Every eight years, the state requires local communities to update their Housing Element to assure the supply of adequate housing to meet community needs. After a series of community meetings and hearings before both the Santa Cruz County Housing Advisory Commission and Planning Commission, the current Housing Element will go before the Board of Supervisors on January 12, 2016 for consideration.
The Housing Element is one of seven required elements of the County’s General Plan, which guides land use planning and development activities in the unincorporated area. State law mandates that it include an assessment of housing needs and an inventory of resources and constraints relevant to meeting those needs; a statement of the community’s goals, objectives and policies relevant to the maintenance, improvement and development of housing; and a program to implement the policies and achieve the objectives of the Housing Element.
The document must also show that an adequate number of sites are available to accommodate housing development for all income levels, focusing on the needs of low- and moderate-income households. Additionally, it must address conserving and improving the condition of the existing affordable housing stock, and promoting housing opportunities for all persons.