Government Code Section 65583 and 65583.2 require the housing element to provide for a variety of housing types including multifamily rental housing, factory-built housing, mobilehomes, housing for agricultural employees, supportive housing, single-room occupancy units, emergency shelters, and transitional housing.
The housing element must also identify a zone, or zones, where emergency shelters are a permitted use without discretionary review (Government Code Section 65583(a)(4)) and demonstrate that transitional housing and supportive housing are considered a residential use and subject to only those restrictions that apply to other residential dwellings of the same type in the same zone (Government Code Section 65583(a)(5)) .
Providing development opportunities for a variety of housing types promotes diversity in housing price, style and size, and contributes to neighborhood stability by offering more affordable and move-up homes and accommodating a diverse income mix.
The housing element must identify and analyze sites with appropriate zoning that will encourage and facilitate a variety of housing types. At a minimum, the analysis must:
- Identify zoning districts where each of the housing types is permitted.
- Analyze how development standards and processing requirements facilitate development of each of the housing types.
Every jurisdiction must identify a zone or zones where emergency shelters are allowed as a permitted use without a conditional use or other discretionary permit (Government Code Section 65583.(a)(4)). The identified zone or zones must include sufficient capacity to accommodate the need for emergency shelter as identified in the housing element, EXCEPT that each jurisdication must identify a zone or zones to accommodate at least one year-round shelter. Adequate sites can include sites with existing buildings that can be converted to emergency shelters to accommodate the need for emergency shelters.
Shelters may only be subject only to development and management standards that apply to residential or commercial development in the same zone except that local governments may apply written and objective standards that include all of the following:
- maximum number of beds;
- off-street parking based upon demonstrated need;
- size and location of on-site waiting and intake areas;
- provision of on-site management;
- proximity to other shelters;
- length of stay;
- lighting; and
- security during hours when the shelter is open.
Please be aware, if the adopted housing element from the previous cycle (4th cycle) included a program to address the requirements of SB 2 for emergency shelters, and the required timeframe has lapsed, the Department will not be able to find future housing elements in compliance until the required rezoning is complete and the element is amended to reflect that rezoning.
For more information, see HCD’s SB 2 Memo
Transitional and Supportive Housing
The housing element must demonstrate that transitional housing and supportive housing are permitted as a residential use and only subject to those restrictions that apply to other residential dwellings of the same type in the same zone (Government Code Section 65583(a)(5)). In other words, transitional housing and supportive housing are permitted in all zones allowing residential uses and are not subject to any restrictions (e.g., occupancy limit) not imposed on similar dwellings (e.g., single family home, apartments) in the same zone in which the transitional housing and supportive housing is located. For example, transitional housing located in an apartment building in a multifamily zone is permitted in the same manner as an apartment building in the same zone and supportive housing located in a single family home in a single family zone is permitted in the same manner as a single family home in the same zone.
Transitional housing is a type of supportive housing used to facilitate the movement of homeless individuals and families to permanent housing. A homeless person may live in a transitional apartment for up to two-years while receiving supportive services that enable independent living.
Supportive housing is permanent rental housing linked to a range of support services designed to enable residents to maintain stable housing and lead fuller lives.
The housing element must include and analysis of farmworker housing needs (Government Code Section 65583(a)(6)) and if the sites inventory does not identify adequate sites to accommodate the housing need for farmworkers the housing element must include a program(s) to provide sufficient sites to accommodate the need for farmworker housing “by-right” (Government Code Section 65583(c)(1)(C)).
To demonstrate the adequacy of identified sites the element should include an analysis demonstrating the jurisdiction's zoning, development standards and processing requirements encourage and facilitate all types of housing for farmworkers (e.g. multifamily, single room occupancy, second units, manufactured homes, migrant centers).
The element should also ensure that local zoning, development standards and permitting processes comply with Health and Safety Code Sections 17021.5 and 17021.6. Section 17021.5 generally requires employee housing for six of fewer persons to be treated as a single-family structure and residential use. No conditional use permit, zoning variance, or other zoning clearance shall be required for this type of employee housing that is not required of a family dwelling of the same type in the same zone. Section 17021.6 generally requires employee housing consisting or not more than 36 beds in group quarters or 12 units or less designed for use by a single family or household to be treated as an agricultural use. No conditional use permit, zoning variance, or other zoning clearance shall be required for this type of employee housing that is not required of any other agricultural activity in the same zone.
Mobilehomes and Factory-Built Housing
The housing element should demostrate the jurisdiction's zoning code allows the siting and permit process for manufactured housing in the same manner as a conventional or stick-built structure (Government Code Section 65852.3). Specifically, manufactured homes (mobilehomes) should only be subject to the same development standards which a conventional single-family residential dwelling on the same lot would be subject, including, but not limited to, building setback standards, side and rear yard requirements, standards for enclosures, access, and vehicle parking, aesthetic requirements, and minimum square footage requirements, with the exception of architectural requirements (Government Code Section 65852.3(a)).
The housing element must describe the siting and permit process for manufactured (mobilehomes) and factory-built housing and demonstrate how the community has identified zoning and development standards that will provide opportunities for these housing types. For more information on manufactured housing licensing requirements, regulations, and design standards see HCD’s website at http://www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/mhp/.
Multifamily Rental Housing
The element must identify sites with zoning and development standards that will allow and encourage multifamily rental housing opportunities. The analysis should identify zoning that permits multifamily rental development and evaluate whether development standards and permit procedures encourage multifamily opportunities. Further, this analysis should discuss and address any policies that might impede multifamily rental opportunities and assure sufficient and realistic opportunities for development in the planning period.
Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) Units
An SRO unit usually is small, between 200 to 350 square feet. These units provide a valuable source of affordable housing for individuals and can serve as an entry point into the housing market for formerly homeless people.
Many older SROs have been lost due to deterioration, hotel conversions, and demolition. Therefore, in addition to identifying zoning and development standards that will allow and encourage the construction of new SROs, local governments should consider including program actions in their housing elements that commit to preserving and rehabilitating existing residential hotels and other buildings suitable for SROs. Other implementation actions that would encourage both the development of new SROs and the preservation of existing opportunities include:
- Zoning and permit procedures. The element could include a program action that commits the local government to amending their zoning and building codes, and permitting procedures to facilitate and encourage new SRO construction. A more streamlined entitlement process helps in providing greater predictability in the approval and development of new SROs. In terms of preservation, local governments could include programs to promote the rehabilitation of older (structurally sound) buildings located in appropriate areas, rather than demolition.
- Provide regulatory and fiscal assistance. The element could include a program action that commits the local government to providing funding sources and regulatory relief to assist non-profit developers in constructing and preserving SRO facilities.
- Implement educational programs. Include a program to outreach to neighborhood groups, stakeholders, advocates, and local businesses regarding the advantages of providing opportunities for new construction and preservation of SROs.
Definitions applicable to Chapter 633 of Statutes 2007 (SB 2):
Emergency Shelter: Emergency shelter means housing with minimal supportive services for homeless persons that is limited to occupancy of six months or less by a homeless person. No individual or household may be denied emergency shelter because of an inability to pay.
Supportive Housing: Supportive housing means housing with no limit on length of stay, that is occupied by the target population, and that is linked to an onsite or offsite service that assists the supportive housing resident in retaining the housing, improving his or her health status, and maximizing his or her ability to live and, when possible, work in the community.
Transitional Housing: Transitional housing means buildings configured as rental housing developments, but operated under program requirements that require the termination of assistance and recirculating of the assisted unit to another eligible program recipient at a predetermined future point in time that shall be no less than six months from the beginning of the assistance.
Target population: Target population means persons with low incomes who have one or more disabilities, including mental illness, HIV or AIDS, substance abuse, or other chronic health condition, or individuals eligible for services provided pursuant to the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500) of the Welfare and Institutions Code) and may include, among other populations, adults, emancipated minors, families with children, elderly persons, young adults aging out of the foster care system, individuals exiting from institutional settings, veterans, and homeless people.
Sample Analyses and Programs
Emergency Shelters and Transitional Housing
Examples of Homeless Shelter Ordinances:
- City of Santa Monica Development Standards for Homeless Shelters – Search for “homeless”
- City of Santa Monica website dedicated to Homeless Issues
- Homelessness Resource Center (HRC) website (U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services SAMHSA program)
- National Alliance to End Homelessness
- HomeBase – Legal and Technical Assistance on Homelessness
Manufactured (Mobilehomes) and Factory-built Housing
- HCD: Manufactured Housing and Factory Built Housing Resources
- California Manufactured Housing Institute
- Manufactured Housing Institute
- Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League
- Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association
Single-Room Occupancy (SRO)
- HUD: Single Room Occupancy Program
- SRO Housing Corporation
- Single Room Housing Assistance Corporation
- National Alliance to End Homelessness
- National Resource Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness
- Corporation for Supportive Housing
- HUD's Supportive Housing Program
- California Research Bureau, Addressing Long-term Homelessness, Permanent Supportive Housing
- Technical Assistance Collaborative
Affordable Housing Developers
- Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
- Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing