April 20, 2022 – Napa County Board of Supervisors
Continuing to address the housing crisis, the Napa County Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to make an historic investment in affordable housing programs using $7 million from the counties American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation and an additional $2 million from the Affordable Housing Fund balance the Board’s actions expand affordable home ownership opportunities and accelerate the adoption of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to boost the availability of housing stock across Napa County.
“This is a bold leap forward,” Ryan Gregory Chair of the Napa County Board of supervisor said. “Today’s actions will move the needle on creating more housing up-and-down the income spectrum and will allow us to tackle the housing affordability crisis and ways we’ve never done before.”
Together these actions are intended to accelerate and incentivize ADU adoption and once programs are implemented, they will provide as much as $100,000 in assistance to low- to middle-income homeowners to build ADUs on their property.
This investment builds on the momentum of the Board’s long-standing support for affordable housing programs. In June 2018 the Board of Supervisors approved a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit loan (JADU) program that provides a $40,000 no-interest, forgivable loan (plus the cost of permit fees) in exchange for a 10-year deed restriction to rent the unit to an individual or family earning low- or very-low income. Yesterday’s actions expand the incentives and financing tools to drive more households to the program.
The Board also voted yesterday to provide financial support for innovative new services and programs that provide home owners with education, design and planning tools, project management support, and access to capital to finance construction of JADUs and ADUs, including technical assistance with purchasing and installing pre-fabricated ADUs. The funding will support long-term continuation of the Napa Sonoma ADU Center, a three-year pilot project of Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF), boost pre-fabricated unit production through Homes for California, a nonprofit housing developer founded to create affordable housing options in the immediate aftermath of the 2017 fires and provide funding to support an innovative new ADU loan product that Redwood credit Union has developed in partnership with NVCF.
The Workforce Proximity Housing Program the County’s signature housing affordability program has helped 174 households purchase home since it was established in 2011. Yesterday‘s investment also doubles the programs capacity and increases the programs maximum down payment assistance.
Napa County CEO Minh C. Tran said investing in innovative solutions and partnerships to address housing affordability advances many of the County’s other strategic goals. “Investing in ADU development and workforce proximity housing supports our climate investment goals by reducing traffic and commutes”, said Tran> “And powers the economic engine that is our workforce. Our ADU program supports our workforce and our families including those with low- or fixed-incomes by creating a new income stream in their backyards. These initiatives help our homeowners our workforce and our businesses they are a win-win for all”.
Yesterday the Board of Supervisors directed staff to pursue the following uses:
ADU market rate development: Use $1 million in ARPA funds to directly invest in programs that support ADU market rate development.
Expansion of existing ADU loan and incentive programs: Use $5 million of ARPA funds to support affordable housing development through funding and expansion of program guidelines.
Expansion of the proximity workforce housing assistance program: Update guidelines to increase the maximum percentage of down payment assistance from 10% to 16.5% and increase overall program funding using approximately $1 million of ARPA funds and $2 million of Affordable Housing Fund.
Measures to streamline permitting: Streamline permitting processes and consideration of fee waivers under specific circumstances.
For homeowners interest in learning more about building and a DU in Napa County including signing up for a free feasibility consult please visit Napa Sonoma ADU Center.
Prospective homeowners can learn more about the County’s Proximity Housing Homebuyers Assistance Program on the County’s website.
A staff report with full details on the boards April 19 actions is available on the County’s website. Staff will return and fall 2022 with contracts and updates on how the investments are moving forward.