SB 2 planning grant resolution approved by Supervisors

Plumas County Planning Department, in cooperation with the Plumas County Community Development Commission, is submitting a noncompetitive grant to the state for affordable housing funding.

The $160,000 allowable for populations of less than 60,000 in California won’t go toward providing homes, but it will be available to supplement the planning process and other approved resources.

Plumas County’s new Planning Director Tracey Ferguson was before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Aug. 6, making the announcement. She was also requesting the adoption of a resolution authorizing application for the funding.

Funding is part of Senate Bill 2 making $123 million available in noncompetitive grants to California localities, Ferguson explained. SB 2 is part of a 15-bill housing package that attempts to address California’s housing shortage and the high cost of housing. “Specifically, SB 2 established a permanent source of revenue intended to increase the affordable housing stock in California,” she said.

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The grant among other things is intended to provide financial and technical assistance to local government for updating planning documents. These goals include efforts to accelerate housing production and to streamline the approval of housing development affordable to those who want to buy or those who are renting at all incomes levels.

It also helps facilitate making housing affordable for all income groups and helps promote development consistent with the state planning goals. Finally, it helps ensure geographic equity in the distribution and expenditure of allocated funding.

In preparing the grant, Ferguson said that planning and CDC used a consultant from PlaceWorks. This consultant is under state contract and didn’t cost Plumas County. “Where did that miracle come from?” asked Supervisor Lori Simpson.

Simpson said the county had set aside funding anticipating a cost for a consultant. So Ferguson’s news that the state was footing the bill for the consultant was unexpected and welcome.

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The review period is July 19 through Aug. 19, according to Ferguson. And that timeline has been met.

The next phase is a special meeting at the Plumas County Planning Department with the Planning Commission set for Thursday, Aug. 29. A full review of the application will be presented at that time.

“The goal is to submit the Plumas County SB 2 grant application by mid-August 2019,” Ferguson said. They are due to the state no later than Nov. 30.

Ferguson requested the Board of Supervisors approve a resolution for the SB 2 planning grant. The board unanimously approved the resolution.

By adopting the resolution, supervisors agreed to follow the state guidelines specifying how the funding can be used.