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Webinar Highlights Program to Use Excess State Land as Potential Sites for Housing Development

November 4, 2019
The League of California Cities hosted a webinar, in partnership with the California Department of General Services (DGS) and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), to unveil state-owned parcels in cities across the state that may be viable for housing development and the process by which such development would occur.
 
DGS and HCD are tasked with implementing Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-06-19, which aims to identify state-owned property that is viable for housing development and is in excess of any foreseeable need.
 
League President and Yountville Mayor John Dunbar, one of the webinar presenters, reinforced the League’s eagerness to work in partnership with the Administration on implementing the Executive Order.
 
President Dunbar reminded cities that this Executive Order provides an opportunity for state and local governments to work in collaboration to help determine the viability of building cost-effective housing on excess state property. He shared an example of how Yountville worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs, DGS, HCD, and the Governor’s Office to bring housing to under-utilized sections of the 600-plus acre Veterans Home campus.
 
DGS Deputy Director Real Estate Services Division Jason Kenney and HCD Specialist Division of Financial Assistance Meghie Tabar led the webinar. Kenney and Tabar updated attendees about the progress achieved to date and that the two state departments collaboratively narrowed down the 44,000 excess pieces of state property to 100 sites using specific methodology to identify only sites that are most ideal for housing development.
 
Many local governments have already reached out and suggested sites in their city and county, with some proposing co-development projects to make sites more viable.
 
Cities are encouraged to view the Executive Order on Affordable Housing EO N-6-19 Webinar, review the Statewide Affordable Housing Opportunities Sites Heat Map, visit the EO N-06-19 Affordable Housing Development Website, and reach out to DGS if there is excess state property in their jurisdiction that should be deemed potentially suitable for housing.
 
To contact DGS, email AffordableHousing@dgs.ca.gov.
 
Executive Order N-16-19 Background
 
Executive Order N-06-19, signed Jan. 15, 2019 and ordered DGS, HCD, and the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) to collaborate to identify and prioritize excess state-owned property for sustainable, innovative and cost-effective housing developments.
 
Since then, DGS and HCD identified and prioritized excess state properties and then determined which sites would be potentially suitable for affordable housing development. The resulting GIS-enabled map is searchable, fully interactive, shows each site identified in the inventory and includes a “heat map” overlay indicating where housing is most needed in California. Going forward, DGS will release Requests for Proposals to begin developing affordable housing at selected sites. Developing entities will receive a long-term ground lease from the state and would build, own and manage the housing they develop, subject to oversight from the state.
 
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