2023-2031 Housing Element Update

Thank you for visiting the Town's 2023-2031 Housing Element Update website.

Housing Element Review Letter Received from HCD - Special City Council Meeting Scheduled for May 11th at 3:30pm

On Monday, May 8th, the Town received a Housing Element Review Letter from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in response to the Town's resubmission of the 2023-31 Draft Housing Element.

The City Council will hold a Special City Council Meeting today at 3:30pm to discuss the letter and next steps. Members of the public can attend the meeting in-person at Town Hall (1600 Floribunda Avenue) or remotely via Zoom.

Click here to review the agenda and HCD letter.

Revised Draft Housing Element Documents Submitted to HCD on March 9, 2023

The Town anticipates receiving comments back from the State by Tuesday May 9, 2023.

Click on the following links to review the submitted documents (pdf format):

Housing Element Transmittal Letter to HCD
Revised Draft Housing Element (File size: 72mb)
HCD Comment Response Matrix

Previous Updates:

The Town of Hillsborough has transmitted its Draft Housing Element for the 2023-31 cycle to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The latest version is available at the link below. 

REVISED Town of Hillsborough Draft Housing Element 2023-31 Update (Posted March 2, 2023)

Public Review Period: Thursday, March 2nd - Thursday, March 9th by noon
Comments may be submitted to GeneralPlan@hillsborough.net

Town of Hillsborough Draft Housing Element 2023-31 Update (Transmitted October 12, 2022) 

A new external website has been specifically dedicated to the Town's Housing Element update effort.

It contains all the information about the Town's Housing Element process including how you can get involved and participate! If you cannot access the new website, please send an email to generalplan@hillsborough.net.

On June 14, 2021, the City Council reviewed the proposed work plan for the Housing Element Update process, including the formation of an advisory committee to help the Town update its Housing Element. The Housing Element Advisory Committee (HEAC) will review and provide feedback on draft Element components, attend and participate in HEAC meetings, and spread the word about community engagement opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Housing Element?

The Housing Element is a chapter of the General Plan that outlines a community's housing plans and the polices the community has in place to ensure that they will achieve their plan's goals.  While cities don’t build housing themselves, they do create the rules that affect where housing can be built, how much, and how it gets approved. Per State law, each jurisdiction’s housing element must help ensure that there will be enough capacity meet the projected need over the next 10 years.

Why Does it Matter?

More and more, purchasing a home is out of reach for many while renters face inaccessible rent prices. Just about every city in the region needs more housing, of all types and sizes. 

  • Teachers, firefighters, health care, and other essential workers are often traveling long distances to work or being forced to relocate to other cities; 
  • Young adults and students are often unable to purchase homes or even live in the communities they grew up in once they leave their childhood homes; 
  • Communities of color and non-English speakers--those who make up the majority of community members living in overcrowded and unsafe conditions--can’t afford to live near their jobs, schools, or families.

Creating more housing—and more diverse housing choices—means

  • Young families can find an affordable starter home;
  • Young adults moving into the housing market can stay in the cities they grew up in;
  • Our aging population will have more options for retirement, including downsizing, providing housing for on-site health or home care, and staying in their communities;
  • Workers like our teachers, firefighters, health care workers and essential workers can find homes near job centers;
  • Your children and grandchildren can stay near you in the communities they feel a part of;
  • More people across incomes will have more opportunities to rent or own homes in the places they live, work and love

How Do We Know How Much Housing to Plan For?

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) develops a state-wide housing needs determination (RHND) number, based on projected housing needs in various income categories as outlined in the table below:

RHNA Income Categories

HCD further breaks the RHND into regional assignments, and then allocates a lump number of units to each area’s regional coalition of governments (COG). The Bay Area’s COG is the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). 

This number is then assigned by the COG to the various jurisdictions within the region. This known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA; pronounced ree-nuh) process. The State is currently in the sixth cycle of this allocation process, known as "RHNA 6."  

How Does ABAG Decide How to Distribute the Regional Assignment?

In 2019 ABAG established a Housing Methodology Committee (HMC) charged with developing a distribution formula by which to allocate the cycle 6 RHND number. The HMC consists of elected officials and staff from each county, as well as stakeholders from interest groups.

Any methodology developed by the HMC must satisfy the many statutory requirements for RHNA distribution, including:

  1. Increasing housing supply and mix of housing types, tenure, and affordability in all cities and counties in an equitable manner throughout the region;
  2. Promoting infill development and socioeconomic equity, protecting environmental and agricultural resources, encouraging efficient development patterns, and achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions targets;
  3. Promoting an improved intraregional jobs-housing relationship, including a balance between low-wage jobs and affordable housing (jobs/housing fit);
  4. Balancing disproportionate household income distributions (more high-income RHNA to lower-income areas and vice-versa); and
  5. Affirmatively further fair housing.

Using the above requirements as a guide, the final RHNA methodology recommended by the HMC assigns a total number of housing units to each Bay Area jurisdiction and distributes that allocation among the four affordability levels.

Where Can I Get More Information on the RHNA Process?

ABAG has created a "Frequently Asked Questions" document on RHNA which can be downloaded here: RHNA Frequently Asked Questions.  Additionally, you can find more information on the Let's Talk Housing San Mateo County website here: https://www.letstalkhousing.org/how.

How Can I Get Involved?

The Town anticipates beginning community discussions in Spring of 2021.  Updates will be provided on this page, and notice of Town meetings will be posted on Town bulletin boards, on the online Town calendar, and sent out in the Town's e-announcements and newsletter. You can also sign up for notifications related to the process here: https://www.hillsborough.net/list.aspx.  For additional inquires or comments, please send an email to generalplan@hillsborough.net.


Background Information & Helpful Documents

Preliminary Draft Housing Element

Community Meetings

City Council Meetings

  • September 13, 2021
    • Item 1: Council Approval of Professional Services Contract with Houseal Lavigne & Associates for Housing Element Update Project
      • Staff Report
      • Meeting Recording (Contract item pulled from the Consent calendar; Discussion begins at 11:57)
      • As this item was on the Consent Agenda, there is no presentation slide deck available.
    • Item 2: Establishment of Housing Element Update Ad Hoc Council Subcommittee
  • June 14, 2021: Staff Provides an Update to Council on the Work Plan for the Housing Element Update Project
  • April 12, 2021: Staff Provides an Update to Council on the Status of the Housing Element Update Project
  • October 10, 2020: Council Authorizes a Co-op Agreement With the County & 21 Elements for Housing Element Update Consulting Services
    • Staff Report
    • As this project was on the Consent agenda, there is no presentation slide deck or recording available.
  • September 14, 2020: 21 Elements Provides an Overview of the Upcoming Housing Element Update Process
  • May 11, 2020: Council Authorizes Staff to Apply to the State's Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) Grant Program
    • Staff Report
    • As this project was on the Consent agenda, there is no presentation slide deck or recording available.

Committee, Commission and Board Presentations

Citizen Communications Advisory Committee

Architecture & Design Review Board

  • May 3, 2021
    • Materials will be posted shortly


2005 General Plan & 2014 Housing Element

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