San Diego Earns ‘Prohousing’ Label, Promising Preferred Status for … – Times of San Diego

Community housing
Community housing in San Diego’s East Village. Courtesy San Diego Community Housing Corporation

San Diego became one of six cities in California to earn the state’s Prohousing Designation, a recognition for committing to policies and practices to help remove barriers to new housing.

On Thursday, San Diego joined Citrus Heights, Fontana, Oakland, Roseville and West Sacramento in the designation. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) also announced the launch of the Prohousing Incentive Pilot Program to reward the cities.

“These communities have stepped up to implement policies that aggressively eliminate bureaucratic obstacles and drive the growth of housing throughout the state,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “This is one of many innovative approaches the state is taking to create greater accountability and reward municipalities willing to do their part to help collectively tackle the need for more housing.”

Newsom’s fiscal year 2019-2020 budget established the designation as part of a range of support and accountability measures intended to help meet California’s housing goals.

The designation provides incentives to cities and counties in the form of “additional points and/or other preference in the scoring of competitive housing, community development and infrastructure funding programs” from the state, according to a statement.

San Diego specific actions include updating community plans to provide zoned capacity for more than 98,000 additional housing units.

The city also created the affordable accessory dwelling unit bonus program, waived density limitations and allowed for a floor area ratio-based density bonus for development that provides affordable housing and infrastructure amenities.

“Housing is the solution to homelessness, a key strategy for climate action and a path to economic opportunity for all – and we’re doing everything we can at the city of San Diego to build more homes at prices our residents can afford,” Mayor Todd Gloria said.

Cities with the designation also are eligible for community development resources through a competitive program that offers $25.7 million in additional funding to help accelerate housing production and preservation.

The designation is awarded when a jurisdiction submits an application outlining local policies that reduce barriers to housing production and receives a minimum score of 30 on the packet.

Cities and counties that receive the designation also must demonstrate that they promote “climate-smart” housing.

The goal, said state housing director Gustavo Velasquez, is to produce “at least 2.5 million new homes by 2030,” and by eliminating barriers to building affordable housing “to help get smart planning over the finish line.”

City News Service