A home is generally considered affordable if a household pays 30% or less of their gross income (before taxes are taken out) towards rent. The term usually refers to homes affordable to people with low, very low and extremely low incomes, including low-wage working individuals and families, seniors on fixed incomes, veterans, and people with disabilities. The rents at this proposed MidPen community will be regulated so that they are affordable compared to other unrestricted rental communities in the area.
HOW IS A HOUSEHOLD DEFINED?
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) defines a household as, “All the people who occupy a housing unit. A household includes the related family members and all the unrelated people”.
WHAT IS THE HOMEKEY PROGRAM?
Project Homekey is a program by the State of California that provides local governmental agencies with funds to purchase and rehabilitate housing – such as hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties – and convert them into nto permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. On June 30, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the launch of Project Homekey to protect vulnerable Californians from the COVID-19 pandemic. The governor has made funding available for counties to collaborate with the state to acquire and rehabilitate various housing options and to provide supportive services. Funding for the program comes from the State’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds and the state’s General Fund. More information about this program can be found on the California Department of Housing and Community Development website: https://hcd.ca.gov/grants-funding/active-funding/homekey.shtm
Who will be living at Shores Landing
Many of the residents who will be and are currently living at Shores Landing may have fallen on hard times and are trying to make positive changes in their lives. Accessing permanent supportive and affordable housing is a critical next step to making those positive changes, to living happy and healthy lives, and to becoming contributing members of the community. This community will house seniors who are at least 62 years of age or older and earning extremely low-incomes (up to 30% of Area Median Income), including formerly homeless seniors, medically frail seniors, disabled seniors, and seniors who lost their homes or place of residence due to Covid-19. Each household is required to have at least one member (head, co-head, partner, or spouse) who is at least 62 years of age or older. A household may include a partner, spouse, or family member, including a child or grandchild who is under 62 years old. A household with a disabled family member is allowed to live in this community provided there is a qualifying senior in the household.
What population did the County originally intend to house at Shores Landing and has this changed?
This building was purchased by the County using State Homekey funds, and one of the funding requirements of the Homekey Program is that the funds be used to house formerly homeless households, households at-risk of homelessness, or households who lost their home due to Covid-19. In the County’s presentation to the RWs community on November 18th, they explained that the intended resident population would be: extremely low-income seniors, some of whom were formerly homeless, medically frail, disabled, at risk of homelessness, and/or lost their home due to Covid-19. This intent has not changed, and the intended population described above is whom MidPen and MHA are currently housing. The links below contain additional information on what the County previously presented to the Redwood Shores Community on November 18th, 2020. Live presentation: https://webapps.redwoodcity.org/files/manager/main/GMT20201119-030231_Redwood-Sh_1760x900.mp4 FAQ: https://www.rsca.org/homekey-answers/
What is the age requirement?
At the time of referral, at least one member (head, co-head, partner, or spouse) must be at least 62 years of age or older.
WILL RESIDENTS REQUIRE DEPENDENT CARE?
No residents will be able to live independently. Some residents may have an independent caregiver who assists them with specific tasks.
Do residents buy their own food and prepare their own meals?
Yes, residents buy and prepare their own meals. For residents who need additional food-related support, we connect residents with food resources and programs, such as Meals on Wheels. We also partner with other organizations to offer food distribution to residents and to connect residents to additional support and services. Finally, we plan to sponsor a variety of community building and educational events to promote active living, including nutrition workshops.
Applicant Intake Process
What is MidPen’s process for screening and admitting new residents to Shores Landing?
MidPen is a Housing First organization with an established process for screening in potential residents who are capable of living independently. Many senior residents who have experienced homelessness may have credit deterioration or other issues directly related to their homelessness, and the screening in policy will help them secure housing that they may not be able to get by going through the normal channels of trying to rent an apartment.
That said, MidPen’s screening process is rigorous. Once we receive a referral from the County’s referral agencies, we ask the applicant(s) to fill out an application. We then schedule an intake appointment where we determine their income eligibility and run a background screening for each adult applicant. MidPen screens for convicted crimes within the last 7 years, and there are 4 major crime issues that, if convicted within this timeframe, would prevent a resident from moving in: violent physical crime against others, drug manufacturing, arson, and crimes of sexual nature. Legally, MidPen cannot screen for crimes committed outside of that 7 year lookback period. If other crimes that do not fall into these 4 categories appear on the background screening, property management would meet with the resident services team to discuss the issue(s), find out what has changed since the issue occurred, and determine whether the applicant will be able to follow the lease rules. Once an applicant is accepted, we schedule a move-in date, show them their unit, review the Lease Agreement with them to ensure they understand MidPen’s policies and house rules, and have the resident meet with services team.
