The Pros and Process of the Prohousing Designation Program

Ladder of houses

Photo Credit: CalMatters

March 30, 2022

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has upped their effort to increase the availability of housing in the State and align community policies with State priorities. In the 2019-2020 Budget Act, the Prohousing Designation Program was assembled. This noncompetitive program encourages cities and counties to meet California’s housing goals by adding points or preferences to designated Prohousing jurisdictions that apply for competitive housing, community development, and infrastructure programs.

To become eligible and obtain the benefits, local governments must apply to HCD and score a minimum of 30 points across four categories:

  1. Favorable Zoning and Land Use
    • Example: Permitting missing middle housing uses (+3 points)
  2. Acceleration of Housing Production Timeframes
    • Example: Documented practice of streamlining housing development (+2 points)
  3. Reduction of Construction and Development Costs
    • Example: Impact fee waivers or reduction (+3 points)
  4. Providing Financial Subsidies
    • Example: Local Housing Trust Funds (+2 points)

This program rewards jurisdictions exceeding the law and builds upon previously legislated policies. In addition to the scoring requirements, jurisdictions must have a compliant Housing Element and Annual Progress Reports, complete all required rezones, comply with all housing laws, and adopt a Formal Resolution for the Prohousing Designation Program.

The following four programs offer an application advantage to jurisdictions with Prohousing designation, but additional programs may be included in the future:

  • Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities
  • Transformative Climate Communities
  • Infill Infrastructure Grant Program
  • Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program

There is no deadline for applications; they are accepted on an over-the-counter and rolling basis.

If your jurisdiction wants to learn more about this Program or needs assistance researching and evaluating opportunities, please contact Tara Matthews at tmatthews@rsgsolutions.com.