|By Angela Swartz -|
Apartment rates in San Mateo County continue to rise, as the county tied with Marin and San Francisco counties for the top three most expensive out of 3,144 other counties in the United States to live in, with renters needing to make $29.83 per hour to afford one-bedroom housing, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The average rent for an apartment in the first quarter of 2014 was $2,360. The average one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment was $2,136. The average occupancy rate was 93.9 percent, up 0.3 percent from the same time last year, according to RealFacts, a group that compiles apartment data. Minimum wage in San Mateo County is $8 per hour.
Development is growing along the Peninsula, said Nick Grotjahn, sales and client services representative for RealFacts.
“We’re seeing a lot of growth,” Grotjahn said. “People are starting to build properties in San Mateo because rents are out of reach in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Whenever builders see an opportunity where there’s quite a bit of demand, the outlying areas are going to grow as well.”
Meanwhile, Sally Navarro, a rental, sales and property management Realtor for AVR Realty in Burlingame, said the market has been crazy and ever changing in the last eight months. Navarro helps rent out spaces from Daly City to Menlo Park.
“They’ve (rents) just been going up and up and up just like during the dot-com boom,” she said. “People are willing to pay the prices because there’s such limited inventory. … In any given week, we’ll run out of one-bedrooms or don’t have any studios available. It really sort of cycles.”
She notes houses get snatched up pretty quickly. Clients are having to make some concessions to find a place to live too. She leased a house in Burlingame last year with no heat.
“There’s something out there for everything,” she said. “Whether there’s no heat or it’s little tiny one-bedrooms that people will rent.”
Those like Mark Moulton, executive director of the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, say the discussion of housing in the county needs to be reframed and seen as an opportunity. His group works to accelerate the production of new homes in the county at all affordability levels to create opportunities and a viable quality of life.
“Let’s ask, ‘Who needs housing?’ he wrote in an email. “’Why do they need it?’ ‘Why does housing at the level they can afford to pay, not now exist in San Mateo County?’ Take a look at the downtown specific plan in Redwood City. Take a look at the Grand Boulevard Initiative. Ask, ‘Is San Mateo County together as 21 jurisdictions a place that can discuss the opportunity to grow our rate of housing production to meet our jobs growth?’”
There needs to be a forum to discuss growing housing production, Moulton said.
In the context of the recent local housing element updates, a coalition of groups, including the Housing Council, Greenbelt Alliance and Sustainable San Mateo County, sent letters to each of the county’s city councilmembers, along with a list of policies that may help the situation.
“We believe that the implications of these high housing costs for our community are serious and profound,” the letter dated March 27 stated. “They are regularly cited as one of the key constraints to economic development in San Mateo County.”
More development in priority areas and other transit-served locations carry with it the risk of displacement of existing low-income populations, the groups wrote. Potential policies recommended to the councils by the groups included committing to development without displacement; considering displacement risks early in the development process; focusing on both direct displacement and indirect displacement; stabilizing existing lower income residents/housing; considering rent stabilization, just cause eviction ordinances, one-for-one replacement of any housing removed from the supply and condominium conversion controls; and making affordable housing a key component of development strategy from the beginning.
Meanwhile, the county’s homeless rate has risen 12 percent since 2011, according to a report from the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, compiled in January 2013. There are 2,281 homeless people in the county as of January, with 1,299 unsheltered homeless people and 982 sheltered homeless people, according to the report. The next homelessness count will be conducted in January 2015.
The number of people seeking shelter space doesn’t seem to have changed much since the last count, said Wendy Goldberg, homeless and shelter care manager at the Human Services Agency. One thing that has changed is that the Project WeHOPE shelter in East Palo Alto changed from being a seasonal shelter from Nov. 15 through April 15 to year round through county funding, making 50 extra beds available.
“There is an increase in the number of beds available in county year round, which is great,” she said. “There still are people waiting to get into the shelters who are staying with friends or staying in a motel.”
There are usually about 40-60 people per night who come and request shelter space and aren’t able to get immediate shelter, she said.
Category Archives: Start-up
Silicon Valley’s highest paid female excutive? Not Mayer, not Whitman, not Sandberg
The top-paid female executive in Silicon Valley (indeed, the entire U.S.) isn’t a CEO. She’s Safra Catz, president and CFO at Oracle Corp., who took in $44.3 million in 2013, according to FindTheBest.com.