Do you qualify all residents or just the primary lease holder?
We qualify each adult resident on the lease. We evaluate the household income when determining income eligibility, and we run a background screening for each adult on the lease. For age qualification, only one household member needs to be at least 62 years of age or older.
Would you admit residents with an ongoing substance abuse problem?
Individuals with substance abuse disorders would not disqualify anyone from needing or obtaining housing in any setting. The issue that might disqualify them or result in their losing housing is their behavior. The question is whether someone can be a good tenant, a good neighbor, and a good member of the community. If not, then this is not the right type of housing for them. Our goal is to help residents maintain their housing. If a resident who is dealing with a substance abuse disorder moves in, one of the first things the onsite case managers will do is begin connecting them to resources and external providers who can help that individual better manage their substance abuse and potentially even reduce the number of occurrences.
What types/severity of mental illness would be allowed for residents?
Applicants will not be automatically screened in or out simply because they have a mental illness of any type. What is screened for and evaluated on an ongoing basis is their ability to live in this community, manage their behavior, and when necessary, make use of the supports that are offered. The property will be staffed with 4 onsite MHA and MidPen resident services staff who will offer residents a robust set of supportive services that will help them age in place and will connect them to existing resources and programs that promote health, wellness, and independent living. These services include, but are not limited to, case management, individual service plans, community-based referrals, health education and wellness programming, life skills development, and lease compliance services. The resident services team will leverage existing relationships with a number of community-based organizations, including Samaritan House, Peninsula Community Services, Ecumenical Hunger Program, and Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center that will serve as referral sources to assist in meeting the unique needs of residents. Individuals with mental illness live independently and successfully in every community, even without this level of support available. Experience has shown that individuals who are homeless or have experienced homelessness suffer from depression; as such, we have experienced services staff who can provide non- therapeutic support and help connect residents to mental health resources. Many residents may also already be receiving direct case management services from the County and may be receiving services to minimize the effects of the depression The majority of the referrals to Shores Landing will be coming from the Roomkey Program and other non-congregate shelters, and while they will still benefit from support and connections to resources, they have been living successfully in similar living situations prior to moving into Shores Landing.
Will MidPen admit residents who have a history of pedophilia or sexual crime?
Registered sex offenders live amongst the broader community; they can purchase a home, rent an apartment, stay at a hotel, ride on a bus, shop at a supermarket, and walk on a public trail. State law prohibits any property manager and owner from denying an applicant simply because they are a registered sex offender under Megan’s Law. As a property manager or property owner, MidPen and the County of San Mateo cannot ask questions about an applicant’s sex offender status and cannot exclude them from housing based on this status, by law. However, MidPen does screen for convicted crimes within the last 7 years, and there are 4 major crime issues that, if convicted within this timeframe, would prevent a resident from moving in: violent physical crime against others, drug manufacturing, arson, and crimes of sexual nature.
Is it possible to ensure that no risk comes to the children in the development center next door from these tenants?
We hear your concern. As stated above, state law prohibits property managers and owners from screening out applicants who are registered sex offenders under Megan’s Law. We are able to screen for sexual crimes convicted within the last 7 years, and we do. We understand that people have a range of feelings and perceptions about supportive housing communities and individuals with mental illness. We want to reiterate that many of the residents living at Shores Landing may have fallen on hard times and, similar to all of us, seek to live happy, healthy lives. Oftentimes, individuals with mental illness are themselves the victim of crimes and are not the perpetrator. We hope you spend some time getting to know the Shores Land residents. You can also learn more about residents living in other MidPen communities here: https://www.midpen-housing.org/news-and-happenings/resident-impact-stories/
WHAT ARE THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR RESIDENTS BEING SELECTED TO LIVE AT THIS PROPERTY?
There is a minimum age and income requirement. At the time of referral, at least one member (head, co-head, or spouse) must be aged 62 or older and must earn an income at or below 30% of Area Median Income.
How long are the lease terms and what happens if their income changes for the better during the term?
When residents move in, they sign a 1-year lease that automatically turns into a month-to-month contract at the end of that first-year lease term. Residents are required to report a change in income if their income increases or decreases by at least $200/month, and their rent would be adjusted immediately so that their rent is 30% of their new income. MidPen also completes an annual recertification to verify the income reported. Residents who income qualified when they moved in are allowed to stay, even if their income increases to over 30% AMI. We do not want to displace residents who may have difficulties finding alternative housing.
