What’s going on with the Peninsula Health Care District? And why should people in San Bruno, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Burlingame, San Mateo and Foster City care? The District receives property tax money from those cities yet plans to use publicly-owned land at the site of the demolished Peninsula Hospital to build market rate housing few people can afford. This is happening while the biggest threat to public health and safety is a lack of affordable housing for medical workers and seniors.
Recently, Congresswoman Jackie Speier and State Senator Jerry Hill wrote letters to the District asking it to hold a hearing to explore affordable housing needs instead of what is planned. Congresswoman Speier wrote, “…it will be a loss to the community if primarily market rate housing is created on district property.” However, at its most recent Board meeting the District appeared to disregard the letters and maintain its course.
On October 9th, another letter outlining the legal use of public land was sent to the District by Community Legal Services for East Palo Alto, Housing Leadership Council and Public Interest Law Group. The letter warned that the District may be vulnerable to a lawsuit if it proceeds with a process that is in conflict with state law.
It is essential that the District change its course and work to provide affordable housing for the public good. The next District Board Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 25th at 6:30 at Burlingame City Hall. Interested members of the public should attend.