Housing Element Update 2021-2029

Housing Element Pg Photo

Housing Element Update 2021-2029

WHy update the housing element? 

The City of Tustin has started the process of updating the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan to ensure we are prepared to meet Tustin’s future housing needs. Your input will help the City develop a plan that best reflects the community’s needs, values, and priorities, related to housing. Under State law, every city and county is required to update its Housing Element to address specific requirements and submit the updated Housing Element to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The Housing Element Update will build upon, and revise, as appropriate, the goals, policies and programs of the Housing Element, to ensure that the City can meet the housing needs of all Tustin residents from 2021 through 2029.

Why should i provide input?

As part of the Housing Element Update, we are asking for the community to provide input regarding housing priorities. Participation from our residents and stakeholders is vital to ensure that our community’s values are identified and articulated in the Housing Element, and that the City’s approach provides the best fit for our community’s goals, values, and priorities.

How do I get involved in the process?

>> Participate in the online survey (survey is now closed)
>> Sign up for e-mail updates by sending an e-mail to: housingelement@tustinca.org
>> Share your feedback via e-mail by sending an e-mail to: housingelement@tustinca.org
>> Participate in a future workshop or public meeting (see below)

What is a housing elEment?

The Housing Element is one of nine state-mandated elements of the City’s General Plan. The Housing Element identifies the City’s housing needs and conditions, and establishes goals, objectives and policies that form the basis of the City’s vision and strategy for enhancing and preserving the community’s character, and expanding housing opportunities for all Tustin community members. The element also contains in-depth analysis and evaluation of the City’s population, economics, household size, housing stock, housing programs, and regulations. 

State Law establishes that each city accommodate its fair share of affordable housing as an approach to distributing housing needs throughout the state. State Housing Element law also recognizes that in order for the private sector to address housing needs and demand, local governments must adopt land-use plans and implement regulations that provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development by the private sector. State housing laws regarding Housing Elements are found in the California Government Code Sections 65580-65589. Unlike the other mandatory general plan elements, the housing element is required to be updated every eight years. It is also subject to detailed statutory requirements and mandatory review and approval by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

According to State law, the Housing Element must:

  • Provide goals, policies, quantified objectives and scheduled programs to preserve, improve and develop housing;
  • Identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community;
  • Identify adequate sites that are zoned and available within the 8-year housing cycle to meet the city’s fair share of regional housing needs at all income levels;
  • Be certified (approved) by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) as complying with state law; and,
  • Be internally consistent with other parts of the General Plan (and meeting this requirement is critical to having a legally adequate General Plan).

WHat are the benefits of updating a housing element?

Maintaining a State-compliant Housing Element ensures that Tustin is eligible for critical state and federal funds that require a certified Housing Element by HCD. Jurisdictions that do not maintain a compliant Housing Element are at risk of significant repercussions, including:

  • Potential loss of local land use control;
  • Carryover of unaddressed allocations, increasing the total number of housing units that the City is responsible for accommodating;
  • Ineligibility for various State-administered funds, including infrastructure, parks, housing, and planning funds: and,
  • The City’s entire General Plan becomes vulnerable to legal challenge.

What is a regional housing needs allocation (rhna)?

The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is mandated by State law to quantify the need for housing throughout the State. This informs the local planning process to address existing and future housing need resulting from projected state-wide growth in population, employment, and households. The Housing Element Update must address the housing needs identified by the RHNA prepared by SCAG for Tustin. 

As the Council of Governments (or regional planning agency), SCAG is responsible for overseeing the RHNA process for the Southern California region, which encompasses six counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura) and 191 cities in an area covering more than 38,000 square miles. SCAG is currently overseeing the 6th cycle RHNA for the 2021-2029 planning period. 

Tustin has a final RHNA allocation for 6,782 units to accommodate an estimated growth need at various income levels. The Housing Element must provide sites to accommodate this estimated growth at each income level. The final RHNA allocation for Tustin is as follows*:

rhna chart april*The final allocation of units will be determined after the current RHNA appeals process is complete, and will be updated at that time.

Where can i find the current housing element? 

The City Council adopted the current Housing Element in October 2013 for the planning period of 2014-2021. On November 6, 2013, the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) made a final determination that the City’s current Housing Element is in full compliance with State housing element law. The 2014-2021 Housing Element will remain active until the 2021-2029 update is adopted. The Housing Element Update adoption is anticipated to take place in October 2021.

Project timeline

HEU Simplified Timeline 11-30-2020>> Project Timeline (PDF)

Community engagement

>> January 21, 2021 - February 28, 2021: Online Survey (survey now closed)

Public Workshops and meetings

Resources and Documents

>> City of Tustin - General Plan
>> City of Tustin - Land Use Element
>> Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG): Detailed information related to Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)
>> Pre-Certified Local Housing Data for the City of Tustin - August 2020
>> California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)

Contact us

For more information or questions about the Housing Element Update process, please email us at housingelement@tustinca.org or call city staff, Erica H. Demkowicz, AICP, Senior Planner, at (714) 573-3127.