Governor Newsom Designates Three more California Communities as Prohousing for Strides Made to Accelerate Housing Production

A total of 30 California communities are now designated as Prohousing
August 7, 2023
Map of California and newest prohousing cities: Rohnert Park, Santa Cruz, and South San Francisco

Newest prohousing cities

Sacramento, CA —  

What you need to know: The cities of Rohnert Park, Santa Cruz, and South San Francisco have earned the designation of Prohousing making them eligible for funding incentives and additional resources as a reward for their work to reduce barriers to building more housing – bringing the state’s total to 30 Prohousing communities.

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that an additional three communities, the cities of Rohnert Park, Santa Cruz, and South San Francisco have earned the state’s Prohousing Designation. This announcement comes as the Governor continues to provide unprecedented levels of funding and bolsters innovative efforts to aggressively tackle the state’s housing crisis.

What Governor Newsom said: “These cities are showing the local leadership California needs to tackle our state’s housing crisis. They stand in stark contrast to the handful of locals who are failing their constituents and refusing to help California families struggling with runaway housing costs. We will continue to celebrate cities like Rohnert Park, Santa Cruz and South San Francisco while holding bad actors accountable with executive action and in the courts when necessary.”

Why it's important: It is vital for local governments to cut red tape and implement policies that increase needed housing in California.  Accountability measures and incentives like the Prohousing Designation are critical to help meet the goal of 2.5 million new homes over the next eight years, with at least one million serving the needs of lower-income Californians.

“We commend Rohnert Park, Santa Cruz and South San Francisco for their commitment to housing forward policies that will remove barriers to building and preserving affordable housing,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez. “We are proud to work with these cities to create housing near jobs, transit, and other amenities to build a strong housing market and provide homes to working Californians.”

Communities that earn the Prohousing Designation receive incentives such as additional points or other preferences in the scoring of competitive funding programs administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), giving them an advantage over other jurisdictions. With the addition of these

communities, California now has 30 cities and counties recognized for a commitment to policies that increase housing supply such as accelerating production, promoting equitable and sustainable zoning and land use, reducing development costs, and providing financial subsidies.

Governor Newsom’s Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget established the Prohousing Designation Program as part of a spectrum of support, incentives, and accountability measures to help meet California’s goal of 2.5 million new homes over the next eight years, with at least one million of those homes serving the needs of lower-income Californians.

“I’m thrilled that we now have 30 communities that have achieved the Prohousing designation,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “The cities and counties are leading the way by reducing unnecessary barriers and red tape that discourage new housing production, instead they are signaling to developers that are ready to build more housing faster.”

City of Rohnert Park
The City of Rohnert Park’s Prohousing application shows a variety of initiatives to promote housing growth and reduce barriers to construction of new affordable units. All commercial zones allow for residential mixed-use – as long as commercial uses are included with a proposed residential project. Additionally, the city exempts affordable housing developments from paying the public facilities fee and has partnered with nonprofit Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County to implement its affordable ownership program.

City of Santa Cruz
The City of Santa Cruz’s Prohousing application highlights several innovative programs which will help lower barriers for new housing. The city has created a new unit type called Flexible Density Units (FDUs) that can be added to residential or mixed-use developments. Similarly, the My House My Home Program helps low-income older adults age in place by helping to develop an on-site rental Accessory Dwelling Units to supplement their fixed incomes.

City of South San Francisco
The City of South San Francisco’s Prohousing application demonstrates a commitment to expanding access and reducing costs of new housing units. The city routinely approves exemptions for residential development, ranging from single-family units to large multi-family developments. The city has adopted a new Accessory Dwelling Units ordinance and removed its previous mandatory parking replacement policies so homeowners can easily add to their property. The city also offers pre-approved designs for green and all-electric detached Accessory Dwelling Units developed by the Housing Endowment and Regional Trust of San Mateo County (HEART).

Visit our prohousing page for more information.

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