September 9, 2021

Housing Elements: Once in a decade opportunity to shape the future of housing in our communities


Every eight years, cities throughout the state are required to update their Housing Elements to plan how they will meet their share of new housing development (known as RHNA, or the Regional Housing Needs Allocation). In the Bay Area, it is our turn to begin this new Housing Element cycle, which covers the years 2023 to 2031. The process is underway in every jurisdiction in the county – now!

Housing Elements must identify adequate sites and show that enough homes can be built to meet the allocated housing need, as well as to outline policies and actions that the jurisdiction will employ to prioritize and incentivize housing development and prevent displacement, among other requirements. 

New to this planning cycle, local jurisdictions must demonstrate that they are using their Housing Element to combat discrimination, overcome existing patterns of segregation, and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics such as race and ethnicity. 

This time around, there have also been changes in the process and housing law that will make this more challenging for city staff than it has been in the past. Staff, consultants, and council will need more support to do the right thing. Housing advocates and community members will need the knowledge and tools to advance the policy solutions that are meaningful to their communities.

So what is SV@Home doing about it?

  • Forming and coordinating with a coalition of partner nonprofit and grassroots organizations working on housing issues across Santa Clara County
  • Providing regular communication about engagement and learning opportunities- fill out this quick form to be added to the list for Housing Element updates!
  • Working to open up the process to new groups and communities often left out of these discussions.
  • Sharing the Housing Element Advocacy Toolkit: guides, tools, and templates for more successful Housing Element engagement
  • Meeting with local planning staff elected officials to engage around new processes and local priorities

How can you get involved?


Would you like to learn more about our Housing Element work, and engagement and learning opportunities? Fill out this quick form to be added to the list for Housing Element updates!