About Heart

HEART meets critical housing needs in San Mateo County by raising both public and private funds.


HEART began in 2003 as a public/private partnership among the cities, the county, and the business, nonprofit, education, and labor communities to create more affordable housing opportunities in San Mateo County. To date, HEART has received over $14 million in funding gifts and pledges, and invested $12.4 million to fund over 950 affordable homes.

You can download our two-page fact sheet: Click here.

HEART’s Mission

HEART’s mission is to raise money from public and private sources and invest the funds to create affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families.

HEART’s Vision

San Mateo County has the ability to offer housing that is attainable by all.

HEART’s Goals

HEART’s goal is to support construction of new affordable homes in San Mateo County each year.


Problems caused by lack of affordable housing

By 2015, demand for housing in San Mateo County will outstrip supply by at least 20,000 units. At least 16,000 more apartments and 4,000 homes are needed to accommodate people who work or grow up here and want to live here. San Mateo County has evolved into a vibrant employment center, increasing demand for housing:

  • Employment grew 17 percent from 1990 to 2000. Service jobs alone have grown 30 percent.
  • 40 percent of workers commute into the county daily. Congestion and air pollution caused by excessive commuting degrade the environmental quality that San Mateo County has valued for generations.
  • Since 1990, monthly rents for two-bedroom apartments have climbed from $770 to $1,440. Since 1990, median home prices have jumped from approximately $300,000 to $901,000 in the first quarter of 2005.
  • We are losing human capital-the professionals and workers who are vital to the health and well being of our community and economy, such as teachers, childcare workers, and healthcare workers. People of all backgrounds-low and middle income-need accessible housing. Many of the emergency service workers who serve San Mateo County – including police, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, and other medical personnel – cannot afford to live here. This means they might not be on hand in the event of a crisis or natural disaster.
  • The quality of our workforce is compromised when employers cannot attract and retain experienced people. Grown adults and families raised in San Mateo County can’t afford to live here or to raise their own families here. The diversity that makes up the fabric of the community is compromised when people of all backgrounds are unable to live and work together. The housing crisis is urgent, and HEART is a key part of the solution!