Building Affordable Housing in Placer County
In response to the lack of affordable housing in Placer County, the County established housing goals in the 2021-2029 Housing Element that require all new residential development projects to provide for at least 10% of the total units built in unincorporated Placer County to be affordable to very low-, low-, and moderate-income households. Housing affordability is based on the Area Median Income (AMI) for a 4-person household. (Placer County's AMI for a 4-person household is $91,100 as of 12/31/21). The AMI and income limits for other household sizes and income levels is updated annually by the State. Placer County's income limits for 2021 are shown on this table.
To achieve the 10% inclusionary goal, Placer County has taken these measures to increase affordable housing development:
- Adopted an Affordable Housing and Employee Accommodation Ordinance that took effect on January 1, 2021. This ordinance requires new residential development with more than 100 units to include 10% of the total units as affordable. (Developments with 8 to 100 units have the option to pay an Affordable Housing Fee in-lieu of constructing the affordable units). All fees collected shall be placed in the Placer County Housing Trust Fund or may be placed in a private trust fund. The fees shall be used to provide affordable and employee housing pursuant to the Housing Trust Fund Guidelines.
- Incentives for Affordable Housing Development. The State and the County provide incentives (density bonus, fee waiver, and priority processing) for development projects which offer for-sale and rental prices affordable to households at specific household income levels.
- Formed the Board-appointed Housing Development Advisory Taskforce in 2021. The taskforce is comprised of nine volunteer community members with diverse expertise in housing. The taskforce is actively helping to identify sites and consider proposals for affordable housing construction in Placer County.
- Identified Affordable Housing Opportunity Sites. In 2018, the County contracted with BAE Urban Economics to identify sites in the unincorporated areas of the county where affordable housing would be feasible to develop. Approximately 100 sites were identified. Additional sites are being actively identified with the help of the taskforce and its partners, Housing Trust Placer and Placer Community Foundation.
- Updated the Housing Trust Fund Guidelines in 2021. The Guidelines were updated to conform with the Affordable Housing and Employee Accommodation Ordinance and to expand the eligible uses of funds to support Housing Trust Placer and the Workforce Housing Preservation Program.
To learn more about these affordable housing efforts, follow the links in the sidebar, which also includes links to the County's Zoning Ordinance, Development Standards, the General Plan, and Community Plans.
For Land Developers or Builders:
If you are a land developer or builder with a residential development project or are interested in learning more about planning a housing development, we would love to talk with you and explore the best options for you. Please see the Advancing Affordable Housing in Placer County informational booklet.
Affordable housing in a safe environment is essential to the health of our community. It allows individuals and families to live more stable lives while being able to afford basic needs like food, clothing, medical care, and transportation. Consider constructing affordable housing today!