Peninsula Station affordable family homes open in San Mateo

Carmen A., told about her family's route from unemployment, to Shelter Network, to permanent housing

HEART welcomed fifty guests and supporters to a breakfast and tour of the newly-opened Peninsula Station affordable rental homes in San Mateo. Developed by MidPen Housing, and located next to the Caltrain station on El Camino Real, across from Hillsdale Mall, the 68-unit development is a perfect example of high-density, transit-oriented housing.

San Mateo Vice Mayor Jack Matthews and MidPen President Matt Franklin welcomed guests, and told the story of the $1M loan from HEART that saved the day (and the construction schedule) when State bond funds for the project were frozen.

The highlight of the tour, of course, was meeting the residents. Carmen A. gave a heartfelt “thank you,” to the group, and told her moving story of her family’s journey to their new home.

She and her husband Oscar have five children between the ages of 2 and 13. Oscar has worked for Goodwill Industries for over ten years, loading, sorting and unloading donations. They lived in an apartment in San Mateo, until Carmen lost her job at a hospital, and they could no longer afford the rent.

Carmen’s story is a perfect example of why HEART was created, and why the public and private sector are working together to get more affordable rental homes built.Homeless and desperate, they lived at Shelter Network’s First Step for Families for six months. They were grateful for the support, but living in one room was hard on the children.

Their three-bedroom apartment in Peninsula Station is, as Carmen says, a miracle. She and the children are so grateful that they have a permanent place to live and won’t have to change schools.

Thank you to everyone who helped, including Jennifer Mercado and Kim Torres of MidPen’s property management company.