Housing Element

The California State Legislature has identified the attainment of a decent home and suitable living environment for every California as the State’s major housing goal. 

Housing Element Update (6th Cycle 2021-2029)

The City is in the process of updating the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan to ensure that we’re prepared to meet the future housing needs of Temecula for the planning period from 2021 through 2029.  Under State law, every city and county in California is required to update its Housing Element to address specific requirements and submit the element to the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

The Housing Element serves as Temecula’s blueprint for meeting the housing needs of our residents, at all economic levels and addressing segments of the population with special housing needs. The Housing Element will include:

  1. An assessment of the unique characteristics of the City’s population 
  2. An inventory of sites suitable for residential development
  3. An assessment of financial and programmatic resources
  4. An analysis of constraints to housing production in Temecula

This data and analysis will provide the basis for a comprehensive set of policies to address current and projected housing needs.

As part of the Housing Element Update, we are asking for the community to provide input regarding housing priorities and challenges.  Participation from our residents and stakeholders is vital to ensure that our community’s values are identified and articulated in the Housing Element and that the City’s approach provides the best fit for our community’s goals, values, and priorities.

Regional Housing Needs Allocation (6th Cycle 2021-2029)

Fundamental to the Housing Element Update, is how the City addresses its assigned fair-share of regional housing needs. This fair-share is determined through a regional housing needs allocation process.  HCD, with input from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), determines the region’s total housing need for the 2021-2029 period. SCAG then determines the housing allocation for each Southern California city and county through the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation.  The Housing Element Update must identify enough potentially developable land zoned for residential use to accommodate the City’s new RHNA allocation.

Temecula’s draft allocation for the 2021-2029 period is 4,183 units, which is broken down by income group as shown in the table below.  SCAG is in the process of holding workshops and meetings to discuss the draft allocation and plans to adopt the final allocation in October 2020.  To read more about the RHNA allocation methodology and process, visit SCAG’s RHNA & Housing page.

Income Group% of Median Household IncomeIncome Range
 (4-person household)
Proposed RHNA Allocation
(Housing Units)
Very Low Income0-5%$0 - $35,9001,355
Low Income51-80%$35,901 - $57,450799
Moderate Income81-120%$57,451 – $83,650777
Above Moderate Income (Market Rate)120%+$57,451 – $83,6501,253
Total

4,183  


What is Included in the Update Process?

The update process is community-based and includes a variety of opportunities for the community to be involved. Key features include:

  • Community workshops and public meetings;
  • Community surveys;
  • Comprehensive review of demographics in the community to reflect existing conditions;
  • Assessment of adequacy of residential zoned land to address the 2021-2029 RHNA allocation; and
  • Public Hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council.

Timeline*

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this schedule is subject to change

Community SurveySpring 2020
Community WorkshopsSummer 2020 & Winter 2021
Public Review of Housing ElementJanuary - March 2021
HCD Review of Housing ElementJanuary - March 2021
Adoption HearingsAugust - September 2021


Upcoming Events and Notifications

Meetings and Hearings

Workshop and meeting dates will be posted as they are scheduled.  The first workshop is planned to be held in Spring 2020.

Housing Survey

We want to learn from you about our City needs and collective community goals. Join the discussion by taking our anonymous Housing Surveys and sharing your feedback with the City!

Documents

As documents are prepared in support of the Housing Element, they will be posted here for the community to review.

What is a Housing Element?

Since 1969, Housing Elements have been mandatory portions of local general plans in California because providing housing for all Californians is considered by the state legislature to be of vital statewide importance.  A Housing Element provides an analysis of a community’s housing needs for all income levels, and strategies to respond to provide for those housing needs.  It is a key part of the City’s overall General Plan.  State Law establishes that each city accommodates its fair share of affordable housing as an approach to distributing housing needs throughout the state.  State Housing Element law also recognizes that in order for the private sector to address housing needs and demand, local governments must adopt land-use plans and implementing regulations that provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development by the private sector.

Rules regarding Housing Elements are found in the California Government Code Sections 65580-65589. Unlike the other mandatory general plan elements, the housing element is required to be updated every eight years. It is also subject to detailed statutory requirements and mandatory review and approval by a State agency — HCD (Department of Housing and Community Development).

According to State law, the Housing Element must:

  • Provide goals, policies, quantified objectives and scheduled programs to preserve, improve and develop housing;
  • Identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community;
  • Identify adequate sites that are zoned and available within the 8-year housing cycle to meet the city’s fair share of regional housing needs at all income levels;
  • Be certified (approved) by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) as complying with state law; and
  • Be internally consistent with other parts of the General Plan (and meeting this requirement is critical to having a legally adequate General Plan).

Housing Element Benefits

Maintaining a State-compliant Housing Element ensures that Temecula is eligible for critical state and federal funds that require a certified Housing Element.  Jurisdictions that do not maintain a compliant Housing Element are at risk of significant repercussions, including:

  • Potential loss of local land use control;
  • Carryover of unaddressed allocations, increasing the total number of housing units that the City is responsible for accommodating;
  • Ineligibility for various State-administered funds, including infrastructure, parks, housing, and planning funds: and
  • The City’s entire General Plan becomes vulnerable to challenge.

What Happens If a Jurisdiction Does Not Adopt a Housing Element or the Element Does Not Comply with State Law?

If the California Department of Housing and Community Development determines that a Housing Element fails to substantially comply with the State’s Housing Element Law, there are potentially serious consequences that extend beyond the realm of residential land use planning. When a jurisdiction’s Housing Element is found to be out of compliance, its General Plan is at risk of being deemed inadequate, and therefore invalid. If a jurisdiction is sued over an inadequate General Plan, the court may impose requirements for land use decisions until the jurisdiction brings its General Plan, including its Housing Element, into compliance with State law.

A Housing Element is considered out of compliance with State law if one of the following applies:

  • It has not been revised and updated by the statutory deadline, or
  • Its contents do not substantially comply with the statutory requirements. If a Housing Element is certified, there is a presumption that it is adequate, and a plaintiff must present an argument showing that it is in fact inadequate.

Over the years, California has steadily increased the penalties for not having a legally compliant Housing Element, and this trend is expected to continue.

Current Housing Element

The Temecula City Council adopted the current Housing Element on January 28, 2014, by Resolution No. 14-08. Through policies, procedures, and incentives, it provides an action plan for maintaining and expanding the housing supply in the City of Temecula. The California Legislature states that a primary housing goal for the State is ensuring every resident has a decent home and suitable living environment. The City’s adopted Housing Element (PDF) is for the period July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2021.

Role of Housing Successor

Pursuant to Senate Bill 341 (Chapter 796, Statues of 2013, effective January 2014), the City of Temecula as the Housing Successor is required to report specified housing financial and activity information in one of the following ways:

  • By including with the Annual Progress Report (APR) submitted to California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) pursuant to State housing law in reporting progress in implementing the Housing Element (Government Code Section 65400)
  • As an addendum to the APR sent separately from the APR due April 1 each year

More Information

For more information, please e-mail Dale West or call 951-694-6400.