2019 Housing Element
Welcome to Humboldt County’s Housing Element Update page. It is intended to inform people, and invite community input about current and future housing in the unincorporated parts of the county.
What is it?
The state requires cities and counties to have Housing Elements as part of their general plans. The Housing Element identifies existing and projected housing needs and establishes goals, policies, standards and implementation measures for the preservation, improvement, and development of housing in the unincorporated areas of the county. Humboldt County’s Housing Element was last updated in 2014. The planning horizon for this Element extends to 2027; it must be updated by August 15, 2019 per state requirements.
What is the Update Schedule?
Because California requires that Housing Elements be certified for compliance by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), the County’s process will follow this schedule.
|Topics of interest, policies and implementation measures on the web||End January 2019|
|Public Workshops||Late February to early March 2019|
|Release of CEQA document||Late March to early April 2019|
|Planning Commission Hearings||May 2019|
|Board of Supervisors hearings||June to July 2019|
|Submittal to HCD for certification||August 2019|
Broad public participation at all levels of the decision making process, including education, study, workshops, hearings, and plan revisions has been a major policy of Humboldt County since 1984 (1984 Framework Plan, Section 1231.4). Public participation continues to be a foundation of County government, as recognized in the 2017 General Plan (Section 2.8):
"The most successful land use planning process will provide for the education of the public. Knowledge of the process allows citizens to have meaningful access to the decision makers, evaluate alternative proposals, and make specific recommendations on hearing draft land use proposals."
How Can You Participate?
You are invited to help us update the Housing Element in several ways:
- Sign up for notifications
- Attend workshop(s)
- Take our survey (coming soon)
- Submit written comments
- Attend Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hearings
You can sign up for email or text notifications for the Housing Element update and other topics on the County’s website at: Notify Me
Select “General Plan Implementation” for Housing Element workshops, meetings, and notices.
A series of workshops are planned to get input on issues of concern, policies, and implementation measures related to housing in unincorporated Humboldt County.
|Wednesday, February 27, 2019|
1630 Pickett Road, McKinleyville
|Thursday, February 28, 2019|
344 Humboldt Ave, Redway
|Tuesday, March 5, 2019|
|County Agricultural Center|
5630 South Broadway, Eureka
|Wednesday, March 6, 2019|
|Willow Creek Community Services District Office|
135 Willow Rd, Willow Creek
As work on the Element progresses, interactive surveys and tools for public comment on specific topics will be incorporated into this and other websites. To receive notifications as surveys become available, sign up at Notify Me. Select "General Plan Implementation".
Contact Person for Housing Element
Michelle Nielsen, email: MNielsen@co.humboldt.ca.us
Is Humboldt's Population Growing?
Source: Projections Prepared by Demographic Research Unit, California Department of Finance, January 2018. Current population data are from the State of California, Department of Finance, E-1 Population Estimates for Cities, Counties and the State with Annual Percent Change — January 1, 2017 and 2018. Sacramento, California, May 2018.
How Does That Compare With Population Growth in the Past?
Sources: Historical population data from 1920-1970, U.S. Department of Commerce, Decennial Census; California DOF Report E-8090City), Report E5, 4/1/2010); U.S. Census Bureau. Current population data from the State of California, DOF, E-1 Population Estimates for Cities, Counties and the State with Annual Percent Change —January 1, 2017 and 2018. Sacramento, California, May 2018. Projections Prepared by Demographic Research Unit, California Department of Finance, January 2018.
What Are Some Other Housing-Related Characteristics of Humboldt?
California’s Housing and Community Development Department has compiled statistics on population, housing types, employment, households, housing stock, homelessness, and other data that can be accessed in the following link:
Regional Housing Need
What is the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)?
State housing element law requires the County and other jurisdictions to meet their shares of the state prescribed regional housing need. The County does this by maintaining a residential land inventory sufficient to meet the assessed number of units (known as RHNA).
What are the Projected Housing Needs of Humboldt County?
