Housing grants announced for Encinitas, Oceanside

Encinitas and Oceanside are among California cities that have been awarded Local Early Planning Grants to help create more housing.

The funding — $300,000 for Encinitas and $500,000 for Oceanside — comes from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The announcement was made by Sen. Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, a member of the Senate Housing Committee.

“The grants will aid in the cities’ efforts to provide for their housing needs now and in the future,” said Bates in a statement. “I will continue to work to ensure that our region receives its fair share of state funding.”

Grant funding comes from the 2019-20 state budget, which allocated $250 million to help prioritize planning that would speed housing production and also assist compliance with the sixth-cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment. The assessment is mandated by state housing law as part of the periodic process of updating local housing elements of the General Plan.

The Department of Housing and Community Development established the LEAP program with $119 million in one-time grant funding for cities and counties.

Encinitas will use its grant to encourage mixed-use development and public participation in planning. Oceanside will use its grant to help establish new zoning standards that will encourage infill and redevelopment.

Bates represents the 36th Senate District in the state legislature, which includes North San Diego County, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and south Orange County. She previously announced LEAP grant awards for Aliso Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and Rancho Santa Margarita. Those are in addition to 2017 planning grants that she announced for Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano.

— Laura Groch is a writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune