CSAC Bulletin Article

HCD Recently Released a New SB 35 Statewide Determination Summary

August 6, 2020

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) recently released an updated determination list, which shows cities and counties that are subject to streamlined housing approvals for specific housing developments under SB 35 (Wiener, 2017) and a summary of Annual Progress Report (APR) permitting data. HCD bases their numbers on building permits, so many developments approved by local governments but not yet constructed by developers are excluded from the calculation. While housing production statewide has exceeded state planning targets for above-moderate income households, the development of affordable homes continues to lag due to limited funding for subsidies.

HCD’s updated determination list reflects the latest data jurisdictions submitted to HCD in their APRs, which provides information on the number of homes built relative to each jurisdiction’s housing planning targets. All cities and counties are required to submit their APRs to HCD by April 1 of each year. According to HCD, nearly 500 jurisdictions (over 90 percent) have submitted their state-mandated APRs.

The updated determination list provides a summary of jurisdictions currently:

  • Not subject to the streamlined ministerial approval process
    • 4 counties fall under this category 
  • Subject to SB 35 streamlining for developments with at least 10 percent affordability
    • 36 counties fall under this category
  • Subject to SB 35 streamlining for developments with at least 50 percent affordability
    • 18 counties fall under this category

Key highlights from HCD’s data are included below:

  • There was an increase in home construction reported in 2019 compared to those reported in 2018.
  • There is a continued need for below-moderate income housing.
  • Statewide, jurisdictions exceeded the total goal for units affordable to above-moderate income households.

Home construction reported in 2019 APRs totaled:

  • 5,342 for units affordable to very-low income households (4.35% of annual total)
  • 5,453 for units affordable to lower income households (4.44% of annual total)
  • 16,555 for units affordable to moderate income households (13.49% of annual total)
  • 95,382 for units affordable to above moderate income households (77.72% of annual total)

HCD’s permitting data shows that 275 jurisdictions reported more housing development in 2019 compared to 2018. However, there is still a strong and continued need for below-moderate income housing. In 29 jurisdictions, developers have built enough lower-income and above-moderate income to exceed RHNA targets. 140 jurisdictions reported an increase in lower-income units in their 2019 APRs.

Permitting progress reported for the 5th Housing Element cycle is as follows:

  • 31,725 units or 11.4% of the total goal for units affordable to very-low income households
  • 31,262 units or 16.9% of the total goal for units affordable to lower income households
  • 83,317 units or 40.7% of the total goal for units affordable to moderate income households
  • 490,012 or 100.4% of the total goal for units affordable to above-moderate income households
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