Assist in the Development of Housing

Assist in the development of adequate housing to meet the needs of extremely low-, very low-, low-, and moderate-income households (Government Code Section 65583(c)(2)).

Required Components of Programs

Photo of modern apartment building

Effective programs reflect the results of the local housing need analyses, identification of available resources (including land and financing), and the mitigation of identified governmental and nongovernmental constraints. Programs consist of specific action steps the locality will take to implement its policies and achieve goals and objectives. Programs must include a specific timeframe for implementation, identify the agencies or officials responsible for implementation, and describe the jurisdiction’s specific role in implementation.

Program Requirements

Having assessed and identified the housing needs of extremely low-, very low-, low-, and moderate-income households, including special needs households, localities must employ a sufficient number of strategies to assist in developing adequate housing to meet those needs.

To address this requirement, localities can offer direct support for the development of affordable housing through various financing mechanisms, including the issuance of municipal and mortgage revenue bonds and use of local funds and authority. Direct assistance can also be provided through the utilization of appropriate federal and state financing and subsidy programs to create rental and ownership opportunities. Localities can create first-time homebuyer, equity-sharing, or self-help housing programs to provide affordable homeownership opportunities. Local governments should also assist and support developers in making applications for other public or private housing funds or low-income housing tax credits.

Working with the building community — especially nonprofit housing developers, advocacy groups, and tenants — can make this requirement (to assist in the development of housing) easier and more effective. Many jurisdictions support existing nonprofit housing developers or help establish new joint ventures and local housing sponsors. Local governments can establish a local housing authority or work with an established nonprofit development corporation or community-based housing development organization to develop, operate, and manage low- and moderate-income housing projects. Contacts for housing advocacy and technical assistance organizations are available through links at the end of the section.

Local governments can indirectly facilitate the development of more affordable housing through effective administration of land-use controls and by providing appropriate regulatory concessions and incentives.

Policy and Program Options

The following are examples of programs and strategies that have been successfully implemented by localities to comply with state law and address their housing needs:

  • Proactively build relationships with the building community, including nonprofits, and establish an array of regulatory and financial tools to assist residential development with a nonprofit, including utilizing local trust funds and other local financial resources, donating land, supporting funding applications, assisting entitlements and expediting permit processing.
  • Adopt a density bonus ordinance in compliance with Government Code Section 65915 and develop an outreach program to ensure its successful implementation.
  • Expand on the minimum requirements of state density bonus law by offering additional density bonuses, incentives. and concessions.
  • Create an online, searchable inventory of surplus lands and publicize their availability to promote the use of sites for housing affordable to lower-income households.
  • Provide fast-track or one-stop permit processing for housing developments affordable to lower-income households or other priority housing needs (i.e. extremely low-income, large families, people with disabilities, farmworkers).
  • Reduce, waive, or subsidize development and impact fees for affordable housing.
  • Adopt a land-banking program for future development of housing affordable to lower- and moderate-income households. A land-banking program could include the use of Community Development Block Grant funds to purchase sites as well as city- and county-owned sites.
  • Establish impact fees based on square footage to appropriately charge for the level of impacts based on the size of the house or housing types (i.e. second-unit, single-room occupancy, multifamily, single-family). For example, a sewer impact of a second-unit is less than for a 5,000 square foot home.
  • Adopt ministerial permit procedures for multifamily, transitional housing, and supportive housing in multifamily zones.
  • Reduce, waive, or modify certain development standards to promote affordable housing development. For example, reduce parking standards or covered parking requirements for senior housing or certain projects designed for lower-income households.
  • Establish ministerial procedures to reduce parking standards for housing for special needs households (i.e. seniors, people with disabilities).
  • Adopt tiered environmental reviews to lessen environmental review on a project-by-project basis.

Description of the specific actions, jurisdiction’s specific role in implementation and demonstration of commitment to implement
Objectives: (Quantified, where possible)
Responsible Agency: 
Funding Source(s): (Where appropriate)

Sample Program 1: Nonprofit Development

The city will initiate a partnership and continue to work with nonprofit developers to assist the development of housing affordable to extremely low-, very low-, and low-income households. The city will annually invite nonprofit developers to discuss the city’s plans, resources, development opportunities, and requests-for-quotes. In addition, the city will annually select a nonprofit developer to pursue developments (including leveraging local housing trust funds); assist in the application for state and federal financial resources; and offer a number of incentives such as fee deferrals, priority processing, and relaxed development standards.
Objective: 180 units during the planning period
Responsible Agency: Housing Division
Timeline: Make initial contact with local nonprofits by the end of 2018. Conduct annual meeting with builders and nonprofits to review resources, incentives, and city goals and objectives. Annually initiate request-for-quotes process and pursue development of a housing project.
Funding Source(s): Community Development Block Grant

Sample Program 2 Surplus Properties

The city will compile an inventory of surplus properties owned by the city or other public entities and update the inventory annually. The inventory will include donated land and land otherwise acquired by the city. The city will publicize the inventory, post it on the website, and make it available to nonprofit developers.
Objective: 100 units over the planning period
Responsible Agency: Housing Division
Timeline: Compile inventory by June 2019, post on website and annually update. Annually distribute inventory to nonprofit developers. Identify funding resources to assist nonprofit developers in purchasing sites (by the end of 2019 and update annually)
Funding Source(s): General fund

Sample Program 3: Multifamily Housing Program—Supportive Housing Funding

Utilizing city-owned lands, the city will select a nonprofit developer and assist and support preparing a funding application to the state Department of Housing and Community Development’s Multifamily Housing Program—Supportive Housing to develop housing affordable to extremely low-income households. The city will further assist with expedited permit processing, incentives, and modification of development standards as necessary.
Objective: 60 units during the planning period affordable to extremely low-income households Responsible Agency: Housing and Planning divisions
Timeline: Select a developer by June 2019. Apply for funding by February 2020.
Funding Source(s): Multifamily Housing Program—Supportive Housing

Program 4: Establish a Local Housing Trust Fund

The city will examine alternatives to establish a local housing trust fund from a combination of public and private resources.
Objective: Local financing resources to facilitate the development of housing for low- and moderate-income families and workers.
Responsible Agency: Housing and Planning divisions
Timeline: Identify alternatives and initiate action plan by January 2019. Establish local housing trust fund by February 2020.
Funding Source(s): General fund