News Details

City Council Studies Housing Issues

On January 27, 2021, the Norco City Council held a study session on housing issues, directed by Tara Matthews, principal of RSG, Inc., a consulting firm that assists cities and counties achieve the affordable housing goals mandated by the State of California. Ms. Matthews reviewed the City’s current programs—single-family home rehabilitation grants and loans, first-time homebuyer program, and utility bill discount program—for their consistency with current State of California housing law and advised the City that significant changes would be required to bring them into compliance.

Ms. Matthews also addressed the use of existing funds and real estate, originally from the Norco Redevelopment Agency (dissolved in 2012) that are earmarked for affordable housing. She advised the City Council that there are penalties for not spending this money in a manner consistent with State law and that deadlines for the expenditure of more than $1 million are rapidly approaching. The consultant further addressed issues related to the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) numbers assigned to the City of Norco, which provide targets for the number of new housing units in various income categories.

Housing policies in California are constantly evolving, with the State Legislature passing more and more aggressive housing statutes that leave communities like Norco very few options. Penalties for non-compliance can be severe and if municipalities do not spend their housing funds appropriately those funds can be forfeited to the State. It is best, according to RSG, to spend these funds pursuant to current statute, but to do so in a manner that is consistent with Norco’s character and lifestyle.  

No action was intended to be taken at this Study Session, which was educational for the City Council, staff and the public. The City Council appointed a committee comprised of Mayor Pro Tem Newton and Council Member Grundmeyer to further study these issues.

To watch the Study Session, visit www.vimeo.com/500191339.

For more information, contact the City of Norco at (951) 270-5644 or info@ci.norco.ca.us.