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California Department of
Housing and Community Development

Adequate Sites Alternative

Government Code Section 65583.1 subdivision (c) allows under prescribed conditions, units that are substantially rehabilitated, converted from market rate to affordable, converted from nonresidential to residential, or where unit affordability or spaces a mobilehome park is preserved to be counted towards the adequate sites requirement. This page has been updated to reflect changes pursuant to AB 83 (2019).

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Requisite Analysis

Local governments can employ a variety of development strategies and/or commit to specific programs to address the adequate sites requirement. As provided in Government Code Section 65583.1 subdivision (c), in addition to identifying vacant or underutilized land resources, local governments can meet up to 25 percent of the requirement to provide adequate sites by making affordable units available through development of rehabilitation, conversion, and/or preservation.

Substantial Rehabilitation, Conversion, and Preservation

Under limited circumstances, a local government may credit up to 25 percent of their adequate sites requirement per income category through existing units that will be:

Substantially Rehabilitated: Units to be substantially rehabilitated must result in a net increase in the stock of housing affordable to low- and very low-income households and include the following provisions:

Converted: Converted units are those located on a foreclosed property or in a multifamily rental or ownership housing complex of three or more units that have been converted from non-affordable to affordable rental by acquisition of the unit or the purchase of affordability covenants and restrictions. These units are not to be acquired by eminent domain and must provide a net increase in the stock of housing affordable to low- and very low-income households.

Converted units must be made available for rent at affordable housing costs; not already occupied by low- or very low-income households; and in decent, safe, and sanitary condition when occupied. Long-term affordability covenants (not less than 55 years) apply to these units. Relocation assistance must be provided to any occupants temporarily or permanently displaced and the local government must require that any displaced occupant will have the right to reoccupy the rehabilitated units.

To convert existing multifamily ownership units, the housing element must demonstrate that for each ownership unit converted to an affordable unit and counted under the Alternative Adequate Sites, a new multifamily rental unit affordable to lower-income households will be constructed within the planning period of the housing element. For example, for a community to count the conversion of 10 multifamily ownership units to units affordable to lower-income households, the housing element must demonstrate that at least 10 new multifamily rental units will be produced within the planning period of the housing element. The housing element could describe the number of multifamily units that will be constructed within the planning period to be affordable to lower-income households, identify the date new construction was or is anticipated to be completed, and include a description of the regional housing need allocation credit methodology used to determine affordability. The jurisdiction could also include certificates of occupancy to satisfy this requirement. The number of units affordable to low- and very low-income households that have been constructed must meet or exceed the number of converted ownership units credited against particular regional housing need allocation income categories.
While foreclosed properties converted by acquisition or the purchase of affordability covenants currently qualify under the same conversion provisions for multifamily units, as of January 1, 2015, these units are now also required to demonstrate multifamily rental production as stated in the above paragraph.

Converted Nonresidential to Residential: Units in a motel, hotel, or hostel that are converted with committed assistance from the city or county from nonresidential to residential by the acquisition of the unit or the purchase of affordability covenants and restrictions for the unit, are not acquired by eminent domain, and constitute a net increase in the community’s stock of housing affordable to low- and very low income households. The analysis must demonstrate the units meet the following criteria:

Preserved: Units to be preserved at affordable housing costs to lower-income households by acquisition of the unit or the purchase of affordability covenants for the units. Preserved units must meet all of the following requirements:

Units must also be found (via a public hearing) eligible for preservation, with a reasonable expectation that the units will change from affordable to another use during the next five years. When units are identified for preservation, they must be available at costs affordable to persons and families with low- or very low-incomes.

Preserved Mobilehome Park Spaces: All spaces in a mobilehome park that is acquired with committed assistance from the city or county where any of the following apply:

A mobilehome park is defined as any area or tract of land where two or more lots are rented or leased, held out for rent or lease, or were formerly held out for rent or lease and later converted to a subdivision, cooperative, condominium, or other form of resident ownership, to accommodate manufactured homes, mobilehomes, or recreational vehicles used for human habitation (Health and Safety Code section 18214(a)).

Additional Requirements:

“Committed assistance” exists when a local government has entered into a legally enforceable agreement from the beginning of the projection period until the third year of the housing-element planning period that obligates sufficient, available funds or other in-kind services to make identified units affordable and ensures the units will be made available for occupancy within two years of the execution of the agreement. “Net increase” refers only those units that were not provided committed assistance in the immediately prior planning period.

This Alternative Adequate Sites Checklist (PDF) provides guidance in determining whether the provisions of Government Code Section 65583.1(c) can be used to address the adequate sites program requirement. A “yes” answer to the questions means the alternative site program option(s) may be applicable to your community.

Helpful Hints

An assisted housing development is any multifamily rental housing development that receives governmental assistance under any of the following programs:

  1. New construction, substantial rehabilitation, moderate rehabilitation, property disposition, and loan management set-aside programs, or any other program providing project-based assistance, under Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937, as amended (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1437f).
  2. The following federal programs:
    1. The Below-Market-Interest-Rate Program under Section 221(d)(3) of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1715l(d)(3) and (5)).
    2. Section 236 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. Sec.1715z-1).
    3. Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1701q).
  3. Programs for rent supplement assistance under Section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, as amended (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1701s).
  4. Programs under Sections 514, 515, 516, 533, and 538 of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1485).
  5. Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  6. Section 142(d) of the Internal Revenue Code (tax-exempt private activity mortgage revenue bonds).
  7. Section 147 of the Internal Revenue Code (Section 501(c)(3) bonds).
  8. Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended (Community Development Block Grant Program).
  9. Title II of the Cranston-Gonzales National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, as amended (HOME Investment Partnership Program).
  10. Titles IV and V of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, as amended, including the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development's Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care program, and surplus federal property disposition program.
  11. Grants and loans made by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, including the Rental Housing Construction Program, CHRP-R, and other rental housing finance programs.
  12. Chapter 1138 of the statutes of 1987.
  13. The following assistance provided by counties or cities in exchange for restrictions on the maximum rents that may be charged for units within a multifamily rental housing development and on the maximum tenant income as a condition of eligibility for occupancy of the unit subject to the rent restriction, as reflected by a recorded agreement with a county or city:
    1. Loans or grants provided using tax increment financing pursuant to the Community Redevelopment Law (Part 1 (commencing with Section 33000) of Division 24 of the Health and Safety Code).
    2. Local housing trust funds, as referred to in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 50843 of the Health and Safety Code.
    3. The sale or lease of public property at or below market rates.
    4. The granting of density bonuses, or concessions or incentives, including fee waivers, parking variances, or amendments to general plans, zoning, or redevelopment project area plans, pursuant to Chapter 4.3 (commencing with Section 65915).