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Housing Element Update
The City is beginning an 18-month public process to update the Housing Element of the General Plan, as required by State law. The Housing Element Update will build upon and revise, as appropriate, the goals, policies and programs of the existing Housing Element to ensure that the City can meet the housing needs of all Long Beach residents through 2029, when the plan is scheduled to be updated again.
The Housing Element provides the City with a roadmap for accommodating the projected number of housing units needed to house existing and future City residents and guides future decisions that impact housing. The Housing Element aims to achieve a number of overarching goals:
- Accommodate projected housing demand, as mandated by the State,
- Increase housing production to meet this demand,
- Improve housing affordability,
- Preserve existing affordable housing,
- Improve the safety, quality and condition of existing housing,
- Facilitate the development of housing for all income levels and household types, including special needs populations,
- Improve the livability and economic prosperity of all City residents, and
- Promote fair housing choice for all.
In the current housing and economic climate, a major focus of the Housing Element will be on removing barriers to housing production to counter well-documented housing shortages, as well as addressing homelessness and ensuring the availability and fair distribution of affordable housing throughout the City to reverse existing patterns of segregation and concentrated poverty.
Learn More & Share Your Feedback!
View a detailed overview of the Housing Element and update process and provide your feedback on various topics including what the Housing Element goals should be for the 2021-2029 update by participating in the Housing Element Virtual Open House.
Spanish Language Virtual Open House coming soon!
The Housing Element Update (HEU) identifies strategies to implement revised goals and policies. They will be wide-ranging and may include the development of new zoning districts, zone changes and other ordinances that will create incentives to encourage the production of housing, including affordable housing, as well as those that strengthen renter protections. Regulations that expand the range of allowable housing types and grow and protect the City’s housing stock may additionally include density bonus regulations and other incentives for affordable housing and provisions to legalize unpermitted units and allow micro-units, live-work units and co-living housing typologies, among others.
State law requires Long Beach and all California cities and counties to plan for and update their Housing Elements every 8 years. The upcoming cycle, the Sixth Cycle of the Housing Element, is for the period from 2021-2029, and the update is required to be adopted by City Council and submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for approval by Fall 2021. In order for the State to approve or “certify” the City’s Housing Element, the City has to demonstrate that the City’s zoning has enough capacity to allow the development of a specific number of units that represents the City’s share of regional growth. This number is known as the Regional Housing Needs Assessment or RHNA. A RHNA is allocated to the Southern California region by the State Department of Housing and Community Development. Subsequently, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the regional planning body, is tasked with distributing this RHNA to each city within this six-county region (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura). SCAG prepares demographic projections and plans the region’s transportation network and how land uses can support that network in a sustainable manner, through the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), a planning process which takes place every four years. For the upcoming Housing Element cycle, the City’s housing unit allocation or regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) is approximately 26,500 units. While this number is currently still in draft form, it is not expected to change significantly and is the housing unit number the City will be planning for in this Housing Element Update.
The City has to ensure that the Housing Element that meets our RHNA allocation and is otherwise compliant with State law is completed and approved by the state by the October 2021 deadline. Unlike the past and in response to the severe statewide housing crisis, cities that do not have a legally compliant housing element by the deadline face penalties, which can include fines and the loss of transportation and affordable housing funding.
About the Update
Please sign up for project emails to stay connected with us and find out about how you can share your feedback.
Past Meetings and Presentations
- August 8, 2020: English Digital Housing Element Workshop 1 (Spanish) (Khmer) (Tagalog)
- August 12, 2020: Digital Community Forum 1 - Understanding the Housing Crisis in Long Beach
- August 15, 2020: Spanish Digital Housing Element Workshop 1
- August 19, 2020: Digital Community Forum 2: What is the Housing Element and How Can It Address the Housing Shortage?
For the latest information on the Housing Element Update, subscribe to LinkLB Development Services – Long Beach General Plan Updates and follow @LongBeachBuilds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Planning Bureau Information
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