Three other Silicon Valley executives number among the top 10. Yahoo Inc. CEOMarissa Mayer placed number three on the ranking with $24.9 million a year; Hewlett-Packard Corp. CEO Meg Whitman, was seventh at $17.6 million; and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg captured the eighth position at $16.1 million.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison apparently likes paying his top executives — including himself — handsomely. He’s the highest paid CEO in Silicon Valley, according to FindTheBest, coming in fifth on the list of all U.S. executives at public companies, at $79.6 million in 2013.
Catz, 51, ranked 18th on the list among all executives. Still, she earned 14 percent less last year than she did in 2012. She has been president at Oracle since January 2004 and CFO since November 2005.
There’s a big gap among highly paid female executives after Catz. Mayer ranks 58th out of 16,000 companies on the list. The second highest-paid female executive in the U.S., United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt, ranked 26th among all executives.
Universal (a division of Comcast CMCSA -0.73% Corp.) has dropped this full-length theatrical trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey courtesy of NBC’s The Today Show. The last ten seconds are arguably not safe for work, yet the trailer earned the green-band (for general audiences) approval. There was actually a sanitized for network television version that debuted this morning on The Today Show which was followed by an interview with the cast and a clip from the film. This was actually preceded several days ago by what amounted to a teaser to the trailer presented by Beyoncé Knowles’s Instagram account. The star of Austin Powers: Goldmember and The Pink Panther will be singing a version of “Crazy in Love” for the film adaptation of E.L. James novel, some of which is sampled in the above trailer. It was certainly a different way to drop a yet another teaser for a trailer. But them’s the breaks as the technology changes how marketing materials like this are dispersed. In this day and age, how a trailer is released is arguably as much of a news story as the existence of said trailer and what it contains about the film it is advertising.
This one was actually supposed to come out next week, where it would have competed directly with Walt Disney's DIS -0.53% Guardians of the Galaxy. But it was moved back to February 13th, 2015. So yes, Universal is either betting that women will drag their significant others to this erotic drama as something of a Valentine’s Day date movie and/or that single women will take in the picture as a kind of girls’ night out outing for the manufactured romantic holiday. This may seem like an unusual V-Day pick, but I’d argue it’s no more unconventional than studios opening a male-centric action picture over the holiday weekend and cynically hoping to woo the female audience by showing off what little romantic content it happens to contain (re: Daredevil). Maybe Universal will cut a trailer with a car chase and/or an explosion or two.
I’m not going to go into the issues that critics have with the source material, which is of course a bondage-centric bit of Twilight fan fiction that became a publishing sensation and indirectly coined the rather offensive term “mommy porn.” As is always the case when females become interested in any kind of popular art, the pundits and analysts were out in full force over the last couple years trying to explain why women had the gall to enjoy something that isn’t explicitly targeted at the male audience. No one feels the need to explain why men like Transformers, but we all have to wring our hands over why women enjoy Sex and the City, Twilight, or Fifty Shades of Grey. My only issue with the film is that the online fan petition to get Alexis Bledel cast as Anastasia Steele didn’t work. Because you know, art…
I wrote last week about the fifteenth anniversary of Eyes Wide Shut and how Warner Bros. blew a chance to legitimize the NC-17 rating as a mainstream classification for adult films that aren’t explicitly pornographic in nature. I’m assuming Universal is going for an R-rating for at least the domestic theatrical release, but one could argue that Fifty Shades of Grey is also something of an opportunity to legitimize the NC-17 at least as a commercial option, if not an artistic one. Point being, I can’t imagine anyone intending to see an R-rated version of Fifty Shades of Grey would be turned off by the prospect of an NC-17 version. Nonetheless, I can’t imagine this film won’t get… um… spanked by (predominantly male) critics at large so artistic respect would still be out of reach for the NC-17 even on the off-chance that Universal takes the plunge.
Of course, the big question is whether or not adult moviegoers, female or male, will venture out to a theater and watch what is basically (and I say this without moral judgment) pornography amid other moviegoers. If ever there was a test case for a major studio release going Video On Demand and first run theatrical on the same date, it is this one. One last thing, the one unconditionally positive aspect of this film is that it is a female-targeted motion picture that is based on a novel written by a woman, adapted by a female screenwriter (Kelly Marcel) and directed by a female director (Sam Taylor-Johnson). In an era when women can’t even getting directing gigs for Sex and the City movies, the Hunger Games and Divergent movies are all helmed by men, and only the first Twilight was directed by a woman, Taylor-Johnson getting a crack at a probable hit darn-well matters. For that reason alone, I hope Fifty Shades of Grey makes a boatload of money next February. Fifty Shades of Grey, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, opens February 13th, 2015. As always, we’ll see.