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State recognizes Yuba County's efforts to meet housing needs

Yuba County joined a handful of California communities receiving a “Prohousing Designation,” as a result of efforts to streamline processes for new housing development. The honor, now shared by only 21 other cities and counties in the state, makes Yuba County eligible for special state grant programs and other resources to help with future projects.

“When you look at the jurisdictions that achieved this honor, it’s amazing to see a comparatively small county like Yuba County was able to do the work necessary to be counted among some giants,” said Assistant Director of Community Development, Kevin Perkins. “We are talking about a list that includes the likes of Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, Sacramento, and Roseville.”

Yuba County and ten other communities received the honor last week, when Governor Gavin Newsom added them to a list of eleven other jurisdictions designated as Prohousing communities in 2022.

According to the Governor’s Office, cities and counties that earn the Prohousing Designation receive incentives such as additional points or other preferences in the scoring of competitive funding programs administered by California’s Housing and Community Development Agency, giving them an advantage over other jurisdictions. They are also eligible for the Prohousing Incentive Pilot Program that rewards Prohousing communities at the forefront in addressing California’s housing crisis with additional funding to accelerate affordable housing production.

“Yuba County staff have been amazing in the work they have done to address the housing needs of our community, while equally assuring a pro-business aspect that balances the availability of services with growth,” said Yuba County Board of Supervisor Chairman Andy Vasquez. “Even though we are growing quickly, the Yuba County team is making sure every project is done correctly and benefits our residents.”

To earn the Prohousing Designation, Yuba County and other jurisdictions had to demonstrate that they promote climate smart housing development by enacting Prohousing policies and committing to “create the right mix of housing near jobs, transit, health care, and key amenities to build strong, thriving communities,” according to California’s Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development highlighted policies and plans that earned the County of Yuba the designation:

  • Yuba County’s approach to land use and zoning was instrumental in exceeding state-established housing level requirements by 158 percent, and also by clearing the path for permitting duplexes in single family zones.
  • The county streamlines permitting processes by offering over-the-counter approval of duplexes, multi-unit projects, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs).
In addition to Yuba County, the eleven communities honored last week include the cities of Emeryville, Fresno, Needles, Rancho Cordova, Redwood City, Riverside, Salinas, Stockton, and Ukiah, and the county of San Diego. They joined communities from the first round of Prohousing Designations that included the cities of Los Angeles, El Cerrito, Citrus Heights, Fontana, Oakland, Roseville, San Diego, West Sacramento, and Sacramento, and the counties of Sacramento and Placer.