AUBURN, Calif. — Placer County has been named the first county in California to receive the state’s Prohousing Designation, a distinction that provides Placer and its private development partners a competitive edge in obtaining grant funding toward affordable housing, workforce housing, sustainable community development and infrastructure projects.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development awarded Placer County with the Prohousing Designation with an official announcement Feb. 3 along with two other jurisdictions: Sacramento County and the City of El Cerrito.
“It’s a point of pride for Placer County to be a state leader in our efforts to streamline affordable housing projects, highlighting infill projects that help us grow responsibly and reduce commutes for our residents,” said Jim Holmes, chair of the Placer County Board of Supervisors. “Becoming the first county to earn the Prohousing Designation allows our community development staff and our development partners to be as competitive as possible to capture grant dollars for construction and maintain affordability for homebuyers.”
Earning the coveted Prohousing Designation provides the county additional points or other preference in the scoring of competitive housing, community development, and infrastructure programs.
Local governments with Prohousing Designation are eligible to apply for new Prohousing Incentive Program grant funding, a $26 million state investment from the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund. Prohousing designated local governments can also receive priority processing or funding points when applying for several funding programs.
Placer County, along with other Prohousing jurisdictions, has worked to be innovative in streamlining the process to get projects online to help tackle the critical need for more housing.
Placer County earned the designation by promoting infill development with zoning amendments to allow residential and mixed-use development with a design review in commercial zones within the county, and the planned creation of a multi-family and mixed-use design manual to set objective development standards, helping streamline construction and cut costs.
The Prohousing Designation program was formed in 2019 as part of a spectrum of support, incentives, and accountability measures to help meet California’s housing goals, according to state officials. Increasing the availability of housing statewide is critical to bettering the quality of life of all Californians and to ending homelessness.
“California continues to deploy a comprehensive set of strategies to increase housing supply, including unprecedented investment, incentives like those attained through the Prohousing Designation, and holding local governments accountable for meeting community housing needs,” HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez said. “These Prohousing jurisdictions have demonstrated they are committed to addressing their housing challenges by a wide range of available means. We look forward to continuing our investment in their efforts, as we work together to build 2.5 million homes statewide by 2030.”
For more information on the Prohousing Designation Program, click here.