Aerial view of San Mateo Bridge, connecting the Peninsula and East Bay; residential areas of Foster City visible in the foreground

San Mateo Anti-Displacement Coalition

The San Mateo Anti-Displacement Coalition (SMADC) provides a space for a diverse set of organizations to work together to protect San Mateo County’s low-income communities of color from being displaced.

SMADC advocates for robust tenant protections and anti-displacement policies that increase community control of land and decommodifies housing, including: rent control, just cause for eviction, rent registries, Community Opportunity to Purchase Act (COPA), and Tenant Opportunities to Purchase Acts (TOPA). We have also provided emergency assistance and legal aid for tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We connect with residents directly impacted by displacement through organizing, community outreach, and advocacy campaigns.

Our Work

  • 2014: SMADC was formed to make sure anti-displacement policies were included in Housing Elements.
  • 2015 - 2016: Worked to pass rent control through the initiative process in San Mateo, Burlingame, and Pacifica. While our efforts were defeated by an inundation of money from real estate interests, local campaigns such as ours were cited as a vital contributor to the passage of the statewide Tenant Protection Act in 2019 (AB 1482).
  • 2017: Participated in the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) process to highlight the importance of anti-displacement policies in realizing fair housing goals.
  • 2019: Hosted a convening on Tenant Opportunity to Purchase (TOPA) and Community Opportunity to Purchase (COPA)
  • 2020: Published a report, Our Voices, Our Values: Housing and Community Health in San Mateo County, accompanied by a 10-minute video, that documented the harsh local history for people of color and explored the oppressive impacts of current housing policies on marginalized populations.
  • 2021: Advocated for COVID eviction moratoria and rent relief at both the county and state levels, and did outreach to renters about available relief, including a mailer that went to 15,000 homes throughout San Mateo County.
  • 2022: Collaborated on a joint letter about just cause for eviction and what constitutes a robust and genuinely protective ordinance to support strong commitments from cities in their Housing Element update processes.

For more information, or to get involved, please contact Chris Schildt at cschildt [at] urbanhabitat.org.

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