The City of Riverside has been designated “Prohousing” by the State of California, making the city one of only a handful that will receive preference in seeking state funding for programs designed to speed the production of housing.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced that 11 new communities – including Riverside – had received the designation. So far 22 cities and counties around the state have been designated “Prohousing,” making Riverside among the top five percent in encouraging housing development.
“This designation recognizes the wise choices Riverside has made in pursuing the creation of housing for our residents,” Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said. “Our leadership in this area puts Riverside at the forefront to continue making progress on this vital issue.”
Local governments with the 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: Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities (AHSC); Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG); Transformative Climate Communities (TCC); Solutions for Congested Corridors; Local Partnership Program; and Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP).
The City has had success with such grants in the past, reaping tens of millions of dollars for affordable housing and other projects.
For example, the AHSC program helped fund the Mission Heritage Plaza affordable housing project in downtown Riverside and Entrada housing project at 7th Street and Chicago Avenue on the Eastside. The City is seeking AHSC funds for another housing effort on Third Street in downtown Riverside.
To earn the Prohousing Designation, cities and counties had to demonstrate they are promoting climate-smart housing development by enacting Prohousing policies, including streamlining multifamily housing developments, up-zoning in places near jobs and transit to reduce emissions, and creating affordable homes in places that exclude households of color and those earning lower incomes.
“Housing equity is one of the biggest issues of our day and an item we’ve prioritized. The Housing and Homelessness Committee, along with the Council, have been committed to finding solutions and delivering access for all types of housing,” Mayor Pro Tem Clarissa Cervantes said. “This designation shows the work we’ve done to position the City to effectively compete for future state funds, and build for all those who want to call Riverside home.”
Governor Newsom’s 2019-2020 budget established the Prohousing Designation Program as one of many support, incentives, and accountability measures to help meet California’s housing goals.
California has a goal of creating 2.5 million new homes during the next eight years, with at least one million of those homes serving the needs of lower-income Californians.
“Remarkably, in just a few weeks since our last announcement, the number of Prohousing Designations has doubled, a testament to the growing number of communities taking responsibility and committing to building their fair share of housing,” Newsom said. “Instead of making excuses, these jurisdictions are rising to the challenge, making difficult choices and ensuring that Californians have access to needed housing.”
Other cities recently designated as “Prohousing” include Emeryville, Fresno, Needles, Rancho Cordova, Redwood City, Salinas, Stockton, and Ukiah, and the counties of San Diego and Yuba.
The designation had previously been applied to Los Angeles, El Cerrito, Citrus Heights, Fontana, Oakland, Roseville, San Diego, West Sacramento, and Sacramento, and the counties of Sacramento and Placer.
More information can be found at: https://www.hcd.ca.gov/planning-and-community-development/prohousing-designation-program