Monte Sereno’s Demographics

Population: 3,622
Households: 1,280
Housing Units: 1,383
Source: California Department of Finance, Table E-5

Employed Residents: 1,496
Source: ACS 2019 5 year estimates

In 2020, 70.6% of Monte Sereno’s population was White while 1.8% was African American, 18.6% was Asian, and 7.1% was Latinx. People of color in Monte Sereno comprise a proportion below the overall proportion in the Bay Area as a whole.
Source: 2020 Decennial Census

Rate of population growth, 2010 to 2020: 8.4%
Rate of housing unit addition, 2010 to 2020: 7.4%
Source: California Department of Finance, Table E-5

Over the same period, Monte Sereno grew more slowly than Santa Clara County, which had a 9.2% population increase, or the nine-county Bay Area region, which had a 8.6% population increase.

The number of new homes built in Monte Sereno and Santa Clara County has not kept pace with demand, resulting in longer commutes, increasing prices, and exacerbating issues of displacement and homelessness.


Housing Types in Monte Sereno

It is important to have a variety of housing types to meet the needs of a community today and in the future. In 2020, 95.6% of homes in Monte Sereno were single family detached (generally the most expensive type of home), 2.7% were single family attached, 0.3% were small multifamily (2-4 units), and 1.4% were medium or large multifamily (5+ units). Between 2010 and 2020, the number of single-family units increased more than multi-family units. In Monte Sereno, the share of the housing stock that is detached single family homes is higher than the average of other jurisdictions in the region.
Source: California Department of Finance, Table E-5

Jobs & Housing in Monte Sereno

Jobs: 407
Employed Residents per Household:  1.17
Jobs per Employed Resident: 0.27
Jobs-Housing Balance Ratio: 0.29
Source: ACS 2019 5 year estimates

Note: Jobs-Housing Balance is a measurement used by planners that assumes that a balanced community is one where people can both live and work. This ratio compares the number of jobs in a community to the number of housing units.

Jobs-Housing Fit: 4.9 low wage jobs per low-cost rental unit
Source: Jobs from LEHD Origin-Destination Employment Statistics 2019; households from U.S. Census, American Community Survey B25056, B25061

Note: Jobs-Housing Fit measures the mismatch between wages and housing affordability as the ratio of low-wage jobs (less than $3,333/month) to the number of low-cost rental units (less than $1,500/month). In Monte Sereno, there are almost 5 low-wage workers competing for each affordable home.

Renting in Monte Sereno

Percent of population that rents: 6.5%
Source: ACS 2019 5 year estimates

Homelessness in Monte Sereno

2019 Homeless Count: no homeless persons identified
Source: 2019 Homeless Point In Time Count

Cost Burden in Monte Sereno

Cost-Burdened (30% – 50% income spent on housing)
Renter Households: 0% of renter households (2,105)
Homeowner Households: 31.2% of homeowner households (329)

Severely Cost-Burdened (more than 50% of income spent on housing)
Renter Households: 19.2% of renter households (14)
Homeowner Households: 11.6% of homeowner households (122)
Source: ACS 2019 5 year estimates

Note: Current standards measure housing cost in relation to gross household income: households spending more than 30 percent of their income, including utilities, are generally considered to be overpaying or “cost burdened.” Severe cost burden occurs when households pay 50 percent or more of their gross income for housing. The impact of high housing costs falls disproportionately on extremely low-, very low-, and low-income households, especially renters. While some higher-income households may choose to spend greater portions of their income for housing, the cost burden for lower-income households reflects choices limited by a lack of a sufficient supply of housing affordable to these households.

Overcrowding in Monte Sereno

Total Rental Homes: 73
Overcrowded Homes: 0
Severely Overcrowded Homes: 0
Percent of Rental Homes, Overcrowded: 0%
Source: ACS 2019 5 year estimates

  • The U.S. Census defines an overcrowded unit as one occupied by 1.01 persons or more per room (excluding bathrooms and kitchens). Units with more than 1.5 persons per room are considered severely overcrowded.

Note: Overcrowding increases health and safety concerns and stresses the condition of the housing stock and infrastructure. Overcrowding is strongly related to household size (particularly for large and very-large households) and the availability of suitably sized housing. Overcrowding impacts both owners and renters; however, renters are generally more significantly impacted. 

