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Housing Element Update

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Housing Element 101: What is a Housing Element?

The housing element is a state-mandated policy document within the General Plan that guides the implementation of various programs to meet existing and future housing needs for residents of all income levels. The Housing Element identifies available land suitable for housing development as well policies, programs, and strategies to accommodate the City’s housing growth, provide opportunities for new housing, and preserve the existing housing stock.

What is included in a  Housing Element?

Key components of the Housing Element include:

  • Community demographic profile and analysis of population growth and trends;
  • A list of available land suitable for housing development;
  • An evaluation of local constraints or barriers to housing development as well as opportunities to develop housing; and
  • Housing goals, programs, policies, and resources for promoting and developing housing within the City.

Because the Housing Element is updated every eight years, the previous element provides a foundation for this update. This update gives us the opportunity to evaluate the previous element and determine which parts have been effective and which should be improved. It also provides another opportunity for residents to get involved and help determine housing priorities (click this link to participate in the survey). Read the 2013-2021 Housing Element for more information on existing policies and programs.

Where can I see the City's current Housing Element?

The City’s previous 5th Cycle (2013-2021) Housing Element can be found here

Why Update the Housing Element? 

California State law requires that local jurisdictions update the Housing Element every eight years. These frequent updates are required because housing is critical to ensure economic prosperity and quality of life in our region. The update also helps to ensure that the City is responding to residents’ changing needs. The revised Housing Element must be adopted by the Victorville City Council and submitted to the State Department of Housing and Community Development Department no later than October 15, 2021, or Victorville could lose eligibility for significant sources of funding currently provided by the State and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), including critical infrastructure and transportation funds.

What is RHNA?

RHNA stands for Regional Housing Needs Assessment. Every eight years, the State of California provides the number of housing units that should be accommodated in each region within the State. Victorville is located in the region administered by the Southern California Association of Governments, or “SCAG.” SCAG takes the number of housing units it receives from the State and divides it among the jurisdictions in its five-county area, including Victorville.

To comply with State law, the City’s Housing Element must be updated to ensure the City’s policies and programs can accommodate its share of the estimated housing growth identified by the State. For the current Housing Element update, the City’s share of the RHNA is 8,146 units, split among different income levels (based on Area Median Income, or AMI) as shown in the following table.

Income Category

Number of Units

% of Total Units

Very Low Income (0-50% of AMI)

1,731

21%

Low Income (50-80% of AMI)

1,134

14%

Moderate Income (80-120% of AMI)

1,500

18%

Above Moderate Income (More than 120% of AMI)

3,781

46%

TOTAL UNITS

8,146

100%

Note: Percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding.

Does RHNA require us to build housing?

Through the RHNA process, the City must show that it has the regulatory and land use policies to accommodate housing needs. But the actual development of housing is almost entirely done by the private market. The Housing Element is required to demonstrate potential sites where housing can be accommodated. Identification of a site’s capacity does not guarantee that construction will occur on that site. If there are insufficient sites and capacity to meet the RHNA allocation, then the Housing Element is required to identify a rezoning program to create the required capacity. It is important to note that if the City does not identify capacity for its RHNA targets, the City could be deemed out of compliance and risk losing important sources of funding currently provided by the State.

CONTACT US

For more information about the Housing Element, please contact Michael Szarzynski at MSzarzynski@victorvilleca.gov and 760-955-5135.