We facilitate the creation and acquisition of affordable housing in Stinson Beach, California.
Skyrocketing housing costs have made it impossible for residents of modest means to remain in Stinson Beach and for young families to move into the community. The Stinson Beach Affordable Housing Commmittee (SBAHC) was formed in 2015 to encourage the creation of affordable housing in Stinson Beach to address this problem.
The SBHAC works with the Marin County Board of Supervisors, Marin County Community Development Agency, Marin Housing Authority, as well as local land trusts, property owners, foundations and donors to seek and create opportunities for the creation of affordable housing.
Our first project, completed in 2016, was the purchase of an eight-unit apartment building in Stinson Beach, presently owned and managed as affordable housing by the Community Land Trust Association of West Marin (CLAM).
Our second project was Measure W, a ballot measure that appeared on the November 2018 ballot to provide financial support in perpetuity for both community housing and emergency responder needs in West Marin. Measure W increased West Marin’s Transient Occupancy Tax, a fee charged by Marin County to travelers for overnight accommodations, by 4% to create an annual pool of funds totaling approximately $1,400,000 per annum. These funds will be used solely in West Marin, where the conversion of long-term rental housing to short term AirBnB/VRBO rentals has created an enormous crisis in community housing availability. The same visitor influx that has taken so many homes off the long-term rental market in West Marin has also strained to breaking point the capabilities of the emergency responders in the area, often volunteer fire departments. The Measure W funds will be evenly split between volunteer fire departments and developers of community housing.
Members of the Stinson Beach Affordable Housing Committee created the first draft of the ballot measure proposal, worked on the committee that wrote the ballot measure and raised more than half of the campaign funds. A member of SBAHC acted as the campaign chairperson and several other members actively planned and executed key elements of the campaign. Measure W passed with a 73.7% majority and will be providing funds this year and every year to follow.
Stinson Beach Affordable Housing Committee’s most important current project is the passage of an increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), a tax charged by Marin County to travelers for overnight accommodations. Currently the TOT is at 10%, all of which goes into Marin County’s General Fund. This November a ballot measure raising the TOT to 14% in West Marin will go to West Marin voters.
Unlike the current 10% tax, the additional 4% will specifically benefit West Marin, where the conversion of long term rental housing to short term AirBnB/VRBO rentals has created an enormous crisis in community housing availability. The same visitor influx that has taken so many homes off the long term rental market in West Marin has also strained to breaking point the capabilities of the emergency responders in the area, often volunteer fire departments. If approved by the voters, the revenue from the additional 4% TOT tax will be split evenly between:
• establishing a fund for affordable housing in West Marin and,
• supporting emergency responder support in the region.
We believe that using Transient Occupancy Tax revenues from short term rentals to create both community housing and support for local emergency responders in West Marin is an elegant and appropriate response to two acute local problems created by the same influx of visitors that has created these problems. It also bonds short term rental owners with longterm housing advocates in their common desire to return a substantial portion of the TOT to its source in West Marin.
It should be noted that the ONLY people affected by this tax increase are overnight visitors to West Marin — who will be helping to preserve the communities they love to visit.
For a more detailed description of the ballot measure, click on Current Campaign. For a list of frequently asked questions, click here.