Housing Elements

An approach to housing that is specific to the needs of their communities.

What is a Housing Element?

Updated every eight years, the Housing Element is a critical component in community development planning. The Housing Element process allows cities to create an approach to housing that is specific to the needs of their communities. As the needs of populations fluctuate, Housing Elements create a roadmap to ensure that a supply of quality, affordable housing is available throughout the region. Learn more and get involved at the Campaign for Fair Housing Elements.Below you will find a set of commonly asked questions regarding Housing Elements as part of MBEP’s housing advocacy and education. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Madrigal at emadrigal@mbep.biz.

ADU: Accessory Dwelling Unit

AFFH: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

AMBAG: Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments

COG: Council of Government

DOF: California Department of Finance

GP: General Plan

HCD: California Department of Housing and Community Development

HE: Housing Element

RHNA: Regional Housing Need Allocation

RHND: Regional Housing Need Determination

SBCOG: San Benito Council of Government

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Housing Element?
How is the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) determined?
What are the consequences if a city does not complete or meet the goals of its Housing Element or RHNA target?
How is it determined where new housing could be built, and what happens when suitable land runs out?
What is the role of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the Housing Element process?
What is the relationship between climate change and the Housing Element process?
How does the Housing Element process incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion?
How can I get involved?
What qualifies as affordable housing?
How long do Housing Elements take to complete?
Click here to view the MBHT FAQ Sheet (PDF)

Click here to view the MBHT Term Sheet (PDF)

General questions and donations: Contact Elizabeth Madrigal, Housing and Sustainability Policy Manager – Housing & Broadband, MBEP

Developer inquiry: Contact Stephaney Kipple, Senior Loan Officer, Multifamily Lending, HTSV

Housing Trust Silicon Valley is pleased to work with MBEP to promote affordable housing in the Monterey Bay Region. These communities have been underserved by CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions), and the current housing shortages have escalated the need for new models of lending. With our solid banking relationships and outstanding credit rating, the Housing Trust is in a perfect position to market to affordable housing developers and manage the loan program.”
Kevin Zwick, CEO, Housing Trust Silicon Valley

“We feel it is absolutely critical to bring resources into our region that can improve the supply of available housing. A thriving region is at the core of our mission, and we know that having an affordable place to call home is an integral part of achieving that.”
Bud Colligan, Former Board Co-Chair, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership