The housing element process includes the following steps:
- Update previous housing element.
- Public Participation Requirements: Prior to submittal of the first draft within a planning period to HCD, the local government must make the draft available for public comment for 30 days and if any comments were received, take at least 10 business days to consider and incorporate public comments.
- Submit draft to HCD for review/approval.
- Revise and adopt (or adopt without changes).
- Transparency Requirements: For any subsequent draft revision, the local government must post the draft revision on its website and email a link to all individuals and organizations that have previously requested notices relating to the local government’s housing element at least seven days before submitting the draft revision to HCD.
- Submit revised draft/adopted housing element to HCD.
Update Previous Housing Element
The rest of the Building Blocks pages will assist you in updating your previous housing element.
Submit Draft to HCD for Review/Approval
Once a jurisdiction has updated its housing element, it submits the draft to HCD. HCD has 90 days to review the first draft submittal within a planning period and 60 days to review the draft and report its findings back to the jurisdiction.
Revise and Adopt (or Adopt without Changes)
Once the jurisdiction receives the findings from HCD, it can then revise the housing element to comply with the statute and adopt it OR adopt the draft without revising it. If it adopts the draft without making any revisions, it must specify in the resolution the findings that explain why the housing element complies with the statute.
Submit Adopted Housing Element to HCD
After the adoption, the jurisdiction must promptly submit its adopted housing element to HCD for review. HCD has 60 days to review the adopted housing element and report its findings back to the jurisdiction.
In the preparation of its findings, HCD may consult with any public agency, group, or person and must consider any third-party comments regarding the draft or adopted element or amendment under review.
How To Submit the Housing Element to HCD
To submit the housing element to HCD, local government have two options:
- Hard Copy Submittal — Please send one hard copy of the housing element to HCD with a cover letter indicating if the element is a draft or adopted element. Please also include an electronic version (USB Flash drive) with the submittal.
- Email Submittal — Send the housing element to HousingElements@hcd.ca.gov with a cover letter indicating if the element is a draft or adopted element. Please mail a subsequent hard copy for the files. Please note, some elements will be too large to be received through the email system. Please ensure your element was received by the system. HCD has limited capacity to receive elements through google docs or other similar download links. Elements that are too large will be required to be mailed.
The housing element will be logged for review on the business date received. Housing elements received after business hours will be logged for review on the next business day.
All hard copies of the housing element can be sent to:
State Department of Housing and Community Development
C/O Land Use and Planning Unit
2020 W. El Camino Ave, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95833
Housing Element Submittal Requirements:
For first draft submittals: With the first draft submittal, please include in the cover letter how the local government complies with new public participation requirements pursuant to AB 215 (Chapter 342, Statutes of 2021). AB 215 requires that prior to submittal of the first draft to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), the local government must make the draft available for public comment for 30 days and if any comments were received, take at least 10 business days to consider and incorporate public comments. Please note, HCD cannot review any first draft submittals that have not demonstrated completion with this requirement. The housing element will be considered submitted to HCD on the date that documentation has been received verifying compliance with AB 215 public participation requirements.
For revised submittals: To facilitate the review of revisions to address HCD findings, HCD requests submittal of a version of the housing element that clearly shows the changes between the previous housing element submittal and the new revised version. In addition, in the element or in a cover letter, please indicate compliance with AB 215 requirements to post the draft revision on the local government’s website and to email a link to all individuals and organizations that have previously requested notices relating to the local government’s housing element at least seven days before submitting the draft revision to HCD.
For adopted housing elements: With the adopted element submittal, please attach a copy of the resolution adopting the housing element. In addition, pursuant to SB 6 (Chapter 667, Statutes of 2019), for a housing element or amendment adopted on or after January 1, 2021, the planning agency shall submit to HCD an electronic copy of its inventory of these parcels using standards, forms, and definitions adopted by HCD (see below). Electronic sites inventories should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org with the submittal of the adopted element.