Six Cities Receive State Approval for Their Housing Plans

June 19, 2020

SACRAMENTO — Six cities that were among those found out-of-compliance with Housing Element law in 2019 now have state-approved housing plans.

Working closely with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Administration, Seaside, Trinidad, South El Monte, Canyon Lake, Wheatland, and Montebello finally have plans that comply with California housing law.

“We know these are incredibly difficult times for all Californians, particularly those who are struggling to keep roofs over their heads,” said Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Director Gustavo Velasquez. “The effects of COVID-19 have now amplified these circumstances, so we’re pleased to see these cities doing their part by planning to meet the housing needs for all people in their communities.”

Of the final 47 jurisdictions found out of compliance with Housing Element law last year, 28 now have state-approved housing plans.

“HCD is proud to have played a part in bringing these jurisdictions into compliance and we will continue to work with the remaining jurisdictions that still do not have state-approved housing plans,” said Velasquez.

Cities and counties must incorporate a variety of strategies into their housing plans to show they can meet their communities’ housing needs.

Trinidad, despite its size and infrastructure challenges, was able to put together an accessory dwelling unit strategy.

“The City of Trinidad is excited to have an adopted housing element that has achieved compliance with HCD,” said Trinidad Mayor Steve Ladwig. “For such a small city, with many factors that limit density, this is a major accomplishment."

In order to set the stage for housing development, Wheatland worked hard to address its infrastructure challenges and meet a rezoning obligation.

“Wheatland has a strong commitment to meeting the affordable housing needs of our community and region,” said Wheatland Mayor Rick West. “We are pleased the State of California has affirmed our commitment with final certification of our housing element.”

To bring its plan into compliance, Montebello added higher density capacity for more than 300 homes in infill locations with plans to promote affordable homes on publicly owned lands and tackle a comprehensive general plan.

“The City of Montebello is excited to be in a position to focus on implementing new housing development consistent with the current housing element and Governor Newsom’s vision for much needed housing,” said City Manager René Bobadilla. “None of this would be possible without approval from the city council and the positive collaboration we received from Senator Bob Archuleta and the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The City is excited to continue establishing its vision for the future as we begin to embark on a comprehensive update to the General Plan.”

Seaside, Canyon Lake, and South El Monte also brought their resources to the table to address their respective challenges and prepare plans that serve as the foundation to address their housing needs.

In the past few years, housing-element compliance has taken on increased importance for communities seeking funding. Several federal, state, and regional funding programs consider compliance an eligibility or ranking criteria, including CalTrans Senate Bill 1 (2017) Sustainable Communities grants; the Strategic Growth Council and HCD’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program; and HCD’s SB 2 (2017) planning funding, which helps communities plan for and accelerate housing production.

Contact Details:

Monica Hernandez
(916) 890-5240