New affordable homes at the Berryessa BART station
December 21, 2023

Housing Element Update 12/21


It is usually necessary for each city to rezone a portion of land within its boundaries in order to have enough space to accommodate growth and meet the commitments in its Housing Element. As the end of the year approaches, so too does the deadline for cities to complete all rezoning associated with their Housing Elements if the city was not awarded certification before the end of May 2023. Any jurisdiction that received Housing Element certification from HCD after that time (see chart below) must complete rezoning by January 31, 2024, or their Housing Elements will be at risk of decertification, and they may lose access to important sources of state and regional funding. Any jurisdiction that has not had its Housing Element certified by the end of January 2024, a full year after the original deadline, will not qualify for certification until it has completed all rezoning associated with its Housing Element. 

Many of our local jurisdictions have been working diligently to complete the rezoning process, which requires a public hearing at both the planning commission and city council before approval. In cities that still need to receive certification, ongoing discussions with HCD may require the rezoning of more land, further extending the certification timeline.

Eight cities in Santa Clara County have achieved Housing Element certification. Most recently, the City of Morgan Hill was certified on November 29th, and the City of Sunnyvale was certified contingent on council adoption on December 11th and adopted by council the following day.

The City of Cupertino received a review letter from HCD on December 15th stating that the City still has additional work to do to bring the Draft Housing Element into compliance. Although the City has not earned certification yet, this most recent Draft represents a substantial amount of improvement over the initial Draft Element, and HCD’s letter acknowledges that. Cupertino submitted a Second Draft Housing Element to HCD on October 17th to address comments on the initial Draft received from HCD in May. In an effort to address informal comments from HCD, staff made further revisions to the October 2023 version of the Draft in late November.

San Jose’s Housing Element is currently under review by HCD, with a review letter expected from HCD by January 29, 2023.