Housing Element

Housing Element

In California, each city and county must adopt a Housing Element to plan for the housing needs of the community at all economic levels, including low-income and households with special needs. At its core, a Housing Element is an opportunity for the community to establish goals, policies, and programs to address local housing needs. The Housing Element is one of seven required elements of the City’s General Plan, which serves as the blueprint for how the city will grow and address changing needs for development.

Every eight years, the City is required to update its Housing Element and have it certified by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The City adopted the last update of the Housing Element in 2014. The current update to the Housing Element will guide housing development in Benicia in the 2023-2031 planning period. The community will have an opportunity to participate in the planning process, which is expected to run through the end of 2022.

The foundation of the Housing Element is the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), which is a State-mandated requirement that establishes each jurisdiction’s “fair share” of the total projected regional housing need. The State of California requires that each city provide adequate sites to meet its RHNA. Benicia’s expected share of the RHNA is 2900 housing units. The City is not required to build or finance new housing, but it must plan for it.

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