Developing Affordable Housing

Developing Affordable Housing

The Department of Conservation and Development facilitates the development of affordable housing by working with housing developers. Staff is available to discuss project proposals with developers in the early planning states of a development in order to assist the developer in creating viable and innovative solutions to providing affordable housing.

HOME Income Limits

CDBG Income Limits

HOME Rent Limits

HUD Utility Schedule Model*

Ohlone 1.9 3

Ohlone Gardens is a 57-unit apartments for low-income families and those with special needs in El Cerrito. The project is owned by Resources for Community Development and is estimated to be complete by September 2015.

*HUD has developed a Utility Schedule Model that enables the user to calculate utility schedules by housing type after entering utility rate information for HOME funded projects effective January 24, 2015

Affordable Housing Financing Programs

Click on a link for information about a program

Multi-Family Mortgage Revenue Bonds

For Detailed information, see the County Debt Policy (PDF).

Program Information

The purpose of the Program is: (1) to increase the supply of rental housing in the County; and

(2) to provide housing units affordable for lower income residents.

Project loans made by the County have been as small as $425,000 for a ten unit development to as much as $60 million for a larger project.

The project will be able to use tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the County pursuant to Section 52075 of the California Health & Safety Code, and applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The bonds will not involve any pledge of County revenues, taxes, or assets.

Bonds may be issued for projects which:

  • (a) meet program requirements;
  • (b) are located in the unincorporated areas of the County or in incorporated areas with approval by both the applicable City and the County;
  • (c) have a commitment fee paid by the developer; and
  • (d) have a developer loan commitment from, an acceptable lender and/or credit enhancement provider.

Loans under the multifamily bond program will generally be amortized for 30 years and will be due at the expiration of the credit enhancement (e.g., typically 7 years for a letter of credit, 40 years for FHA insurance). The bonds may remain outstanding with an extended or replacement credit enhancement. Effective loan rates will depend upon market conditions at the time of bond sale, and the type of bond structure. Bonds to be issued will generally be rated by a nationally recognized rating agency, and carry at least an "A" rating. If a developer is contemplating an issuance of unrated bonds, the developer should immediately contact the County for additional guidance.

  1. HOME
  2. CDBG
  3. Special Needs Hsg Development

Purpose and Priorities

To expand the supply of decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing for very-low and low-income families and households.

Eligible Applicants

  • Public agencies, non-profit, and for-profit developers
  • Fifteen percent (15%) of the Contra Costa County Consortium annual HOME allocation must be reserved for affordable housing projects owned, developed, or sponsored by qualified Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO).
    Download the Application for CHDO

Eligible Area

Contra Costa County Consortium, which includes all of Contra Costa with the exception of the City of Richmond.

Target Population

Lower-Income households, defined and as households within incomes less than than or equal to 80 percent of area median income, as defined by HUD. Low-Income Special Needs Population including:

  • Seniors and the frail elderly;
  • Large families with children;
  • Disabled population;
  • Persons with alcohol or drug-abuse problems;
  • Female-headed households;
  • Farmworkers;
  • Victims of domestic violence; and
  • Homeless

County Ordinances for Affordable Housing

Residential Density Ordinance

The Residential Density Bonus Ordinance (density bonus) is a mechanism to provide incentives for the production of affordable housing for very-low, lower-income, and senior households. The incentives include an increase in the maximum allowed residential density in the General Plan and additional incentives.

Download State Density Bonus Code

Download Ordinance

Download Density Bonus Submittal Requirement Checklist

Inclusionary Housing Ordinance

The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance requires new residential developments to include a minimum percentage of dwelling units that are affordable to very-low, lower and moderate income households. In residential developments of five (5) or more units, fifteen percent (15%) of the dwelling units must be affordable. Developments of four (4) or fewer units are not subject to the requirements of the recommended Ordinance. The recommended Ordinance provides some alternative compliance options, including the payment of fees in-lieu of developing affordable units ("in-lieu fee"), allowing the affordable units to be developed on a separate site and allowing a developer to convey land suitable for affordable housing development to a qualified affordable housing developer. In addition, the County may consider any other reasonable alternative that a developer proposes.

Download Ordinance

Download Housing Plan Checklist

Download Fee Calculator (Excel)