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California’s Prohousing Designation Program: Rewarding City and County Policies that Boost Housing Supply

In this paper, we examine data for 10 early adopters of California’s Prohousing Designation Program, and assess whether the policies for which they received points are supported by research evidence that those policies can promote new housing development. Based on this analysis, we then turn to a series of recommendations for how HCD could make both short- and long-term reforms to the program. Our recommendations include opportunities for reducing the number of policies that are considered pro-housing, for example, by identifying and removing criteria for which compelling evidence of prohousing impacts does not exist, removing those that serve overlapping
functions, and rethinking how enhancement factors are considered and scored. Over time, HCD should also move
toward more objective metrics for the PDP designation that link policy adoption with housing production.

Authors:

Alexander Ramiller, Graduate Student Researcher

Carolina Reid, Faculty Research Advisor

Ben Metcalf, Managing Director

Read the full paper here.

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