As the only part of a local jurisdiction’s general plan that must be reviewed and certified by the State of California, housing elements serve a critical function in laying out the pathways cities and counties will use to create homes affordable to residents at all income levels.
In their housing elements, local jurisdictions must show how they will accommodate the projected growth assigned to them through the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process by a) identifying adequate sites, b) analyzing impediments to the development of housing and c) delineating strategies to facilitate housing production. During the 2014-22 adoption period for the Bay Area RHNA, NPH teamed up with our members and allies to push for adoption of strong housing elements with viable and properly zoned sites as well as policies and best practices. We worked to ensure that the housing element continues to be a valuable tool to meet local housing needs and to advance effective advocacy.
This report focuses on the top sixteen jurisdictions that received two-thirds of the housing allocation for our region. We present “snapshots” for each that describe past performance, identify key demographic factors related to housing affordability, and analyze the sites and policies proposed in their updated housing elements. The data cited in this report has been culled directly from the adopted housing elements for RHNA 5.
It takes three key ingredients to get affordable housing built: 1) land, 2) funding and 3) political will. In the sixteen snapshots in this report, we reflect on how each city has performed in creating homes at the various income levels needed and showcase current policies in place that allocate the resources of land and funding to affordable housing. While there is an urgent need for more resources for affordable housing, each city has an opportunity to adopt a full slate of policy tools that ensure those who work and live there, now and in the future, can find an affordable home.
The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) produced this report as a resource for our members and partners to continue to push for the adoption of strong housing elements with viable and properly zoned sites as well as affordable housing focused policies and best practices.
By providing concrete information on the top sixteen jurisdictions that received most of the housing allocation for our region, we hope to enable our partners working on the ground – advocates, developers, and residents – to push for policy tools that ensure those who work and live in our communities, now and in the future, can find an affordable home.
Special thanks to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for their generous support in making this report possible. SVCF is the largest community foundation in the world, and helps build and strengthen the community by bringing together people and organizations who want to strengthen the common good.