What are the most important issues that must be addressed in the Housing Element?

The major issues that must be addressed in the Housing Element are: 1) how City policies, plans and regulations help to meet the region’s housing needs for persons and families of all income levels; and 2) how City land use regulations accommodate the special housing needs of those with disabilities or other difficulties.

  • Accommodating Regional Housing Needs. Under State law[1] all cities are required to plan for additional housing to accommodate population growth and address existing housing problems such as overcrowding and high housing cost. State law recognizes that cities generally do not build housing, since that is typically the role of private and non-profit developers and builders. However, cities are required to adopt policies, development regulations and standards to encourage a variety of housing types that are affordable for persons of all income levels, such as rental apartments and accessory dwelling units (“ADUs”). The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (“RHNA”) is the method by which each jurisdiction’s share of new housing needs is determined (see #5 below)
  • Housing for Persons with Special Needs. Under State law[2] cities must also ensure that their plans and regulations encourage the provision of housing for persons with special needs including:
  • Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities

  • Transitional housing

  • Supportive housing

  • Emergency shelters and other facilities serving the homeless

  • Large (5+) families


[1] California Government Code Sec. 65583

[2] California Government Code Sec. 65583(a)(5)

Show All Answers

1. What is a Housing Element?
2. What is Housing Element “certification” and why is it important?
3. What are the most important issues that must be addressed in the Housing Element?
4. What is “affordable” housing?
5. What is the “RHNA” why is it important?
6. Is the RHNA a construction mandate?
7. What must cities do to comply with the RHNA?
8. Why are cities in high-cost areas expected to have affordable housing? Low-cost housing is not economically feasible here due to high land prices.
9. There is very little vacant land suitable for housing development left in Diamond Bar. Why is the RHNA allocation so high?