City of Redwood City logoThe State Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) has officially approved Redwood City’s newly adopted Housing Element and Governor Newsom awarded Redwood City with a Prohousing Designation.

“Under the City Council’s strong leadership and thanks to diligent staff work, I am pleased to share Redwood City is the first city in San Mateo County to officially have an approved Housing Element,” said Melissa Stevenson Diaz, City Manager of Redwood City. “Receiving a Prohousing Designation further validates our work to ensure housing for all: just 4% of California cities have met this standard.”

In February, the City Council adopted the Housing Element, which sets a target of building 150% of the housing units needed to meet the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation, and since then City staff has quickly pivoted toward Housing Element implementation. The first major action will be a set of proposed amendments to the zoning and municipal codes and Affordable Housing Ordinance that address various programs in the Housing Element, including the following major items:

  • Updates to implement Senate Bill 9 (allowing duplexes in single family zones);
  • Changes to facilitate the production of more Middle Housing (i.e., duplexes, triplexes, and small apartments) in Redwood City’s multi-family zoning districts;
  • Rezoning of the commercial office between Veterans Boulevard and US-101 to mixed use zoning to allow housing;
  • Expanding mixed use zoning along Woodside Road; and
  • Rezoning parcels throughout the city (including mobile home parks) to fix inconsistencies between the General Plan and underlying zoning

The targeted update of the Affordable Housing Ordinance will include proposed amendments to allow greater flexibility for new developments to meet the City’s inclusionary housing requirements. The proposed amendments will include modifications to the affordable rent definitions and concurrent construction requirements as well as adding additional criteria for land donation options.

This package of code amendments is tentatively scheduled for a study session by the Planning Commission on May 10, then for action by the Planning Commission on June 6, followed by City Council consideration on June 26.

To help address the housing crisis, in 2019, the State established the Prohousing Designation Program. The program identifies local policies that jurisdictions should consider adopting to address housing needs and affordability and identifies State programs and grants for which Prohousing designated jurisdictions would receive preference or additional points for competitive housing, community development and infrastructure programs. Redwood City is also the only city in San Mateo County and only one of twenty-two jurisdictions statewide to achieve the State’s Prohousing Designation.

Learn more about Redwood City’s Housing Element by visiting