An effective housing element provides the necessary conditions for developing and preserving an adequate supply of housing, including housing affordable to seniors, families and workers. As the housing element is required to be regularly revised pursuant to a statutory schedule, the update process provides a vehicle for establishing and updating housing and land-use strategies reflective of changing needs, resources, and conditions. For example, the housing element update can provide a mechanism to adopt new efficient land-use strategies such as infill, mixed-use, or downtown revitalization. It can also provide a vehicle for local governments to adopt housing and land-use strategies to address climate change and the reduction of green house gas emissions. Most of the housing and land-use strategies adopted by local governments to meet their existing and projected housing needs also serve to effectively address climate change concerns. For example, promoting higher density, infill housing for low-income workers and housing along transit corridors also can significantly contribute to reductions in green house gas emissions.
As local governments begin the process to update their housing elements, keep the following in mind:
- Start with the existing plan. The update should build on what has been effective in the past.
- Immediately engage all critical stakeholders in the community including residents, special needs populations, businesses, and real estate and housing providers.
- While the housing element must address specific State statutory requirements, it is ultimately a local plan and should reflect the vision and priorities of the community.