General Plan Housing Element update

Certified 6th Cycle (2021-2029) Housing Element

On Friday, September 16, 2022, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) certified the City of Santa Ana's General Plan Housing Element, signifying the City's compliance with the State's Housing Element Law (Article 10.6 of the Government Code).

The Certified 6th Cycle (2021-2029) Housing Element, Addendum to the previously certified Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the General Plan Update, and HCD's certification letter can be viewed below.

What is a Housing Element?

The City of Santa Ana has completed its update to the Housing Element of the General Plan for the eight-year planning period of 2021-2029 and was certified by HCD on Friday, September 16, 2022. The updated element builds 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. 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 made 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 included various Housing Element roundtable meetings, community forums, and an online housing survey; in addition to drawing from the extensive outreach completed as part of the General Plan update. Through the various opportunities for community feedback, residents, businesses, stakeholders, advocates, civic leaders, and other interested parties contributed to the updating of the element. Roundtable meeting dates, materials, and recordings can be viewed here; and a comprehensive list of past meetings can be viewed here.

Get involved and stay in touch

The public is encouraged to share their comments, ask questions, or sign up to receive future updates by sending an e-mail to or by calling (714) 667-2781. Comments and questions can also be submitted by mail to the City of Santa Ana, Attention Planning Division, at 20 Civic Center Plaza, P.O. Box 1988, Santa Ana, CA 92702.

Resources and documents

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