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Napa County News

Posted on: April 20, 2022

Napa County Announces $9 Million Investment in ADU Development, Proximity Housing

Napa, CA --- 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 County’s 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 Supervisors 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 in 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 homeowners with education, design and planning tools, project management support and access to capital to finance construction of JADU’s and ADU’s, including technical assistance with purchasing and installing prefabricated 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 prefabricated 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 homes since it was established in 2011. Yesterday’s investment also doubles the program’s capacity and increases the program’s 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. “It 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 interested in learning more about building an ADU in Napa County, including signing up for a free feasibility consult, please visit the Napa-Sonoma ADU Center at www.napasonomaadu.org

Prospective homeowners can learn more about the County’s Proximity Housing Homebuyer's Assistance Program on the County’s website.  

A staff report with full details on the Board’s April 19 actions is available on the County’s website. Staff will return in Fall 2022 with contracts and updates on how these investments are moving forward. 

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