Since 1969, the State of California has required that all local governments adopt a General Plan Housing Element that adequately plans for how the local government will meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. In 2008, the State Legislature adopted Senate Bill 375, which established an eight-year Housing Element update cycle. The City of Santa Barbara’s current Housing Element was adopted in 2015 and addresses the 2015 to 2023 planning period. In 2015, Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) reviewed the City’s Housing Element and found it to be in full compliance with State Housing Element law.
The Housing Element contained five goals, 26 policies and 129 implementation actions intended to address the City’s housing needs. The majority of the actions are a continuation of the City’s commitment to the production of affordable housing and sound community planning. Many of the programs identified were aimed at protecting neighborhoods, quality design, historic preservation, environmental quality, affordable housing, and socio-economic diversity.
The City has been producing and supporting affordable housing since approximately 1970. As of 2014, the City estimates that approximately 12 percent of the housing stock is assisted through local, state and federal funding, and in some cases private non-profit entities. The HCD is tasked with determining how much new housing is needed in all regions of the state based on population forecasts. This is called the regional housing need allocation (RHNA) for each individual jurisdiction and is also included in each jurisdiction’s Housing Elements. RHNA identifies the total number of housing units, by affordability level, that the City must be able to accommodate, by zone density. The City’s RHNA calls for certain housing unit production numbers, to view click here. The City submits an annual progress report to the HCD on the progress towards our RHNA. To view the 2018 Annual Housing Element Progress Report click here.
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