affordable housing

Both the Planning Division and the County Executive Office (CEO) are working to meet the housing needs for Ventura County residents.

Affordable Housing Assistance Programs

Every year, the CEO prepares a plan that identifies the unmet needs for affordable and supportive housing, community development programs, social service programs, and economic development opportunities for low-income residents. The most current Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) covers the period 2010-2012 and addresses the unincorporated area of the County and the cities of Fillmore, Moorpark, Port Hueneme, Ojai, and Santa Paula.  The Plan also describes how the County intends to disburse federal grants like the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) and the HOME Investment Partnership Act (HOME) grant.  Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, RAIN, and the Winter Warming Shelter have all received federal grant monies through this process.  For more information about affordable housing assistance programs managed by the CEO, please click here.

Planning Division Activities and Programs

The Planning Division encourages the creation of affordable housing in the unincorporated portion of the County through the use of permit processing assistance and Zoning Ordinance amendments. Activities include the following:

Density Bonus: The Planning Division is currently updating Articles 16 and 19 of the Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance to reflect updated State law, which requires jurisdictions to provide density bonus and incentives to encourage development of housing for lower-income and elderly households. Click here to view the public outreach schedule for the Density Bonus Ordinance update.

Mobile Home Park Closures: The County’s Zoning Ordinance regulates mobile home park closures. The County recognized that mobile home parks offer affordable ownership housing to the citizens of Ventura County, particularly to residents over the age of 62 many of whom are on fixed, limited incomes. Mobile home parks are a relatively low intensity land use, and in growing urban areas, older parks are under economic pressure to redevelop into more profitable uses. In urban areas throughout the County, vacant mobile home park spaces are usually rare. Often times, park residents are evicted because of the park’s land use change, are unable to find space in other parks, or cannot afford the move even if a space were available. For these reasons, it was deemed necessary to protect the owners of mobile homes from unreasonable evictions and undue financial hardship from a mobile home park closure, while recognizing the rights of the park owners to pursue changes in land use. Persons who own mobile homes in parks being closed are eligible for relocation assistance and/or compensation for their homes.

Mobile Home Park Ownership Conversions: The County Board of Supervisors approved amendments to both the Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance and the Ventura County Subdivision Ordinance in order to outline the application requirements for mobile home park ownership conversions. Ventura County’s current Non-Coastal Zoning and Subdivision Ordinances lack specific guidance on how to process applications for conversions of mobile home parks to resident ownership under Subdivision Map Act Sec. 66427.5. The new amendments provide, to the extent permitted by law, measures that prevent any potential loss of affordable housing where conversions might otherwise cause within the unincorporated areas of the County, while keeping with the established goals, programs, and policies of the County’s General Plan and related provisions of State law.

Reasonable Accommodation: Pursuant to federal and state fair housing laws, the County of Ventura provides individuals with disabilities reasonable accommodations in land use and zoning rules, policies, and practices that may be necessary to afford disabled persons an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.  

Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to, setback area encroachments for ramps, handrails, or other such accessibility improvements; hardscape additions, such as widened driveways, parking area or walkways that would not otherwise comply with required landscaping or open space area provisions; and building addition(s) necessary to afford the applicant an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling. 

Second Dwelling Units: Second dwelling units provide an important souce of lower-income rental housing. In May 2003, the Board of Supervisors adopted revisions to the Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance for second dwelling units such as increasing the allowable size in most unincorporated areas, changing the lengthy discretionary approval process to a ministerial "over-the-counter" approval in accordance with State law, and allowing second dwelling units in more zoning districts. Click here to view a brochure on Second Dwelling Units.

Farmworker Housing: In May 2003, the County Zoning Ordinance was streamlined to allow farmworker housing that met certain criteria, to be ministerially approved over the counter. On an annual basis, the landowner (or permittee) is required to submit a standard Farmworker Dwelling Declaration to verify that the persons residing in the farmworker dwellings are principally employed for farm work. In 2005, the Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance (NCZO) to exempt Farmworker Housing Complexes from the building coverage standards and traffic policies of the General Plan. County staff is currently seeking Federal, State and private grant monies to develop farmworker housing countywide. In 2011, the Board approved additional revisions to the NCZO to allow the development of farmworker complexes, under certain circumstances, on substandard size parcels.  Please check out our Farmworker and Animal Caretaker Dwelling Units and the Farmworker Housing Complex informational brochures for further information.

Modification of County Zoning and Development Standards: To promote housing opportunities by reducing development costs, several zoning and development standards have been modified over the years:

For information on the amendment status dates refer to the "Ventura County Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance" by clicking here.