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Healdsburg Earns Prohousing Designation From State Of California

Two other Bay Area cities also earned the distinction this week.

Maggie Fusek, Patch Staff
Posted Thu, Feb 1, 2024 at 7:01 pm PT
Eureka, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Mountain View, San Luis Obispo, Santa Monica and Tulare County received the Prohousing Designation from the state of California this week. (Shutterstock)

HEALDSBURG, CA —The city of Healdsburg has been designated as a Prohousing Community by the state of California, which is a significant stride toward addressing the challenge of housing affordability, the city announced.

Healdsburg joined the ranks with six other communities — Eureka, Mountain View, Petaluma, San Luis Obispo, Santa Monica, and the County of Tulare — this week, bringing to 37 the total number of California communities designated as Prohousing.

The honor is bestowed on communities demonstrating innovative and effective strategies in housing development. The accolade is awarded to cities and counties actively working to reduce barriers to housing construction, supporting diverse housing options for all income levels, and implementing policies that accelerate housing production.

"This designation not only highlights our efforts in streamlining housing approvals but also recognizes our initiatives in developing affordable housing for the residents of our community," Healdsburgs Housing Director Stephen Sotomayor said. "It's a clear indication of our progress in making Healdsburg a place where affordable housing is a reality, not just something we talk about."

Healdsburg has enacted key housing initiatives to enhance affordability and accessibility, including streamlining development processes, promoting the creation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and forming partnerships with developers to create new affordable housing projects, city officials said.

Find out what's happening in Healdsburgwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

These efforts are supported by Measure S, a dedicated funding source created by allocating 2 percent of the city’s transient occupancy tax specifically to affordable housing. This advantage underscores Healdsburg's dedication to cultivating a vibrant and sustainable housing environment, according to the city.

The Statewide Housing Plan demonstrated that California needs to plan for 2.5 million new homes over the next eight years, with at least one million serving the needs of lower-income Californians. The Prohousing Designation rewards communities that are willing to cut through red tape, reduce construction and development costs, and create housing policies with a growth mindset by providing them with funding incentives and additional resources that help scale up those innovative efforts, state officials said.

(California Department of Housing and Community Development)

"We need to aggressively build more housing to support Californians," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in announcing the seven newly designated jurisdictions. "Prohousing cities move to the front of the line when it comes to incentives, funding and other state resources. It’s critical for more communities to join in this distinction and build their fair share of housing."

The Prohousing Designation Program is part of a package of supports, incentives and accountability measures established by the 2019-2020 Budget Act. By earning the distinction, Healdsburg will receive exclusive access to prohousing grants, plus additional points in the scoring of competitive housing, community development and infrastructure funding programs administered by the state's Department of Housing and Community Development.

State housing officials opined on why Healdsburg was given prohousing designation.

"The City of Healdsburg has demonstrated a commitment to lowering barriers to affordable housing and preparing for the future," California housing officials said. "The city implemented a fee reduction to tentative and finalized maps to incentivize lot splits. They offer a bonus for projects in which 100 percent of the remaining units not restricted to lower-income households will be affordable to moderate-income households; they incentivized ADUs in single-family neighborhoods by offering construction loans with debt forgiveness provisions in return for longer-term, price-restricted rentals; and they directed two percent of transient occupancy tax towards new and existing affordable housing."

Here is the list of 37 jurisdictions the state of California has given the prohousing designation:

  1. City of Citrus Heights
  2. City of El Cerrito
  3. City of Emeryville
  4. City of Eureka
  5. City of Fontana
  6. City of Fresno
  7. City of Healdsburg
  8. City of Long Beach
  9. City of Los Angeles
  10. City of Moreno Valley
  11. City of Mountain View
  12. City of Needles
  13. City of Oakland
  14. City of Petaluma
  15. County of Placer
  16. City of Rancho Cordova
  17. City of Redwood City
  18. City of Riverside
  19. City of Rohnert Park
  20. City of Roseville
  21. City of Sacramento
  22. County of Sacramento
  23. City of Salinas
  24. City of San Diego
  25. City of San Luis Obispo
  26. City of Santa Cruz
  27. City of Santa Monica
  28. City of Santa Rosa
  29. County of San Diego
  30. County of Sonoma
  31. City of South San Francisco
  32. City of Stockton
  33. County of Tulare
  34. City of Ukiah
  35. City of West Sacramento
  36. Town of Windsor
  37. County of Yuba

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