HCD Technical Assistance Helps City of Needles Adopt Housing Elements

January 24, 2023
City of Needles California

City of Needles California

Sacramento, CA —  

It’s not often a housing plan receives literal applause, but recently the City of Needles had local partners up on their feet after the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) approved the City’s latest housing element.

Since 1969, California has required that all cities and counties adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in their community. They submit these plans, known as housing elements, to HCD roughly every eight years to maintain compliance with state law.

HCD provides technical assistance (TA) to help jurisdictions submit compliant housing elements and implement Prohousing policies offering guidance, workshops, and training. From June 2022 to March 2023, HCD is facilitating over 25 technical assistance trainings across the state to inform planning commissioners on new state housing laws and create local champions of housing policy. The news of Needles getting their first housing element approval since 2005 – after years of trying – dropped at a recent Inland Empire workshop.

HCD and a team of consultants provided the Needles staff with one-on-one technical assistance every week for several months. Needles Assistant City Manager Patrick Martinez was thrilled when he learned their plan was approved this year.

“The City of Needles appeared as if it did not want to be compliant considering our Housing Element had not been updated since 2005,” Martinez said. “The truth was that the City did not have the financial resources or staff to complete the task. Without the assistance of the Department of Housing and Community Development, the City of Needles would not have been able to be compliant with its Housing Element. Both the financial and technical assistance HCD has provided has allowed the City to adopt three Housing Elements in as many years (5th and mid cycle and 6th cycle). Thank you HCD for your helping us get past the finish line.”