Accelerating Housing Production
SB 2 Planning Grants Technical Assistance
Technical assistance on accelerating housing production is made available through the Senate Bill 2 Planning Grants Program. In 2017, the Legislature passed SB 2, which established a permanent source of funding intended to increase the affordable housing stock in California. The first year of SB 2 was spilt between planning grants and homelessness programs. Five percent of SB 2 directs HCD, in coordination with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), to develop a technical assistance program to assist localities in planning efforts that accelerate housing production and streamline the approvals of housing.
The ”Housing Planning Hub” page provides more details on the technical assistance program, and resources including tools and services to help local governments accelerate and streamline housing production.
Learn more about the SB 2 Planning Grants program.
The goals of the technical assistance program provided through HCD, OPR, and PlaceWorks consulting team are to:
- Ensure geographic equity and promote access so that all local governments are able to benefit from the planning grants funding and technical assistance.
- Provide support and ongoing expertise to local governments as they implement activities related to the priority policy areas and other planning efforts.
- Regionally tailor technical assistance to meet the unique needs of each region.
- Develop long-term partnerships between local, regional, and state government to create a peer-to-peer learning environment, maximize resources, and leverage all funding opportunities.
Priority Policy Areas
In consultation with stakeholders, developers, planners, local governments, and academics, HCD has developed six policy areas that are evidenced-based practices to streamlining housing approvals, accelerating housing production, and becoming more housing friendly. HCD technical assistance teams will make toolkits and resources available to help local governments implement these strategies.
- Rezone to Permit By-right: Rezoning for significant additional housing capacity without or with lesser discretionary review or establishing zoning to permit residential development by-right, particularly multifamily, without discretionary action pursuant to Government Code Section 65583.2(h) and (i).
- Objective Design and Development Standards: Developing objective design standards or pre-approved site and architectural plans that facilitate non-discretionary permitting.
- Specific Plans or Form-based Codes Coupled with CEQA Streamlining: Designating and rezoning for additional housing capacity or preparing specific plans or form codes that include zoning and development standards and plan-level environmental analysis that can be used to streamline future housing projects and facilitate affordability.
- Accessory Dwelling Units or Other Innovative Building Strategies: Encouraging Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and other innovative building types through actions above state law requirements such as, outreach, fee waivers, pre-approved plans, website zoning clearance assistance, and other homeowner tools or finance tools. Also, establishing other approaches to intensify existing lower-density residential areas and “missing middle” typologies to encourage significantly more residential development (e.g., duplexes, triplexes) in lower-density residential areas.
- Expedited Processing: Speeding up approvals and permit processing, including instituting programs that streamline or consolidate the review process or create a separate process for expedited review of housing projects.
- Housing Related Infrastructure Financing and Fee Reduction Strategies: Developing and implementing approaches to local, regional, or sub-regional housing-related infrastructure financing. Creating plans and programs to finance and increase infrastructure with accompanying enhanced housing capacity, such as enhanced infrastructure financing districts. Fee reduction and rationalization approaches, such as reassessing fees to adhere to best practices in reducing costs, deferrals, sliding scales, or proportionate impacts fees (e.g., ADUs, transit-oriented and infill development, special needs housing), or fee transparency measures including publicly available fee calculators.
Technical Assistance Program
HCD in coordination with OPR is working with a team of consultants led by PlaceWorks, Inc, to provide technical assistance on both a regional and statewide level with an emphasis on the priority policy areas.
The program components include:
Planning Grants and Local Housing Strategies Map
Technical Assistance Teams
Your TA regional liaison, HCD, and OPR can answer any questions and help you with eligibility, draft grant applications, implementing the priority policy areas and more!
Contact your SB 2 TA Team Today!
California Department of Housing and Community Development
TA Regional Liaisons
San Joaquin Valley
Central Coast Region
Tools and Resources
Check back for new tools and resources, such as toolkits, model ordinances, best practices, and more.
- SACOG Housing Policy Toolkit is focused on a menu of key policy areas and best practices that promote housing development and streamline the approval process for housing. Much of what is included in the toolkit directly aligns with the program objectives of the SB2 Planning Grants Program. The toolkit includes examples on zoning, ADU ordnances, development review processes, and fee strategies.
- ABAG Housing Policy and Data Explorer includes extensive research, data, and examples on 26 policies and actions that preserve and produce housing.
- Terner Center for Housing Innovation formulates bold strategies to housing families from all walks of life in vibrant, sustainable and affordable homes and communities.
- Department of Conservation Maps : This is a comprehensive series of GIS resources and tools for planners and land use decision-makers. Includes interactive, subject-specific maps and curated dated collections related to land use planning, agriculture, geothermal resources, oil and gas, mines and mineral resources, California geology, and geologic hazards.
- Department of Conservation TerraCount : This is a scenario planning tool for cities, counties, districts, and other land use planners and decision-makers. TerraCount models the greenhouse gas and natural resource implications of different development patterns and management activities.
- Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has partnered with HCD to provide technical assistance as part of the SB2 Planning Grants Program.
Other Planning and Land-Use Funding
- Working Lands Riparian Corridors Program : This program offers funding to support the development of natural and working lands components of climate action plans, sustainable communities strategies, general plans, and specific plans. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, councils of governments, municipal planning organizations, regional transportation planning agencies, other regional planning agencies, municipally owned special districts, resource conservation districts, water districts, other special districts and federally recognized California Native American tribe or California Native American tribes on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission.
- Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (SALC): This program offers funding to develop and implement plans to protect agricultural land at risk of conversion to non-agricultural uses. Eligible applicants include cities, counties, special districts, and LAFCOs.