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General Plan Housing Element update

What is a Housing Element?

The City of Santa Ana is in the process of updating the Housing Element of the General Plan for the eight-year planning period of 2021-2029. The updated element will build on the effective goals, policies, and programs of the existing Housing Element (2014-2021), supplemented by new data and aligned with the City's goals and vision.

State law requires the Housing Element be updated every eight years to remain relevant and reflective of the community's changing housing needs. The State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) identifies the statewide housing need, and this need is then allocated to each California city or local jurisdiction through a Regional Housing Needs Assessment or "RHNA." Essentially, a RHNA allocation is the total number of housing units a city must plan to accommodate over the next eight years. The Housing Element is required to identify potential sites and provide policies and programs that will facilitate the production of housing. Additional information about RHNA can be found here and here.

For 2021-2029, Santa Ana's RHNA allocation is 3,095 housing units with the following income breakdown:

Income Level Category (AMI=Area Median Income) Number of Housing Units Percent of Total
Very Low (< 50% of AMI) 586 18.9%
Low  (50% to 80% of AMI) 362 11.7%
Moderate (80% to 120% of AMI) 523 16.9%
Above Moderate (> 120% of AMI) 1,624 52.5%
Total: 3,095 100%

Orange County's current AMI (Average Median Income) for a family of four is $103,000.

The following videos were created in collaboration with the Orange County Council of Governments to help the public learn about housing-related topics.

Community outreach

The City of Santa Ana is making a diligent effort to achieve public participation from a broad spectrum of the community in the development of the Housing Element. As part of the Housing Element update, the City’s outreach efforts include various Housing Element Roundtable meetings, community forums, and online housing survey; in addition to drawing from the extensive outreach completed as part of the General Plan update, which is also currently being update. Through the various opportunities for community feedback, residents, businesses, stakeholders, advocates, civic leaders, and other interested parties have contributed to the updating of the element. Roundtable meeting dates, materials, and recordings can be viewed here; the Housing Element Survey summary can be viewed here; and a comprehensive list of past and upcoming meetings can be viewed here.

Get involved and stay in touch

The public is encouraged to share their ideas, ask questions, or sign up to receive future updates by sending an e-mail to SAHousingElement2021@santa-ana.org or by calling (714) 667-2781.

Resources and documents

February 2022 Housing Element Draft - Submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development

The February 2022 Draft Housing Element, which includes revisions addressing comments received on the previous October 2021 draft by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the community, was submitted to HCD on February 24, 2022, for another 60 day review period.

Comments or questions can be submitted via email to SAHousingElement2021@santa-ana.org or by mail to City of Santa Ana, Attention Planning Division, at 20 Civic Center Plaza, P.O. Box 1988, Santa Ana, CA 92702.

October 2021 Housing Element Draft - Submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development

View the October 2021 Draft Housing Element (2021-2029) submitted to HCD for review can be accessed here. View the HCD comment letter on the October 2021 draft here.

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