Defined: Local Government Affordable Housing Commitment
Local Government Affordable Housing Commitments must be filed with the Division of Housing to receive funding made available by Proposition 123. Municipalities make commitments on behalf the entirety of their jurisdiction, while counties are responsible only for unincorporated areas. Entities will be ineligible for Proposition 123 funding if their project is located in, or program operates within, a municipality or unincorporated area of a county that has not filed, or is out of compliance with, their commitment -- even if the entity is otherwise eligible.
Drafting a commitment
Once an interested local government has determined its baseline amount of affordable housing units, it can then plan its commitment to increase that number by 3% each year for a 3-year period ending on December 31, 2026. Ultimately, DOH and its partners will be working with any interested local government to submit its commitment no later than the deadline established in Proposition 123, which is November 1, 2023. Funding programs may be available sooner than the November 1st deadline, so DOH encourages local governments to commit as soon as possible. The dissemination of baseline data for a local government’s consideration is the first step toward achieving this important goal; additional information on the process through which commitments may be filed will be made available in the next several weeks.
It is important to note that Proposition 123 requires a local government to file a commitment specifying how it will increase a combination of its newly constructed affordable housing units and its existing units converted to affordable housing over its determined baseline number of affordable housing units by 3% each year. The Division of Housing interprets this to mean that ultimately a demonstration of a 9% increase over the baseline at the end of the 3-year commitment period ending on December 31, 2026, satisfies this requirement even if a 3% increase may not be accounted for in a particular year during that time frame.
If a commitment is not filed by November 1, 2023, then a local government and any development project in its jurisdiction are ineligible to receive any funding established by Proposition 123 during the 2024 calendar year. If this is to occur, a local government may file a commitment by November 1, 2024, for a 2-year commitment to increase its affordable housing stock by a total of 6% by December 31, 2026.
If a local government is unable to meet its 9% total commitment by December 31, 2026, then it and any development project in its jurisdiction are ineligible to receive any funding established by Proposition 123 for calendar year 2027. The good news is it may file a new commitment by November 1, 2027, for a 2-year commitment to increase its affordable housing stock by a total of 6% by December 31, 2029.
As an interested local government works to package its commitment and file it with DOH by November 1, 2023, it does not have to include verification of a “fast-track approval process” in this initial commitment. This will be a requirement in future commitments starting with the one due by November 1, 2026. However, Proposition 123 does provide that for this first commitment and future ones, “local governments should prioritize high-density housing, mixed-income housing, and projects consistent with the goal of environmental sustainability, when appropriate, and should prioritize affordable housing in communities in which low concentrations of affordable housing exist.”