The HCD has released a funding opportunity for SB 2 Planning Grants. The purpose of the grants is to Provide funding and technical assistance to all local governments in California to help cities and counties prepare, adopt, and implement plans and process improvements that streamline housing approvals and accelerate housing production.

Funding will help cities and counties:

  • Accelerate housing production

  • Streamline the approval of housing development affordable to owner and renter households at all income levels

  • Facilitate housing affordability, particularly for lower- and moderate-income households

  • Promote development consistent with the State Planning Priorities (Government Code Section 65041.1) 

  • Ensure geographic equity in the distribution and expenditure of the funds

The program will provide grants through a noncompetitive, over-the-counter process to eligible local governments (cities and counties) who meet the following requirements:

Eligible applicants must:

  1. Have an HCD-compliant housing element,

  2. Have submitted a recent Annual Progress report,

  3. *Demonstrate a nexus to accelerating housing production, and

  4. Demonstrate that the applicant is consistent with State Planning Priorities (Government Code Section 65041.1)  or other planning priorities.

*Applicants proposing activities in at least one of the Priority Policy Areas below are automatically deemed to demonstrate a nexus to accelerating housing production without any further demonstration:

  • Rezone to Permit By-right: Rezoning for significant additional housing capacity without or 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 ADUs and other innovative building types through actions above state law 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 model” 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: Develop and implement approaches to local, regional or sub-regional housing related infrastructure financing. Create 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 publically available fee calculators.

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities may include:

  • Updates to general plans, community plans, specific plans, local planning related to implementation of sustainable communities strategies, or local coastal plans.

  • Updates to zoning ordinances.

  • Environmental analyses that eliminate the need for project-specific review.

  • Local process improvements that expedite local planning and permitting.

Register to attend either the Workshop or the Webinar at: