We all know we have a housing problem.
Let's get to work.

An urgent call to approve and move on the housing our families, workforce, and economy desperately need

SLO County Supervisors, Mayors, Councilmembers, Planning Commissioners, and all interested in creating more opportunities for housing: 

SLO County’s persistent housing shortage has become a fundamental threat to our community’s livelihood. Businesses can’t hire, workers can’t afford to live here, and our economy can’t sustain our way of life.

As members of the housing advocacy team and partners that supported development of the new Housing and Infrastructure Regional Framework, we believe that swift leadership to create more housing is an economic imperative.

We applaud the regional coordination of SLOCOG, the County and the seven cities in developing new strategies and tools to counteract the overwhelming challenges we face — and we urge you to take action now to approve and move forward on housing of all types and in all stages of development.


Map of promising housing opportunities in SLO County


Decades of inaction have compounded the housing shortage and thwarted our ability to grow and thrive. As we look at our region’s project pipeline it is essential that we resist the tendency to delay or deny the housing we need.

We must work urgently at every stage to build the homes and neighborhoods that our teachers, public servants, service workers, nurses and doctors, small business owners and beyond desperately need — moving projects through the planning pipeline more quickly and approving them without delay. Not in 2 years. Not in 5 years. Today.



Before us right now and in the months ahead are housing projects such as the Dana Reserve in Nipomo, Margarita Area in SLO, and North Chandler Ranch in Paso Robles that will create homes for thousands of families and begin to bridge the huge housing gap straining every facet of our community and economy.

Regional planning shows potential to activate the creation of 15,714 homes and apartments across SLO County. And we have the foundation for action.

SLO County, the seven cities and SLOCOG set the stage with the 2020 Regional Compact, a shared commitment to developing the housing and infrastructure needed to support the economy. Earlier this year, more than 100 private and public sector stakeholders worked collaboratively over the course of 52 meetings to develop the next major milestone: the Housing and Infrastructure Regional Framework, a planning tool that aligns regional priorities around proposed projects and opportunities.



We have the plan and tools to do the job. Each community has a role and responsibility, spanning the government leaders who are indispensable in making housing a reality to the community members needed to champion it. And region-wide collaboration will be essential to measure our progress, share best practices, and mobilize resources toward housing and supporting infrastructure.

Local government leaders should revisit policies such as density limits and parking requirements, streamline review processes and move on infrastructure projects to unlock longer-term housing opportunities.

Community members have a critical role to play in voicing support by showing up in the public square to ensure we collectively stay true to the north star of creating more housing that’s attainable for our residents and supports our community’s future.

We have the organizations and partners committed to supporting and advancing this vital community dialogue. We have a new framework and tools to leverage and a foundation of collaboration to channel our efforts efficiently and effectively.

The time is now. Let’s respond with unity, urgency, and unwavering determination to secure a bright future for all.



Ken Trigueiro
President & CEO, People’s Self-Help Housing


Jim Dantona
President & CEO, SLO Chamber of Commerce


Nick Rasmussen
Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity


Lindy Hatcher
Executive Director, Home Builders Association


Chuck Davison
President & CEO, Visit SLO CAL


Jocelyn Brennan
Government Affairs Director, San Luis Obispo County Realtors Region 31


Melissa James
President & CEO, REACH

Scott Collins
Executive Director, Housing Authority of SLO


Jeff Eckles
CEO, San Luis Obispo Housing Trust Fund


Lenny Grant, BD&C Co-Chair
Co-Chair, Building Design + Construction council


Kathy McCorry
CEO, South County Chambers of Commerce


Krista Jeffries
Lead Organizer, SLO County YIMBY


Steve Delmartini
Broker, Housing Advocate

What local business leaders are saying

About the Housing and Infrastructure Framework

What is the the Housing and Infrastructure Framework?

The Housing & Infrastructure Regional Framework (Framework), is a planning toolkit collaboratively created by the seven cities, County of San Luis Obispo, and SLOCOG in response to the region’s growing housing and infrastructure shortage. Building off of the work laid out in the 2020 Regional Compact, it is the first planning tool of its kind, and it is intended to be a living document. For the last five years, collaboration has continued to build, and these incremental steps have allowed the region to make progress in addressing these monumental challenges.

Who was involved in the creation of the Framework?

Our region has strategic goals for the future of housing and infrastructure, but they can only be achieved through the decisions and actions of organizations and stakeholders. The stakeholder meetings are designed to have honest conversations about what each organization can and needs to do to realize those goals. Key stakeholders include:


Debbie Arnold, County District 5 Supervisor
Andy Pease, City of San Luis Obispo Council Member
John Peschong, County District 1 Supervisor
Bruce Gibson, County District 2 Supervisor
Dawn Ortiz Legg, County District 3 Supervisor
Jimmy Paulding, County District 4 Supervisor
Jim Guthrie, Arroyo Grande Council Member
Heather Moreno, Atascadero Mayor
Daniel Rushing, Grover Beach Council Member
Carla Wixom, Morro Bay Mayor
Fred Strong, Paso Robles Council Member
Ed Waage, Pismo Beach Mayor
Scott Eades, Caltrans District 5 Director

Steering Committee

Formed to oversee the vision for the HIP Outreach Strategy and to bring leaders in each of these areas together, aligning and integrating the various interests that will lead to action on the region’s priorities.

Matthew Bronson,  City of Grover Beach
Heather Moreno, City of Atascadero
Andy Pease, City of SLO
Trevor Keith, SLO County
Aaryn Abbot, Abbott | Reed
Lenny Grant, RRM
Jeff Eckles, SLOCHTF
Courtney Howard, SLOCFCWCD/County
Anthony Palazzo, Cal Poly
Jorge Aguilar, Wallace Group

Regional Managers / Key Staff

A key driving force behind developing this plan has been regional leadership, including eight city managers, county administrative officer, SLOCOG executive director (and key directors from their organizations).

John Nilon, County of SLO
Rebecca Campbell, County of SLO
Whitney McDonald, Arroyo Grande
Matthew Bronson, Grover Beach
Greg Carpenter, Morro Bay
Sarah Johnson-Rios, Morro Bay
Ty Lewis, Paso Robles
Derek Johnson, City of San Luis Obispo
James Lewis, Pismo Beach/Atascadero
Jorge Garcia, Pismo Beach
Scott Collins, Morro Bay
Wade Horton, County of SLO
Rachelle Rickard, Atascadero

Building & Development Cluster

Leaders in the building and development industry convene quarterly with the goal of regional coordination focused on aligning housing and infrastructure needs to create a strong local economy.

Abbott | Reed Inc.
Specialty Construction
Wallace Group
The HRM Corp.
Ten Over Studio
People’s Self Help Housing
RRM Design Group
Vivian Hanover Ventures Real Estate
Home Builders Association of the Central Coast
City of San Luis Obispo
County of San Luis Obispo
California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly)
First American Title Company, San Luis Obispo
Kovesdi Consulting
Guaranteed Rate
Omni Design Group
RRM Design Group
Midland Pacific Homes
Z Villages Management and Development
NKT Commercial

Housing Advocacy Group

Organizations and individuals that have significant influence in the community, with representation from the non-profit builders, local chambers of commerce and various advocate organizations.

Ken Trigueiro, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing
Scott Collins, Housing Authority of SLO (HASLO)
David Cooke, Paso Robles Housing Authority
Jocelyn Brennan, California Association of Realtors Region 31
Steve DelMartini, Compass Real Estate
Jeff Eckles, San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund
Nick Rasmussen, Habitat for Humanity
Lindy Hatcher, Home Builders Association
Krista Jeffries, YIMBY
Jim Dantona, SLO  Chamber of Commerce
Erica Crawford, Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce
Glenn Silloway, League of Women Voters

Housing Action Team

Existing work group made up of planning/ community development staff from cities, county, and SLOCOG.

Cory Hanh, County of SLO
Warren Frace, City of Paso Robles
Darcy Delgado, City of Paso Robles
Katie Banister, City of Paso Robles
Phil Dunsmore, City of Atascadero
Kelly Gleason, City of Atascadero
Scot Graham, City of Morro Bay
Nancy Hubbard, City of Morro Bay
Bruce Buckingham, City of Grover Beach
Matt Downing, City of Pismo Beach
Megan Martin, City of Pismo Beach
Andrew Perez, City of Arroyo Grande
Brian Pedrotti, City of Arroyo Grande
Owen Goode, City of SLO
Teresa McClish, City of SLO
Kyle Bell, City of SLO


Pete Rodgers, Executive Director
James Worthley, Planning Division Chief
Sara Sanders, Regional Framework Project Manager
Jayden Hermansen, Mapping Tool Architect
Ashley Edwards, Grant Administration
Alan Cazares, Water Projects Data Collection

Consultant Teams

Carolyn Berg, Koble Collaborative
Michael Foote, REACH
Russ Levanway, REACH
Melissa James, REACH


Becky Hewitt
Emmanuel Lopez
Rasik Hussain
Jamil Ditter

BFK Engineering

Chelsiah Scouras
Marley Mueller
Doug Flemin

What projects were identified in the Framework?

