014-2023 RHNA goals are outlined here.

    RHNA Goals 2014-2023 (inclusive of all cities and unincorporated areas)
    Monterey CountySanta Cruz CountySan Benito CountyMonterey Bay Region
    Very Low Income1,7817345203,035
    Low Income1,1604803151,955
    Moderate Income1,3465544302,330
    Above Moderate Income3,0991,2769295,304
  • Understanding "Affordable"

    The standard definition of affordable housing is when housing expenses are no more than 30% of a family’s gross income. Ideally, very one of us is able to live in affordable housing.

    The term affordable housing is also used to refer to income-restricted properties. In expensive regions like ours rents are not affordable to the average working family and these types of properties are absolutely essential for a thriving economy. Projects are typically built and managed by nonprofit and for-profit developers with money from conventional loans, private investment, bonds and/or tax credits.  Many of these developments also have rental subsidies attached to them in order to make the units more affordable to the very low and extremely low income families.

    Is Income-Restricted Affordable Housing The Same As Public Housing Or Government Subsidized Housing? No. Public housing refers to affordable apartments for low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) but owned and managed by local Housing Authorities. This type of affordable housing provides a limited number of rental apartments to households in the HUD program and money for this program is provided by the federal government.

    What is Area Median Income (AMI). Median income is the amount that divides the income distribution into two equal groups with half having income above that amount, and half having income below that amount. AMI is calculated each year by HUD as well as the California Department of Housing and Community Development for designated programs and is used to determine applicant eligibility (based on the level of household income) and to calculate rents for affordable housing programs. The graph above illustrates how AMI levels distinguish what is considered affordable and who qualifies for income-restricted, affordable rentals.

  • Income Limits for the Monterey Bay Region

    2019 Income Limits – Monterey County
    % Median Income1 PersonAffordable Rent2 personAffordable Rent4 personAffordable Rent
    Extremely Low Income0-30%$18,900$389$21,600$445$26,950$556
    Very Low Income31-50%$31,450$648$35,950$741$44,900$926
    Low Income51-80%$50,300$778$57,500$890$71,850$1,112
    Median Income100%$51,850$1,296$59,300$1,483$74,100$1,853
    Moderate Income81-120%$62,250$1,426$71,100$1,631$88,900$2,038
    2019 Income Limits – Santa Cruz County
    % Median Income1 PersonAffordable Rent2 personAffordable Rent4 personAffordable Rent
    Extremely Low Income0-30%$25,800$515$29,450$588$36,800$735
    Very Low Income31-50%$42,950$858$49,100$980$61,350$1,225
    Low Income51-80%$68,900$1,029$78,750$1,176$98,400$1,470
    Median Income100%$68,600$1,715$78,400$1,960$98,000$2,450
    Moderate Income81-120%$82,300$1,887$94,100$2,156$117,600$2,695
    2019 Income Limits – San Benito County
    % Median Income1 PersonAffordable Rent2 personAffordable Rent4 personAffordable Rent
    Extremely Low Income0-30%$21,450$444$24,500$507$30,600$634
    Very Low Income31-50%$35,700$739$40,800$845$51,000$1,056
    Low Income51-80%$57,150$887$65,300$1,014$81,600$1,268
    Median Income100%$59,150$1,479$67,600$1,690$84,500$2,113
    Moderate Income81-120%$71,000$1,627$81,100$1,859$101,400$2,324

    Source: California Departmnet of Housing and Community Development, State Income Levels for 2019

  • Industry Wages and Affordable Rent

    Source: State of California Employment Development Department – Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) Data