Local Priority & Down Payment Assistance

The Dana Reserve is unique in that the goal from the start was to include as many homes as possible that would be considered homes for the “missing middle”.  ​The focus is on building homes for our current workforce. The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (or RHNA) identifies the need for 3,256 new homes in the unincorporated area of the County.   ​

In 2019 SLO County conducted a study that identified the Canada Ranch, now the Dana Reserve, as the South County location to help meet County’s RHNA housing needs.​

To assist with increased affordability, the Dana Reserve has agreed to have a minimum of 450 homes limited to 1,600’ or less. 104 residences will be deed restricted to low and very low-income levels. Neighborhood 1 with 173 residences will, per the market study, have 50% moderate income level and 50% workforce level units.  Neighborhood 2 with 210 residences, if rented, is forecast to have 50% moderate and 50% workforce and if for sale will have 100% workforce housing. Additionally, when compared to every new housing project in the County of San Luis Obispo including within all cities, the Dana Reserve neighborhoods 1 thru 6 and neighborhood 10 which total 901 units, have the lowest price per home and per square foot of all developments under construction.​

In addition to the low income housing donation and size restrictions on another 450 units to sell within the workforce housing or missing middle parameters, we have created a Down Payment Assistance Program, through the SLO Community Foundation, with a donation of $3.2MM. This program will be managed by the San Luis Obispo Community Foundation and People’s Self Help Housing. ​

The criteria for the down payment assistance program will prioritize first-time homebuyers. There will also be a priority given for sales to local residents who live within the Lucia Mar School District, locals who can prove that living at the Dana Reserve will shorten their household work commute and vehicle miles traveled, and locals who will be reunited with their family by living at the Dana Reserve, all applicants will verify a demonstrated financial need for assistance. ​

The loan is 0% interest, non-recourse, and has no monthly payment.​

At sale or refinance, the down payment assistance amount will be returned to CFSLO for other housing needs within SLO County. 

The concept is to use this model to grow housing assistance throughout the County through perpetual replenishing and other non-housing project and housing project donations to the Community Foundation. ​

If all funds are not used by the project, all remaining monies will go to support increased attainability of housing throughout SLO County.