Map of SLO County with proposed residential projects

Further details on all projects can be viewed here.

What are the main priorities to address to bring more housing?

  1. Workforce focused: Ensuring a variety of housing types is available near jobs at prices affordable to the region’s workforce
  2. Roads, water, wastewater: Prioritizing investment in the underlying infrastructure that enables builders to construct new homes where it is most cost-effective
  3. Private-sector involvement: Engaging builders and developers — the ones who actually build homes — in the planning process
  4. Regional approach: Aligning a regional strategy around a two-county map of building opportunities

Why do we need a regional approach for housing and infrastructure?

No one city can do enough to address the shortfall of housing supply in our region alone. We need commitments from each jurisdiction and the development and building community to work together to address our challenges. This plan moves us forward by taking an analyzed approach to prioritizing those needed infrastructure projects in our communities that can most impactfully remove barriers to increasing housing supply.

What are the priority areas?

The Housing Infrastructure Analysis looks at three efficiency factors: transportation access, water capacity, and wastewater capacity. By combining the three efficiency factors, housing efficient areas were identified. This is graphically represented in Figure 3: Mapping Process. Any infrastructure projects located in the “efficient” or “potential” mapped areas moved on to the prioritization phase.

All areas and projects that were considered “limited” were removed from further analysis. The Framework in no way removes land use authority from local jurisdictions or changes zoning of an area. The Communities of Shandon, Avila Beach, and Cambria were removed from analysis since they did not meet the efficiency criteria.

Efficiency areas for mapping process


  • Paso Robles’ transportation infrastructure to support nearly 3,000 housing units envisioned in three major Specific Plans on the city’s east side in coming years. By focusing on the Highway 46 and Union Road improvements, as well as various local road needs, the community unlocks potential to build units sooner.
  • Nipomo transportation infrastructure to support nearly 1,300 housing units envisioned in the Dana Reserve Specific Plan under consideration. By focusing on the Highway 101 and Willow Road improvements, as well as various local road needs, the community can support the proposed new units along with all of the amenities envisioned in the planned community.
  • South County water infrastructure to support expansion of the wastewater and recycled water collection, treatment and distribution needed by Central Coast Blue partners including Cities of Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach.

What successes have taken place so far?

Progress can be seen across the county, from regional leadership and collaboration on housing to growing political and community support. Planners are embracing density and reducing barriers, and new projects are getting built. Here are some highlights.

SLO County
  • The Nipomo CDS’s Santa Maria water pipeline project has unlocked availability for growth in the Nipomo area
  • Implementation of an on-line permit portal for digital permit submittals and improved website tools to assist with application submittals and zoning information
  • The Cambria Pines Apartments is the first affordable housing project in Cambria in 30 years
  •  Streamlined and pre-reviewed ADU plans
Arroyo Grande
  • 63 affordable units coming to Oak Park
  • Adopted an ordinance to allow tiny homes on wheels
  • Pursuing multiple water projects to meet current and future needs
  • Streamlined permitting and reviews to provide some certainty for developers
  • Infill sites and mixed-use projects in commercial zones added density where it makes sense
  • Led the County in making stock plans for ADUs available at no charge
  • Small ABD cottage home community project currently in development
  • Currently drafting a program that will defer the payment of impact fees for low and very low housing units
Grover Beach
  • Rezoned “opportunity sites” for the potential development of affordable housing within the city
  • $48 million invested in improvements to local streets from Measure K-14
  • Developing Objective Design Standards for all new residential and mixed-use projects 
  • Approved projects resulting in 104 units added to the community
Morro Bay
  • Partnership between HASLO and the City of Morro Bay fully funded a major affordable housing project
  • 35-unit low income rental project at one of the primary city entryways
  • Streamlined review process by increasing ministerial approvals and adding clarity in the requirements for applications and design review
Paso Robles
  • Oak Park project doubled density while providing much needed affordable housing
  • Creston Corridor Project and Niblick Corridor Project will help both existing and future housing added over the next two decades
  • Strong history of meeting RHNA numbers
  • Community voted to approve a ½ percent sales tax measure (Measure K) and funds to be used for sidewalk and road maintenance
Pismo Beach
  • 50-unit affordable housing project on 4th Street and senior affordable housing project on Shell Beach Road
  • Adopted a Residential very-high-density overlay that allows 50 units per acre for appropriately zoned sites
  • Adopted ADU regulations that balanced ADU aims with the Coastal Act
San Luis Obispo City
  • Preserved 68 residential units for very low-income levels through creative funding and partnerships
  • Pro-housing culture in council and staff
  • SLO Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF) upgrade allows recovery of resources traditionally classified as waste
  • 214 affordable units under construction and another 257 affordable units entitled
  • Streamlined discretionary review

What can the government do to support housing?

The Framework provided an analysis of what Affordable-By-Design means in SLO County and showed what many of us intuitively knew, that it is both expensive to live here and build here. The study laid out a menu of options for policies and actions that each community could pursue. While we cannot highlight all possible tools available or actions needed, the following are some near-term, impactful items that could be focused on, both immediate and long term, such as:

  • Action: First and foremost, we have to act and approve projects that are currently in the pipeline ready to meet the needs of our working households. This will be a variety of housing types, and income levels, but recognizing that the constraint of housing supply has a direct impact on cost.
  • Policy: Density limits and parking requirements – policy levers to allow higher density developments that can achieve more housing units and at lower affordability level. A recent example, the City of San Luis Obispo enacted a flexible Density program for its downtown core offering developers more flexibility from standard density and encouraging the development of smaller residential units in its jobs-dense downtown core.
  • Public review processes:
    • Adopting Objective Design Standards – “defined in California State Law as standards which involve no personal or subjective judgment by a public official and are uniformly verifiable by reference to an external and uniform benchmark.” (ABD Study, 2023) Among others, both the City of Grover Beach and San Luis Obispo have adopted standards that could be emulated
    • Expand eligibility for ministerial approvals – policy lever to encourage and streamline processes for the types and income levels for your community’s housing needs.
    • Improve processes to reduce development approval time – projects increase in cost the longer they take from the time they are submitted to the time they are completed. Removing unnecessary barriers and staffing departments appropriately make a big difference on housing affordability.
  • Building and developing: Focus on funding and building priority infrastructure – The Framework identified 80 infrastructure projects in housing efficient areas that communities urgently needed in order to unlock their housing needs. Several of the 80 projects are highlighted below. Create or procure the funding needed to bring these projects to completion (Funding Strategies Assessment, 2023), such as pursuing grant opportunities or a  voter-approved funding measure (e.g. housing and infrastructure bond or sales tax measure).

What we mean by "workforce housing"

The words used around housing can be confusing — we all have varying perceptions of what constitutes affordable, and even when used by government, terms like workforce housing can have different definitions across jurisdictions.

Our work at REACH targets housing that’s attainable by the region’s working population. That’s teachers, nurses, firefighters and service members, but also the tech workers, sales reps, engineers and fabricators our businesses need to expand.

That said, low-income housing and solutions to homelessness are important pieces of the puzzle. While not the focus of our work, we broadly support these efforts and our partners who are deeply engaged with them.

How we got here

A whole host of factors has contributed to the shortage of housing in communities across the state and country. Labor and material costs, zoning regulations, onerous approval processes and environmental requirements, NIMBYism, vacation rentals, corporate ownership — the list could go on.

But the bottom line is this: Like many of those other communities, home building on the Central Coast simply has not kept pace with population and job growth.

Economic growth not your thing? It's also quality of life

In concrete terms, it’s about whether businesses can attract and retain workers to fill jobs.

Whether or not you are concerned with job growth, the impact takes a toll not just on business conditions but day-to-day life on the Central Coast.

  • It can take longer to get medical appointments, home repairs, or a host of other services.
  • Restaurants are forced to cut their hours or even shut down, while studios, salons and gyms cut back on classes and appointments.
  • Local governments lose out on added revenue to fund things like parks, pothole repairs, and storm preparedness and response.
  • And most tragically, our friends, neighbors and kids are forced to look elsewhere for job opportunities and affordable housing.

The quality of life in a community that can’t house its workers is not sustainable in the long run.

What infrastructure has to do with it

All we mean here by infrastructure is roads, water and wastewater service — things you need before you can build new homes. In many places across the Central Coast, new homes can’t be built because these pieces are lacking and need to be put in place to, ahem, pave the way for homes.

So, addressing housing often means first addressing the underlying infrastructure needed to enable it.