Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is a cornerstone to individuals with developmental disabilities residing in their local communities. Due to the high cost of housing in California, many individuals served by the regional centers require deep subsidies in order to make housing affordable. DDS is actively pursuing projects that will increase capacity and precipitate the construction of new affordable housing.

This site provides information about affordable housing projects in which DDS is involved. The site also links users to public and private agencies that can assist individuals with developmental disabilities in finding affordable housing.

Multifamily Housing

DDS Projects

The Governors’ 2001 budget allocated $2.9 million to increase affordable housing for consumers of the regional center system. $2.9 million was granted through a Request for Proposal (RFA) process under the DDS-AH project.

The DDS-AH projects are designed to increase Capacity Building & Housing Production of affordable housing for persons with developmental disabilities. A Capacity Building project develops resources in the community for persons with developmental disabilities to acquire affordable housing. Housing Production projects increase the stock of affordable housing through the purchase, rehabilitation, or construction of real property.

Up to $100,000 was granted for capacity building projects and up to $300,000 was granted to projects related to housing production. A total of twenty-three projects, covering most of California were funded. Below is a list of the projects funded. A description of the projects can be reviewed in the 2002 Housing Legislative Report.

2001/2002 DDS-AH Grant Recipients

  • UCP of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties (Orange County)
  • Housing Consortium of the East Bay (Alameda County)*
  • North Bay Housing Coalition (Napa County)
  • Human Investment Project (San Mateo County)
  • Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment (Los Angeles County)
  • Home Ownership Made Easy (Los Angeles County)*
  • Community Interface Services (San Diego County)*
  • Redwood Community Action Agency (Humboldt and Mendocino Counties)*
  • Delano Association for the Developmentally Disabled (Kern County)*
  • Resources for Rural Community Development Inc. (Shasta County)*
  • Housing Choices Coalition (Santa Clara County)*
  • ARC-San Francisco (San Francisco City/County)
  • Easter Seals of Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange Counties)
  • InAlliance (Sacramento County)
  • Marin-ARC (Marin County)
  • Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services (Los Angeles County)

*Received two grants, for two separate housing projects.

2000/2001 DDS-AH Grant Recipients

  • Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment, Inc. (Los Angeles County)
  • Housing Choices Coalition (Santa Clara County)*
  • Resources for Rural Community Development Inc. (Shasta County)*
  • UCP of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties (Santa Barbara County)
  • North Bay Housing Coalition (Napa County)
  • Coalition for Housing Accessibility, Needs, Choices and Equality (Santa Barbara County)
  • Community Housing Resources, Inc. (Orange County)
  • Easter Seals of Southern California (Los Angeles County)
  • Housing Consortium of the East Bay (Alameda County)

*Received two grants, for two separate housing projects.

Through an interagency agreement with the Department of Developmental Services, the California Department of Housing and Community Development helps to administer a $3,718,000 program pursuant to a 1994 Superior Court decision called the Coffelt Agreement. Funding under this program is completely exhausted and no new funding is anticipated. However, the program design reflects concepts from both affordable housing and supported living arrangements. Fourteen rental projects were established offering housing with rents at approximately 30% of an individual’s income for regional center consumers throughout California. The sole purpose of the program is to provide additional long term affordable housing stock to individuals with an intellectual and developmental disability who choose to live in the community.

Housing Links & Information:

View all housing agencies
There are several affordable housing programs available to the public. They are administered by public and private agencies that can assist persons and agencies with acquiring affordable housing.

  • California Housing Finance Agency (CHFA) – A loan program that offers reduced interest rates for multifamily permanent housing projects that serve disabled tenants in need of special services, and administers the California Homebuyers’ Down-Payment Assistance Program. For more information visit the CHFA website.
  • Section 8 Homeownership Program – A program administered through Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that allows use of Fair Share (Section 8) vouchers for homeownership. For more information visit the HUD website.
  • Housing Authorities – The State of California does not own or operate public housing; public housing is administered directly through local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). For a complete list of housing authorities, click here.
  • For those jurisdictions that do not have a local PHA, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has a Housing Assistance Program (HAP) that administers the Section 8 program in those counties. HCD acts as the local housing authority for twelve rural counties. The counties are listed below:
    • Alpine
    • Amador
    • Calaveras
    • Colusa
    • Glenn
    • Inyo
    • Modoc
    • Mono
    • Sierra
    • Siskiyou
    • Trinity
    • Tuolumne

Every City and County in the State Must Plan and Zone for Affordable Housing

In 2010, California Senate Bill 812 added a specific requirement that Housing Elements must include an analysis of services and housing needs for persons with developmental disabilities. To be responsive to this requirement, the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) maintains an accounting of the number of persons with developmental disabilities served by zip code. This information is used in the analysis of existing and projected supportive services and housing needs of DDS consumers in the Housing Element process. California law recognizes that in order for the public and private sector to adequately address housing needs of all populations, local government land use plans must include a variety of zoning options. Consequently, California has taken the lead nationally, adopting Housing Element Law originally established in 1969. The law requires public participation in the Housing Element process as the general public, housing developers, social service providers and various government departments discuss and plan for affordable housing opportunities.

What is a Housing Element?

  • All cities and counties in California must prepare a Housing Element; typically, local governments assign the process to their planning department, community development department or housing authority.
  • Public participation, including outreach for the housing element process and implementation of programs is required. Outreach should include all segments of the population, including special needs populations, such as seniors and people with disabilities, including persons with developmental disabilities.
  • A housing needs assessment of existing and projected populations is required, including the availability and planning for infrastructure (water, sewer, transportation, etc.) to meet future growth.
  • Each jurisdiction establishes a specific plan to achieve its housing goals: rezoning properties to increase densities as needed.

Housing Element Policies & Programs

  • An analysis of special needs populations, including senior citizens, farmworkers, large families, female head of households and persons with disabilities is required.
  • A sites inventory list of available parcels and their zoning classification is required.
  • Proximity of identified sites in relationship to public transportation, jobs, services, shopping and schools, in addition to available services, is included in the Housing Element.
  • Planning, identification and commitments of available funding for affordable housing and infrastructure are included.

How do I access the Housing Element in my community?

Housing Elements are posted on local government planning or community development websites. Call or visit your local city or county government office, or visit their website to determine where they are in the Housing Element process. Citizen participation in the process does make a difference!

Visit the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s website to determine the due date of your city or county’s next Housing Element due date, or the status of their last submitted Housing Element.

Proposition 1C Funding for Affordable and Accessible Homes

Proposition 1C, Housing Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006, was approved by voters in November 2006. Proposition 1C invests $2.85 billion for housing and infrastructure programs to produce an estimated 118,000 housing units, 2,350 homeless shelter spaces, and infrastructure projects that help infill housing development such as water, sewer, parks, and transportation improvements. These funds will assist qualified projects to build affordable and accessible homes for individuals with lower incomes, including individuals with developmental disabilities, in their communities over the next ten years.

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is continuing to issue Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for the Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) Supportive Housing component to fund qualified projects for developing affordable and accessible homes. Please visit the link below for the most current information regarding NOFAs and program information.

For more information about affordable housing, please go to the Housing and Community Development website.


Last modified: May 2, 2020