CalHDF and affordable housing developer AMG & Associates, LLC (AMG) have submitted applications to build four 100% affordable housing developments in Novato, a city in Marin County, the sixth richest county in the nation. These developments are made possible by the newly effective state housing law, the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act, enacted by Assembly Bill 2011. AB 2011 is a new state law meant to encourage housing construction on properties zoned for commercial or mixed use. You can learn more about it in our explainer here.

CalHDF and AMG have submitted these development applications to bring much-needed affordable housing to Novato, and to ensure that new state laws like AB 2011 are implemented swiftly and effectively.  Since AB 2011 is a new era of law (just came into effect on July 1, 2023), a major part of CalHDF’s role in this endeavor will be to use our legal expertise to ensure that the applications are properly and swiftly reviewed and approved as required by state law.  

These are infill projects in mixed-use parts of the city in close proximity to transit. The developments also provide much needed affordable housing and are therefore eligible for density bonus law concessions. Across all four projects, these developments will add 790 affordable housing units to Novato, with 10% reserved as very low income (50% AMI), 10% as low income (60% AMI), and 80% as low income (80% AMI) units. Over the last eight year planning cycle ending at the start of 2023, Novato permitted only 139 units of low-income housing, falling short of its allocation target of 176. In the current planning cycle, Novato would need to facilitate the development of 898 new low income homes. More than six months after the deadline, the city so far has failed to produce and adopt a housing plan to satisfy this need. These four developments alone would provide nearly 90 percent of the City’s RHNA goals for low income housing over the next eight years, and would be the most significant affordable housing growth in decades for Novato.

The city of Novato is 68.2% white, 4% Black, 22.4% Latino, and 6.6% Asian. The median rent for 1-bedroom apartments in the city is $2,725, the median home price is $1,075,957, and the median household income is $107,975. These new affordable housing developments will work to make the city of Novato significantly more inclusive and accessible than it is today.

Grant & 4th Street

  • Downtown Novato
  • 207 units
  • Six stories

Grant & 1st Avenue

  • Downtown Novato
  • 173 units
  • Six stories

Grant & 3rd Street

  • Downtown Novato
  • 60 units
  • Five stories

Landing Court

  • South of central Novato
  • 350 units
  • Six stories