Housing Element

2023-2031 Housing Element Update Draft

The 2023-2031 Housing Element Draft is available for public review and comments. Please submit comments by 5/28/22 to planning@colma.ca.gov. There will be a public hearing for this draft at a City Council Meeting on June 8, 2022 from 7:00 PM. Please visit the City Council Meetings page to get more information of the meeting location and/or Zoom details.

The Housing Element have been mandatory portions of local general plans in California because providing housing for all Californians is considered by the state legislature to be of vital importance.  A Housing Element provides an analysis of a community’s housing needs for all income levels, and strategies to respond to provide those housing needs. It is a key part of the Town’s overall General Plan.  State law establishes that each jurisdiction accommodates its fair share of affordable housing as an approach to distributing housing needs throughout the state.  State Housing Element law also recognizes that in order for the private sector to address housing needs and demand, local governments must adopt land-use plans and implement regulations that provide opportunities for, and do not unduly constrain, housing development by the private sector.

Rules regarding Housing Elements are found in the California Government Code Sections 65580-65589. Unlike the other mandatory General Plan elements, the Housing Element is required to be updated every eight years. It is also subject to detailed statutory requirements and mandatory review and approval by a State agency — HCD (Department of Housing and Community Development).

According to State law, the Housing Element must:

  • Provide goals, policies, quantified objectives, and scheduled programs to preserve, improve and develop housing;
  • Identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community;
  • Identify adequate sites that are zoned and available within the 8-year housing cycle to meet the city’s fair share of regional housing needs at all income levels;
  • Be certified (approved) by HCD as complying with state law; and
  • Be internally consistent with other parts of the General Plan – meeting this requirement is critical to having a legally adequate General Plan.

Under State law, every city and county is required to update its Housing Element to address specific requirements and submit the updated Housing Element to HCD. The Housing Element Update will build upon, and revise, as appropriate, the goals, policies, and programs of the Housing Element, to ensure that the City can meet the housing needs of all Colma residents from 2023 through 2031, The purpose of updating the Housing Element of the Town’s General Plan is to ensure that we are prepared to meet our future housing needs.

Maintaining a State-compliant Housing Element ensures that Colma is eligible for critical state and federal funds that require a certified Housing Element.  Jurisdictions that do not maintain a compliant Housing Element are at risk of significant repercussions, including:

  • Potential loss of local land use control;
  • Carryover of unaddressed allocations, increasing the total number of housing units that the Town is responsible for accommodating;
  • Ineligibility for various State-administered funds, including infrastructure, parks, housing, and planning funds: and
  • The Town’s entire General Plan becomes vulnerable to challenge.

Regional Housing Needs Allocation (6th Cycle 2023-2031)

Fundamental to the Housing Element Update, is how the Town addresses its assigned fair-share of regional housing needs. This fair-share is determined through a regional housing needs allocation process.  HCD, with input from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), determines the region’s total housing need for the 2023-2031 period. ABAG then determines the housing allocation for each Bay Area city, town, and county through the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation.  The Housing Element Update must identify enough potentially developable land zoned for residential use to accommodate the Towns’s new RHNA allocation.

Colma’s draft allocation for the 2023-2031 period is 202 units, which is broken down by income group as shown in the table below.  To read more about the RHNA allocation methodology and process, visit ABAG’s RHNA page.

Income Group State Income Limits (4 person household) Proposed RHNA Allocation (Housing Units)
Very Low (30%-50% of Area Median Income) $91,350 44
Low  (50%-80% of Area Median Income) $146,350 25
Moderate (80%-120%  of Area Median Income) $149,600 37
Above Moderate (>120% of Area Median Income) $179,500 96
Total 202

 Source: HCD State Income Limits 2021 and State CDBG and Home Income Limits also available at https://www.hcd.ca.gov/grants-funding/income-limits/state-and-federal-income-limits.shtml

Colma’s Planning Department will hold opportunities for the community and other stakeholders to engage with and provide feedback in regard to future housing in town. There will be an online survey that will be active from 4/8/22 to 4/29/22. Alternatively, paper copies will be available at the front counter at Town Hall as well as copies at our various events.

Upcoming Events:

  • Eggstravaganza: Saturday, April 16, 2022, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Colma Community Center. Fun housing-related activity and prizes for kids. Please RSVP by calling (650) 985-5678.
  • Senior Luncheon: Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM at the Colma Community Center. Come talk to the Colma Planning Department about the future of housing.
  • Coffee with a Planner: Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM at Black Bear Diner, 4927 Junipero Serra Boulevard in Colma. Come talk to the Colma Planning Department about the future of housing. Drinks and light refreshments will be served. RSVP by email, planning@colma.ca.gov or by phone (650) 757-8888.
  • City Council Meeting: Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Study session to provide an overview of the Housing Element and timeline. Please visit the City Council Meetings page to get more information of the meeting location and/or Zoom details.

Help shape the future of housing in Colma! Your opinion can help us set policies and programs to achieve housing needs for your community. Let your voice be heard! The survey will be active from 4/8/22 to 4/29/22. Submissions will be anonymous. Paper copies will be available at Town Hall and our various events.

Link to survey: https://www.menti.com/6ftaw649dq  or by QR Code:

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