Housing Element Update
We are excited to announce that in 2021, the City of Solvang kicked off the update to the City’s Housing Element to plan for housing through 2031. The update is scheduled to for completion in February 2023, and throughout the process, we invite the public to be part of the planning process and provide input on how Solvang should provide housing over the planning period (2023-2031).
This page will be a home for all Project announcements, materials, and documents. We will update the page throughout the Project, so please check back regularly.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) must review and certify each jurisdiction's Housing Element. HCD is authorized to provide a minimum of two rounds of review. The City submitted the Draft Housing Element for initial review on February 15, 2023 and received a comment letter from HCD on May 16, 2023. The City must revise the document to respond to each comment prior to resubmission for follow-up review.
Use the button below to download the comment letter.
The HCD Review Draft Housing Element was submitted for initial 90-day HCD review on February 15, 2023. The Draft consists of two parts: the Policy Document and the Needs Assessment. For ease of use, these have been combined into a single PDF for the HCD Review Draft.
The City is currently updating the Housing Element to plan for housing needs through 2031 and we want to hear from you about your thoughts on housing issues and opportunities in Solvang!
The Housing Needs Survey provided residents and stakeholders the opportunity to provide input on housing needs, issues, and constraints in the community. The survey was open from April 20, 2022 to May 21, 2022.
The Project Team has prepared a summary of survey responses. Please use the button below to read the summary.
Actualmente, la ciudad está actualizando el elemento de vivienda para planificar las necesidades de vivienda hasta el 2031 y queremos escuchar sus opiniones sobre problemas y oportunidades de vivienda en Solvang.
La Encuesta de necesidades de vivienda brindó a los residentes y partes interesadas la oportunidad de brindar información sobre las necesidades, los problemas, y las limitaciones de vivienda en la comunidad. La encuesta estuvo abierta del 20 de abril de 2022 al 21 de mayo de 2022.
El Equipo del Proyecto ha preparado un resumen de las respuestas a la encuesta. Utilice el botón de abajo para leer el resumen.
Newsletter #1 describes what a housing element is, how and why it is being updated, the project schedule, and how to get involved in the update process.
Since 1969, every city and county in California has been required to have a Housing Element as part of their General Plan. Unlike other mandatory General Plan elements, the Housing Element must be updated every eight years and is subject to review and approval by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Major components of the Housing Element include a housing needs assessment, the identification of sites for housing at all income levels, a review of constraints to housing, and updated policies and programs to carry out the goals of the updated element.
The City’s current 2015-2023 Housing Element was adopted in 2015 and was part of the 5th Cycle of housing element updates in the State. This update for the 2023-2031 planning period is part of the 6th Cycle of housing element updates. Between the 5th and 6th Cycles, the State passed over a dozen of new housing laws, many of which aim to lower barriers to building affordable housing. These will all be addressed with this update.
Another major addition to the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update is the inclusion of an affirmatively furthering fair housing analysis. This analysis will examine housing practices in the city to identify any areas that may perpetuate housing inequities in the community. The Housing Element will then include policies and programs to help work towards more equitable housing practices.
The purpose of a Housing Element is to:
A Housing Element identifies strategies and programs that focus on:
In the process of updating the Housing Element, each jurisdiction is required to accommodate its fair share of the regional housing need. The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) is the process used to determine housing allocations for each jurisdiction. As part of the RHNA, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) determines the total number of housing units needed across California over the next decade. This Statewide need is apportioned by HCD to each region in the state. The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) is then tasked with developing a methodology to determine the number of housing units for which each jurisdiction is required to designate suitable sites. Under State law, the RHNA is assigned to the following four income categories:
The household income for each of these categories is based on a percentage of the Area Median Income (AMI). The breakdown of the RHNA based on these categories is shown below.
The inventory and analysis of adequate sites is a labor-intensive component of the Housing Element Update process. Solvang will need to evaluate General Plan land uses and the zoning ordinance to determine whether there is enough land available to accommodate the assigned RHNA allocation for each income category. If unable to accommodate the RHNA, Solvang will need to plan to rezone enough land to meet the RHNA obligation.
City of Solvang
Planning and Community Development Division
411 2nd Street
Solvang, CA 93463
Phone: (805) 688-5575