2014-2022 Regional Housing Needs Allocation 

Every eight years, the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process is used to assign each city and county in California their “fair share” of new housing units to build. These units of housing are intended to accommodate existing need and projected growth in the region. The RHNA process is critical because it requires all cities and counties to plan for the housing needs of their residents, regardless of income, in an effort to plan for future growth and ease the Bay Area’s acute housing crisis. 

Many cities and counties regularly fall short of their RHNA targets, as the Bay Area’s housing crisis continues to grow. Each spring, jurisdictions are required to provide an Annual Progress Report to show how effective their efforts have been in achieving housing development targets by income level. The table below shows Monte Sereno’s progress.

Monte Sereno’s 2015-2022 RHNA Permit Progress as of 12/2022
Affordability LevelRHNA TargetPermits IssuedProgress to Target
Very Low Income2365282.6%
Low Income1314107.7%
Moderate Income13646.2%
Above Moderate Income1280666.7%

Permitting progress as of December 2022. HCD 2022 Housing Element Implementation and APR Data Dashboard.

2023-2031 RHNA Allocation

In January of 2023, about a year after local jurisdictions are given their final RHNA numbers, the local planning process will culminate in the Housing Element. This is a pivotal document that serves as a Constitution for land use planning and accounts for how and where the jurisdiction will accommodate allocated housing units. It must identify adequate sites for the full RHNA and all types of housing, including emergency shelters, rental housing, and ownership housing, and commit to policies and programs aimed at removing barriers to housing production, addressing racial and economic segregation and disparities in access to resources, providing for the unique housing needs of residents in protected categories, and protecting residents vulnerable to displacement.

Monte Sereno’s 2023-2031 RHNA by Income Level
Very Low Income Low IncomeModerate IncomeAbove Moderate IncomeTotal Allocation

Source: ABAG Approved Final RHNA Plan: San Francisco Bay Area, 2023-2031 (Dec 2021)

Current Affordable Housing Stock

Monte Sereno’s 2020 Affordable Housing Inventory
Extremely Low-IncomeVery Low-IncomeLow-IncomeModerate IncomeTotal UnitsAffordable % of Total Housing Stock

SOURCE: Units reported in the Housing Element Annual Performance Report that received building permits in 2019 were added to the unit counts in the previously reported 2018 Base Year table.  This methodology necessarily means that any ELI units, if any, are included in the VLI category since that is how HCD has required production data to be reported.  The RHNA data on new units relies on self-reporting by jurisdiction and can include units for which building permits were issued that never got built.  The percentage of the total housing stock in the community is based the California Department of Finance’s Table E-5.

See more information on our affordable housing assets page.

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

All California cities and counties are mandated to permit ADUs and JADUs according to state law. The Legislature further updated ADU and JADU law effective January 1, 2021 to clarify and improve various provisions in order to promote the development of ADUs and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs). These include allowing ADUs and JADUs to be built concurrently with a single-family dwelling, opening areas where ADUs can be created to include all zoning districts that allow single-family and multifamily uses, modifying fees from utilities such as special districts and water corporations, limited exemptions or reductions in impact fees, and reduced parking requirements. Please see the Accessory Dwelling Unit Handbook (PDF) for more information for local government bodies and homeowners interested in adding an ADU or JADU to their property. Our partner, the Housing Trust of Silicon Valley has kicked-off a major initiative, Small Homes, Big Impact to support ADU development throughout Santa Clara County, including outreach and education, and potential new financing mechanisms.

Monte Sereno ADUs Permitted: 2017 – 2022

HCD 2022 Housing Element Implementation and APR Data Dashboard.

Affordable Housing Policies

Housing Element Policies

Monte Sereno relies primarily on the development of secondary units on single-family properties to meet its affordable housing objectives.  To this end, it has amended its second-units program to allow larger units, uncovered parking, fee waivers for rent-restricted units, and an amnesty program.  The City has established a multi-family zoning district which has yet to be utilized.  And the City allows residential care homes, supportive housing and transitional housing by right in all residential zoning districts.

The Housing Element of Monte Sereno’s General Plan includes policies pledge to:

  • Work with nearby communities to explore countywide housing needs and solutions, and requires the City Manager to report annually on such activities.
  • Monitor the availability of federal and State affordable housing funding and apply for such funds if available.

Additional Resources