The 2019 Housing Element covers an eight-year cycle. The planning horizon for this Housing Element extends to 2027. The final housing allotments calculated and adopted by Humboldt County Association of Governments (HCAOG) are shown in the table below. The County’s share includes unincorporated areas, shown in highlight.
|Jurisdiction||Very Low Income Allocation||Low Income Allocation||Moderate Income Allocation||Above Moderate Income Allocation||Proposed Total RHNA Allocation|
For more detail, methodology, and related information on housing share allotments see:
More Housing Element Resources
For more information about the State of California’s Housing Element requirements, try these links:
Housing Element law:
Existing General Plan Goals
The Housing Element must be consistent with state law, as well as the County’s General Plan. That said, the Housing Element Update is an opportunity to examine and adjust county housing goals. Here is a summary of current (2014) General Plan Goals.
|H-G1||Promote the creation of affordable housing;|
|H-G2||Provide an adequate supply of all types of affordable housing for all income levels in all areas of the County;|
|H-G3||Provide an adequate supply of rental and homeownership opportunities affordable to wage earners, and close to local businesses, recreational, community services, transit and schools;|
|H-G4||Provide capacity for the county’s RHNA share of 1413 new housing units for all income classes;|
|H-G5||Supply sufficient and affordable housing opportunities for seniors, disabled persons, homeless, nomadic, single-parent households, farm workers, and large families;|
|H-G6||Facilitate emergency shelters and transitional housing to meet local demands.|
Existing Goals related to housing are found in Chapter 8.4 of the General Plan, at: http://humboldtgov.org/205/General-Plan.
Existing Housing Policies
Housing policies, also in the General Plan, are strategies to achieve the Goals. The Housing Element Update is an opportunity to examine and adjust county housing policies. The current (2014) policies related to housing focus on five areas:
|(a)||H-P1 to H-P5 attempt to concentrate development in areas with urban level services, and in identified Housing Opportunity Zones. They encourage increased density of development, smaller unit size, and infill and redevelopment. One result is that they contain built-in measures to reduce environmental impacts;|
|(b)||H-P4, H-P6 to H-P11, H-P17 to H-P21, H-P28, and H-P30 seek to remove barriers to development of lower cost housing types;|
|(c)||H-P12 to H-P17, H-P25 to H-P27, and H-P30 to H-P31 simplify and reduce the cost of permitting in general;|
|(d)||Several policies are aimed at reducing environmental effects of development. H-P29 prevents impacts to surface water from development, and H-P8 minimizes traffic and greenhouse gas effects from development.|
|(e)||H-P14, and H-P23 to H-P24 address fair housing and housing discrimination.|
The complete list of existing Policies is contained in Chapter 8.4 of the Plan, at: http://humboldtgov.org/205/General-Plan.
Standards are specific, often quantified rules or measures that help determine how a policy is enacted. These are typically calculation methods, priorities, waivers, criteria, and other nudges to achieve desired results.
As part of the 2019 Element Update, many standards that involve specific parameters will be updated due to fresh demographic and economic data, new state law, and public inputs that reflect real-world changes in conditions in the county.
Information about demographics and population can be found on this page:
https://humboldtgov.org/2448/2019-Housing-Element. Scroll down to the “Basic Housing and Demographics” tab
The complete list of existing Standards can be found in Chapter 8.5 of the General Plan, at: http://humboldtgov.org/205/General-Plan.
Existing Implementation Measures
Implementation Measures (IMs) are actions, procedures, programs, and plans used to carry out policies of the Housing Element. The Housing Element Update will revisit the IMs, and add to, retire or amend them to meet current needs.
Existing IMs focus on areas related to the policies they are designed to implement:
|(a)||H-IM1- 2, H-IM6-7, H-IM9, H-IM13-17, H-IM21-22, H-IM27-31, and H-IM37-40 facilitate the development of lower income housing, either directly or indirectly;|
|(b)||H-IM21-25, and H-IM27 facilitate housing options for homelessness people;|
|(c)||H-IM23-24, and H-IM30 address people with disabilities and other special populations;|
|(d)||H-IM4, H-IM8, H-IM10-12, H-IM31-34, and H-IM36 generally simplify and reduce the cost of permitting; and|
|(e)||H-IM11-12, H-IM18, and H-IM21 are designed, among other things, to reduce environmental impacts from development.|
The list of current Implementation Measures is contained in Chapter 8.6 of the Plan, at: http://humboldtgov.org/205/General-Plan.
Topics Related to Housing
As part of Implementation, we are asking the public to consider several topics related to housing. Some may result in proposed ordinances or amendments. Some changes are mandated by state law, and some spring from recognized housing needs. All are open to public discussion and comment.
|(a)||New allowances for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs);|
|(b)||New allowances for Tiny Houses;|
|(c)||Facilitate and fund development of Emergency Shelters on parcels previously zoned for them;|
|(d)||Facilitate and fund transitional housing; and|
|(e)||Allowances for more Farm Employee Housing.|