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Housing Element Update

Last modified: 4/3/2014 4:41 PM
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The Planning Office is in the process of updating the Housing Element of its General Plan for the 2015-2022 time period (2015 Update). The Housing Element is a mandatory element, or chapter, of the General Plan that primarily addresses the housing needs of unincorporated Santa Clara County. A Housing Element must be updated on an eight year cycle or as otherwise determined by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Housing Element update cycles now correlate with regional transportation processes, as conducted by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments.

Under State law, jurisdictions must submit an updated Housing Element to HCD for review and certification. As part of the review process, jurisdictions may submit a draft document to HCD for a 60-day preliminary review prior to formal adoption.

The 2015 Update is due to be adopted by the County Board of Supervisors and certified by HCD before January 31, 2015.

2015 Housing Element Update

Starting in January 2013, the County’s Planning Office began initial work on updating the Housing Element for the 2015-2022 time period. The first phase of the update, collection of data on existing housing needs and special housing needs, was completed in Spring 2013. The second phase, Outreach, was the focus of summer 2013 activity. The highlight was a Housing Element Workshop on June 27, 2013.

At the workshop, the County received input from a variety of stakeholders and advocacy groups, including but not limited to the homeless, seniors, farmworkers, and mental health and affordable housing service providers. Their input influenced the selection and updating of proposed housing strategies, policies, and implementation measures in the Draft 2015 Update.

In Fall 2013, the Planning Office worked on development of a Draft Housing Element 2015-2022.  The focus of work was on the proposed Strategies, Policies, and implementation measures for addressing the different types of housing need in the unincorporated County.  A Draft was released to the Planning Commission and the public on November 21, 2013, and was the subject of a workshop at the Planning Commission.  The Draft was then sent to HCD for an initial review.

From December 2013 through February 2014 the Planning Office held additional outreach meetings with the public, the Planning Commission, Board Commissions, and Stakeholders, receiving and responding to comments on the Draft Housing Element. Those comments and responses have been integrated into a revised Hearing Draft of the Housing Element, which has been released to the public, stakeholders, Planning Commission, and HCD on March 21, 2014. The Hearing draft will be discussed at the March 27, 2014 Planning Commission meeting, where staff will receive and respond to comments from the Planning Commission and stakeholders.

Hearing Draft for March 2014 Planning Commission

Planning Commission Workshop Meeting
10:30 am, Planning Office, 7th Floor
County Government Center
70 W. Hedding Street, San Jose, CA 95110


If you cannot attend in person but would like to provide comments or would like more information, contact the Project Manager Steve Ross at:


70 W. Hedding Street, 7th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 299-5791


2009 Housing Element Update


The County submitted its Initial Draft 2009 Update to HCD on June 10, 2009. In response, HCD sent a letter dated August 13, 2009 commending the County's efforts to promote and facilitate affordable housing through numerous programs such as the Affordable Housing Fund Program, and sought additional information. As a result, Staff sent a revised draft to HCD on 11/23/09 and conducted follow-up conversations. HCD issued a letter (dated April 23, 2010) finding the County's revised draft 2009 Update in substantial compliance with State housing element law.


Following the County's public hearing and General Plan amendment adoption process (Public Hearings on July 1, 2010 by the Planning Commission and on August 24, 2010 by the Board of Supervisors), the 2009 Update was forwarded to HCD for their final approval and certification on November 5, 2010.