What are the guest policies and how will MidPen enforce it?
Similar to most multifamily apartment buildings, residents may have houseguests over at any time. At Shores Landing, houseguests are required to sign-in with the front desk clerk and note who they are visiting. Overnight stays are allowed. If a resident intends to have a houseguest stay with them for more than 7 consecutive nights, residents must inform the rental office and register the guest(s) and guest vehicle. The maximum stay of any houseguest may not exceed the accumulative total of 21 total nights within any one-year period (may be non-consecutive). These rules are clearly outlined in the lease agreement that residents sign before moving in. The robust onsite staffing, including the front desk clerks and 2 staff members who live on site, in addition to the guest log, ensures that guests are monitored and that rules are followed.
What happens if a resident is found to be doing illegal drugs?
If a resident was found to be doing illegal drugs on the property, it would violate MidPen’s Crime-Free Property Addendum. We would notice the resident, schedule a meeting to review the policy that was broken, and allow the resident an opportunity to correct the situation. Resident Services would continue to meet with that resident to ensure they have a clear understanding of the lease rules and would work with the resident to find ways to address the issue. If the issue persisted, it could lead to eviction.
Where does a resident go if they are evicted for bad behavior?
We strive to provide residents with the tools and resources to maintain their housing, and the purpose of the intensive services offered by our resident services team is to help residents succeed, retain their housing, and lead fulfilling lives. Though we never wish for a resident to be evicted, we understand that there are housing programs that work for some, but not for others and that one size does not fit all when it comes to housing. If a resident is no longer able to live at Shores Landing or is found to be in need of additional support that cannot be obtained through the independent living setting, we would help them find alternative housing. Our goal is never to put someone on the street, but to assist them in finding alternative place to live so they can be successful. MHA and MidPen are very familiar with other available resources and programs that may be better suited to an individuals’ needs, and we would help make those connections.
What recourse do Shores residents have if there are problems with a resident?
We want to be good neighbors to the Redwood Shores community. If you have a concern, we encourage you to notify us. Please call the Shores Landing office at (650) 509-5030 (business hours: M-F, 9am – 5pm) or email email@example.com.
HOW has Resident SErvices been able to provide onsite services to residents at its properties during COVID-19?
MidPen Resident Services staff also continues to deliver essential direct supports to residents. The team is maintaining essential on-site mental health services for supportive residents, providing food and benefits assistance portfolio-wide through contracted partners, and addressing social isolation with our seniors through creative virtual gatherings. Throughout COVID we have offered education and connections to local testing and, more recently, vaccination sites. In the first two weeks of March 2021, we are offering six on-property vaccination clinics at senior properties, working in close connection with county partners. Through these and more clinics to come, we will vaccinate hundreds of residents who might otherwise struggle with vaccine appointments and transport; we will help thousands more residents get information about vaccine eligibility and availability near them.
Additionally, MHA staff have remained connected to our clients through regular remote contact by phone as well as through in-person, socially distanced meetings. At our residential sites, we have provided all residents with essential supplies, face masks and cleaning supplies, as well as instruction in COVID safety precautions. Staff have led exercise and other socially distanced activities on a regular basis and we have provided residents with individual activities to help engage their mind and alleviate isolation during Shelter in Place times. For residents who had experienced exposure to someone who was COVID-19 positive, we have provided groceries and essential household supplies to ensure they can safely quarantine.
WHAT TYPES OF SERVICES WILL RESIDENTS BE OFFERED AT Shores Landing?
Residents will be offered an array of services that include onsite medical services recreation services, educational services, individual services to address personal goals. Examples of these offerings are: medication management, blood pressure screening, diabetes management, computer education, art therapy, bingo, community BBQ’s, benefits navigation, life skills development, budget development/management. MidPen Resident Services and MHA staff will work with each resident to create an individual service plan in an effort to establish and enhance residents overall social and emotional well-being. All residents will be offered overall community educational services, community building, health & wellness programming, social integration programming, recreational programming, empowerment programming, life skills development, and lease compliance services. Staff will also offer residents supportive services that include, but are not limited to: ongoing case management, housing stability support, conflict resolution and mediation, community-based referral and linkages to external programs and providers, substance abuse services, health education and activities.
