Affordable Housing

Affordable housing units are most commonly created by an Accessory Dwelling Unit (previously known as a Second Residential Dwelling) or as part of a proposed housing project, where one or more units are deed-restricted to a particular income level in exchange for a density bonus and/or development incentives.

Affordable Housing Rates

Household income limits, maximum rental rates, and maximum sales prices are based on the median income of the county and are calculated periodically by the County of San Luis Obispo’s Planning and Building Department.

Deed-restricted units may be occupied by households that qualify for the specified income level (extremely-low, very-low, low, or moderate). For rental units, the monthly rental rate, including costs for utilities, may not exceed the amount listed on the Affordable Housing Rate Chart. The City annually verifies that the household remains income-qualified and the rental rate does not exceed the allowable rate. For a for-sale unit, the household must meet the income restriction at the time of the sale, and the sales price cannot exceed the maximum listed on the Affordable Housing Rate Chart. The City annually verifies that the purchasing household occupies the unit.

Accessory Dwelling Units 

An Accessory Dwelling Unit is a second permanent dwelling that is accessory to a primary dwelling unit on the same site. A accessory dwelling provides complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, sanitation, and parking, and can either be attached or detached from the primary residence.

They may be permitted in any residential zoning district, subject to approval by the Community Development Department through the Building Permit plan review process. The Building Permit Fees are based on the size of the unit.

Development Incentives for Affordable Housing Projects

Projects with five or more units
Projects with at least five residential units that also include at least one affordable residential unit are qualified to apply the State’s affordable housing regulations, which can be found in the California State Government Code Section 65915. Depending on the level and percentage of units that are affordable, projects are eligible to receive up to three development incentives. Projects may also apply parking requirements as dictated by this section instead of city parking requirements.

Projects with four or less units
Projects with less than five residential units that also include at least one affordable residential unit cannot use the state’s regulations. However, recognizing that most lots in the City are not sufficient in size to accommodate five or more units, the City has adopted development incentives for projects with less than five units. Please refer to Development Code Chapter 3, Section 3.20 for additional information. 

In addition, affordable housing projects of any size may request a reduction in the amount of certain development fees. For example, developments are required to place the existing main utility lines underground or pay an in-lieu fee. However, pursuant to the Interim Undergrounding Policy adopted by the City Council on June 4, 2007, affordable housing projects may request a reduction in the amount of in-lieu fees to be paid. The reduction is the percentage that the project is determined to be affordable. For example, if a four unit project includes one affordable housing unit, the total amount of the in-lieu fees is reduced by one-fourth, or 25%.

Funding for Affordable Residential Projects

The City of Grover Beach is a non-entitlement community, eligible to competitively apply for funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which are administered by the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), such as Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The City’s Community Development Department manages these programs, which aim at providing services, housing, and facilities for the very-low, low- and moderate-income persons/households of our community.

Additional Resources:

Affordable Housing Guidebook (2013)