Why do we need a Housing Element?

The need for every city and county in California to plan for their ‘fair share’ of the projected housing need is based in Housing Element Law, enacted in 1969 (Government Code Section 65583). The concept behind the law is that, in order for the private development market to adequately address housing demand, local governments must adopt housing plans that provide opportunities for – and not unduly constrain – housing development.

Having a certified Housing Element ensures:

  • Eligibility for critical State and Federal funds;

  • Local land use control; and

  • Eligibility for State-administered funding for roads, sewer, parks, housing, and planning.

Without a certified Housing Element, the City is:

  • At risk of losing local land use control, including the City’s ability to issue building permits and keep its zoning authority;

  • Responsible for accommodating an increased number of housing units;

  • Ineligible for various State-administered funds for roads, sewer, parking, housing, and planning; and

  • More open to legal action and challenges of its General Plan. 

    • This legal action could come from developers, housing advocates, and California’s Department of Housing and Community Development.

Show All Answers

1. What is a Housing Element?
2. Why do we need a Housing Element?
3. Why should I participate in the update process?
4. What is the City's Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA)?
5. Is Gilroy required to build the housing assigned?
6. What is considered "low-income" in Gilroy?