State housing law requires Sacramento County to plan to meet the housing needs of all income groups through the Housing Element, an element of the County's General Plan. The Housing Element update that was approved yesterday will result in modifications to the 2013-2021 Housing Element to address the changing needs of County residents as well as changes to State housing law.
“For the last year, we have been hard at work updating the Housing Element for 2021-2029,” said Leanne Mueller, Senior Planner with Sacramento County’s Office of Planning and Environmental Review. “This project has undergone rounds of public outreach, workshops and hearings, and draft revisions to incorporate public comments, and we are so proud of all the work the Long Range Planning team, other County staff, and our partner agencies have put in.”
The purpose of the housing element is:
- To identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs for all income groups;
- To include goals, policies and programs to address the identified needs; and
- To provide enough sites for new housing development to occur during the 2021-2029 planning period.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development gives the number of housing units each region must plan for to each regional body, known as councils of governments (COGs). The COGs then break down the total number of units into income categories and they give each city and county their “fair share” of the regional number.
Each city and county is required to show that it can accommodate its “fair share” of units for each income category. This process is known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) and it is a key requirement of housing elements.
Sacramento County is within the six-county region of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Sacramento County’s total RHNA for 2021 – 2029 is 21,272 units, and the Housing Element update outlines how the County will meet that goal. In particular, the Housing Element update addresses the need to create affordable housing opportunities for low-income households in areas which offer the best chance at economic advancement, high educational attainment, and good physical and mental health.