WHAT IS THE PROPERTY'S COVID-19 PROTOCOL
MidPen Property Management and MidPen Resident Services collaborated and devised a comprehensive set of safety protocols, consistent with the industry and peers, for the site staff and residents several weeks ago. The team solicited input and feedback from many throughout the MidPen organization; from all levels and various departments. The protocols address several items such as “how to properly clean & disinfect”, “how to keep yourself safe while working in occupied units” and “how to handle mail/packages and documents from vendors and residents”. In addition, the protocols cover food distribution, recertification and accessing the elevators and much, much more. Each site have safety kits to include face shields and plexiglass for situations in which they must meet 1:1 with residents. They have posters, flyers and all types of critical information visible throughout the property reminding residents of how to keep safe in these extraordinary times. MidPen also hosts monthly “COVID-19 Safety Stand Down” with over 200 employees from property management and services participating. These safety stand downs are designed to promote awareness and accountability of our safety protocols and combat COVID-19 fatigue.
WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL IF A RESIDENT TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
Currently, when a resident test positive for COVID-19, the onsite Community Manager of that property submits a Resident Covid form that notifies two MidPen staff members who then send out a response with a resident letter and directions to the onsite staff. The directions include ensuring all common areas are sanitized and covid safety signage is in place, a notification to staff not to enter the unit, and a letter to all residents that we have a reported case (limited details for resident privacy protection). MidPen Resident Services staff will also contact the resident who tests positive to conduct a wellness check and make sure their needs, such as rental assistance and food service, are met while they quarantine in their apartment.
Will members of the Redwood Shores community have opportunities to interact with, volunteer with, and welcome the new residents?
Yes, we welcome this kind of community collaboration! MidPen and MHA sponsor a variety of community events at our other properties, such as BBQs, crafting events, and potlucks, and we hope to do the same at Shores Landing once it is Covid-safe enough to do so. In the meantime, RSCA has dropped off the most recent issue of The PILOT to onsite staff so that residents are aware of local news events and volunteer opportunities. If you have any event suggestions or know of any volunteer opportunities in the community, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a community member, how can I best support the development's residents? Art in Action in Redwood City provides great art programs that could be relevant for the residents.
Thank you for this question! We really want our residents to be part of the larger community and to get to know their neighbors, so we welcome your suggestions for community activities and events! As mentioned above, we often sponsor community-building events at our other properties, and we looking forward to doing this at Shores Landing. We look forward to connecting with Art in Action on the types of art programs that they offer.
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul (SVDP) provides basic services (food, clothing, housewares) and a supportive connection with the communities in which our neighbors in need live. We visit those who call on us at their homes, with deep respect and empathy. The Shores Landing is within the Saint Mark parish. Assuming that the Shores Landing residents may wish to call on SVDP on occasion, how should we start building a relationship so that we can serve most effectively?
Thank you for your offer of partnership! Once we have a better understanding of the individual needs of each resident, the onsite case manager will begin to connect residents to existing programs and resources, such as this one. We would love to connect with you!
I’m concerned about the disabling of fire alarms and the potential for fires. What is being done to prevent a tragedy not only for the residents, but for Redwood Shores?
The entire building is equipped with centrally-connected smoke alarms and a wet sprinkler system. MidPen Property Management, the fire department, and our third-party fire alarm company perform biannual, annual, and quarterly inspections, respectively, to make sure the building’s fire prevention systems are working properly. We also make sure the residents know how to use the fire suppression equipment and that the equipment is well maintained and working properly. Finally, each unit is equipped with two fire stops, which are located over the electric stove burners and replaced annually. In the off chance that a fire does occur, there is a system in place to contain and prevent a fire from spreading. Before residents even move in, our robust property management and resident services team works with residents to make sure they understand how to comply with the house rules, including fire safety, included in their lease. If we find a resident is not complying with fire safety rules, property management and resident services meet with that resident to continue educating them on the house rules. The role of the onsite case manager is to educate residents on how to comply with the house rules and lease. We may also schedule monthly or more frequent inspections to make sure following recommendations and expectations.
Would it be possible to enclose the smoking area so that the smoke rises first before spreading outward?
We appreciate this thoughtful suggestion, and we will consider this feature as we move forward. Right now we are implementing a quick and cost-efficient solution to build out an outdoor area for smoking, so that it is available to residents as soon as possible. Before implementing features, such as an enclosed space, we want to ensure that there is a need for such a feature, and, if there is, consider different designs and materials and then go through the right channels (i.e City and Shores Business Center Association) to get a more permanent structure approved.