Say ‘Yes’ to Nuns in Our Backyard

The Burlingame City Council

Peter Carr/The Journal News

Say 'Yes' To Affordable Homes For Burlingame's Sisters of Mercy

The Sisters of Mercy in Burlingame plan to improve their campus to accommodate affordable homes with care services for the Sisters. They’re also graciously planning to repurpose an existing building as affordable homes for Seniors. But they need your support! Local resistance is coming from some “concerned” neighbors who want to slow, shrink, or kill the affordable homes that could be built near them.

Please sign this petition to say ‘Yes’ To Nuns in Our Backyard and let the City Council know that we support much-needed affordable homes for nuns and seniors in our community.


To: The Burlingame City Council
From: [Your Name]

We’re writing to express support for the Sisters of Mercy plan to accommodate housing on their campus. This is an important opportunity to bring desperately-needed affordable homes to a high-opportunity neighborhood in the city. Burlingame is woefully behind on meeting its current Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for extremely low, very low, low, and moderate-income homes. Every project counts, and this project will help Burlingame do its part in alleviating the housing affordability crisis.

The Sisters of Mercy Campus is located in one of Burlingame’s more exclusive neighborhoods, where existing city zoning laws only allow single-family homes to be built. In Burlingame, the median home price of a single-family home is a whopping $2.7 million (Zillow). In other words, all the schools and services in this area of Burlingame including Mercy are staffed and run by workers who would have had to either buy into the neighborhood at least a decade ago when median incomes could afford a home or presently be making upwards of $400,000 a year to afford living there. Obviously, Nuns and Seniors today would not be able to afford to move into neighborhoods surrounding Mercy campus. We can purposefully include nuns and seniors as part of the community by allowing affordable homes in the neighborhood.

The Mercy Campus is an excellent location for more homes, with access to basic services, amenities, and open green space. The Mercy Campus is within a one (1) mile radius of the Mills-Peninsula Hospital and popular bus routes on El Camino Real, and 1.5 miles from Lunardi’s grocery or Broadway’s vibrant downtown corridor. For persons with disabilities, Samtrans is obligated to provide paratransit service where all fixed bus routes go and provide additional service for qualifying paratransit riders who have needs outside of any fixed SamTrans routes. Further, Commute.org runs shuttles between the Mercy campus, the Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, and the Millbrae BART/Caltrain station five days a week in the morning and the afternoon/evening.

We hope the council will enthusiastically support this exemplary project given that affordable homes will provide tremendous benefits to the community.

The housing crisis is everyone’s problem and we all need to be part of the solution. We urge you to support this project in order to respond to Burlingame’s unmet needs for accessible and affordable homes, especially for vulnerable populations like Seniors and the Sisters. As leaders, we hope you will promote the compassionate, welcoming character Burlingame is capable of demonstrating.

Thank you for your consideration.