Housing Element Update
(2021 - 2029) 6th Cycle
The City’s current Housing Element (5th Cycle) was adopted by the City Council in 2013 and certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The adopted Housing Element covers the planning period from 2013 through 2021. Staff is currently implementing the respective actions and programs for the current planning cycle. The next housing cycle (6th Cycle) will cover the planning period from 2021 through 2029.
To comply with State law, the City’s Housing Element must be updated to ensure the City’s policies and programs can accommodate the estimated housing growth need identified in the Southern California Association of Government’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation for the 2021-2029 planning period. Any future changes to Housing Element policy will require environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The 6th Cycle Housing Element and associated environmental document(s) will be reviewed for compliance with state law by the California HCD and shall be adopted by the City Council no later than October, 2021.
Housing Element Timeline
The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) requires each jurisdiction in the SCAG region to submit a final adopted Housing Element to HCD by October 15, 2021. As a result, in December 2019, the City entered into an agreement with Karen Warner Associates and RRM Design Group to initiate the Housing Element update process to meet HCD’s deadline. The process involves the evaluation of current and future needs, analysis of local constraints to housing production, identification of sites for housing, developing new policies and programs, drafting the Housing Element document, and preparing and circulating an Environmental Impact Report. Public involvement is critical to the success of this effort, and the project team will engage the community using a number of tools. Please note that the timeline below is for reference only and is subject to change.
Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)
The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is mandated by State law to quantify the need for housing throughout the State. This informs the local planning process to address existing and future housing need resulting from projected state-wide growth in population, employment, and households.
As the Council of Governments (or regional planning agency), SCAG is responsible for overseeing the RHNA process for the Southern California region, which encompasses six counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura) and 191 cities in an area covering more than 38,000 square miles. SCAG is currently overseeing the 6th cycle RHNA for the 2021-2029 planning period. In August of 2019, HCD issued its final Regional Housing Need Determination to SCAG, stating that the minimum regional housing need for the six-county region is 1,344,740 new housing units. HCD then directed SCAG to develop a methodology for allocating all 1.34 million units throughout the region, based on statutory guidelines for housing needs and development.
Although not yet finalized, Yorba Linda has been provided a draft RHNA allocation for over 2,400 units to accommodate estimated growth need at various income levels. The Housing Element must provide sites to accommodate this estimated growth at each income level. The Draft 6th cycle RHNA allocation for Yorba Linda is as follows:
Potential Housing Sites to Accommodate RHNA
One of the important steps in the Housing Element Update process is to identify sites that can accommodate the housing units assigned to Yorba Linda in the above RHNA allocation table, at all income levels. Choosing sites is completed with a thorough analysis of site specific constraints, including but not limited to, zoning, access to utilities, location, development potential, density and whether or not the site was in a previous Housing Element.
Based on public input, comments from the City’s Planning Commission, and staff analysis, the City has identified a number of parcels that could potentially be used for meeting the City’s RHNA. A map has been created to identify the locations of these draft “candidate” housing sites. The City is currently conducting analysis on each property to determine eligibility under State housing requirements and to determine level of interest from property owners. We welcome any public input on the draft “candidate” housing sites inventory by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does density look like?
As potential “candidate” housing sites are considered, the City is required by state housing law to determine the realistic development capacity of each potential site. After a site is determined to meet the state’s feasibility requirements for housing development, the City can begin to determine an appropriate development density for each of the sites. We have put together this helpful brochure to provide examples of different levels of density in various communities.