The Housing Element is one of the seven required elements of a General Plan by state law. Unlike the other general plan elements, the Housing Element is required to be updated every five to six years.
The Housing Element is also subject to detailed statutory requirements and mandatory review by a state agency, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). This reflects the statutory recognition that housing is a matter of statewide importance and cooperation between government and the private sector is critical to attainment of the state's housing goals.
The availability of an adequate supply of housing affordable to workers, families, and seniors is critical to the state’s long-term economic competitiveness and the quality of life for all Californians.
Requirements & Recognition
Housing Element law requires local governments to adequately plan to meet their existing and projected housing needs including their share of the regional housing need. Housing Element law is the state’s primary market-based strategy to increase housing supply, affordability and choice.
The law recognizes that in order for the private sector to adequately address housing needs and demand, local governments must adopt land-use plans and regulatory schemes that provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development.
The 2009 / 2010 Housing Element Update was 1st approved by the Planning Commission on June 25, 2009, and by the Board of Supervisors on August, 31 2009. HCD subsequently reviewed and provided comments on the document, which were addressed in the version adopted August 24, 2010.
The Housing Element is considered Chapter 8 of the General Plan Update draft, although it has a separate review process and program implementation. The county is currently working on the Implementation Program for the 2009 Housing Element, which includes the Multifamily Rezone Program (link to webpage).
For more information on the Housing Element and Implementation Program and the specific location for candidate sites, please contact Michael Richardson by phone at 707-268-3723 or by email.