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Has Your California City and/or County Applied for Noncompetitive One-time Senate Bill 2 Planning Grant Funds?

–Purpose of the funding is to streamline housing approvals,
accelerate housing production, and facilitate housing affordability–

–All 539 cities and counties are eligible to apply for their share of the
$165 Million non-competitive funds through an over-the-counter process—

Only nine jurisdictions have been awarded so far

–Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis through November 30–

–Local commissions, coalitions, councils, continuums of care, and committees
should help ensure cities and counties apply–

Only nine (9) of 539 California cities and counties have been awarded funding so far. The 9 jurisdictions include:

  • City of Banning, Riverside County;
  • City of Folsom, Sacramento County;
  • City of Gonzales, Monterey County;
  • City of Long Beach, Los Angeles County;
  • City of Monterey, Monterey County;
  • City of Redlands, San Bernardino County;
  • City of San Jacinto, Riverside County;
  • City of Shasta Lake, Shasta County; and
  • City of Woodland, Yolo County.

The $165 million in planning grant funds is divided as follows:

  • Jurisdictions defined as small (60,000 people or less) can receive a maximum award amount of $160,000;
  • Jurisdictions defined as medium (60,000 to 200,000 people) can receive a maximum award amount of $310,000;
  • Jurisdictions defined as large (more than 200,000 people) can receive a maximum award amount of $625,000.

To see the list of all jurisdictions and maximum award amounts click here.

As noted in the Planning Grants Program 2019 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA),

“provides financial and technical assistance to local governments to update planning documents in order to:

    • Accelerate housing production;
    • Streamline the approval of housing development affordable to owner and renter households at all income levels;
    • Facilitate housing affordability, particularly for all income groups;
    • Promote development consistent with the State Planning Priorities; and
    • Ensure geographic equity in the distribution and expenditure of allocated funds.”

Housing Element Compliance

All applicants must meet threshold requirements including Housing Element compliance as stated on page 5 in the NOFA. Each applicant

“must have a housing element that has been adopted by the jurisdiction’s governing body by the date the applicant submits the application package, and is subsequently determined to be in substantial compliance with state housing element law pursuant to Gov. Code Section 65585 by the time of award. A jurisdiction’s current housing element compliance status can be obtained by referencing the Department’s website at http://www.hcd.ca.gov/community-development/housing-element/index.shtml or emailing the Department at sb2planninggrant@hcd.ca.gov. For more information on housing element requirements, please contact Paul McDougall at paul.mcdougall@hcd.ca.gov.”

Page 5 in the NOFA also stated that applicants

“not meeting housing element requirements may be considered to meet this threshold requirement at the discretion of the Department on a case by case basis by applying factors such as significant progress in meeting housing element requirements (e.g., a draft found to meet statute, rezoning near completion), proposing activities to meet housing element requirements (e.g., rezoning to accommodate housing needs pursuant to Gov. Code Section 65583(c)(1)) and adoption of a compliant element prior to the award of funds.”

            Potential for Supplemental Round of Funding

The NOFA also noted that

“The Department (California Department of Housing and Community Development) anticipates awards in 2-3 month intervals, depending on the volume of applications, and reserves the right to make adjustments to the projected timeline at any time. If OTC (Over-the-Counter) funds are not fully awarded at the end of the eight-month period, the Department may extend the final OTC application due date or consider a supplemental funding round (Section 500(g) of the Guidelines). During any supplemental round, top priority will be given to localities that have not submitted a previous request for funding. All other applicants may be subject to competitive scoring criteria during any supplemental round (Section 500(g)(2) of the Guidelines).”

For more information including frequently asked questions, program application, and sample applications go to the to the Department of Housing and Community Development SB 2 Planning Grant Program web page: click here.

2 Comments

  1. Linda Hedstrom on August 20, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Yeah, but the jurisdictions that REALLY need the help, the ones without a certified housing element, are excluded from the funding. So what really was the intent of this legislation?

    • Joe Colletti, PhD on August 20, 2019 at 11:19 pm

      Page 5 in the SB 2 Planning Grant Program NOFA states that applicants

      “not meeting housing element requirements may be considered to meet this threshold requirement at the discretion of the Department on a case by case basis by applying factors such as significant progress in meeting housing element requirements (e.g., a draft found to meet statute, rezoning near completion), proposing activities to meet housing element requirements (e.g., rezoning to accommodate housing needs pursuant to Gov. Code Section 65583(c)(1)) and adoption of a compliant element prior to the award of funds.”

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