A Housing Element is a local plan adopted by the City that includes goals, policies, and programs that direct decision making around housing. State law requires that Housing Elements be updated on 8-year “cycles.” The City is currently preparing a Housing Element update for the 2021-2029 planning period, which is referred to as the “6th Housing Element cycle” in reference to the six required updates that have occurred since the comprehensive revision to State Housing Element law in 1980.
The Regional Housing Needs Assessment ("RHNA") is a part of State housing element law that determines the projected and existing housing needs for each jurisdiction in the State. In its Housing Element, the City must demonstrate to the State that there are no unnecessary barriers to the housing approval process in order to meet the RHNA allocation for the City.
On March 22, 2021, SCAG released its final allocation of housing units for each jurisdiction in its region, which can be found here. The City has received a final allocation of 1,207 new units for this upcoming planning period.
The Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG) and the Association of California Cities - Orange County (ACC-OC) have collaborated to create a video series designed to communicate the ins and outs of California’s complicated housing policies. The first two videos in the series introduce and provide an overview of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA).