The City of Chico is undertaking the update to its Housing Element, which will cover the planning period of 2022-2030. As one of the elements of the City’s General Plan, the Housing Element is a statement of the community’s priorities with respect to housing its citizens.
Artist: Janet Weidel, courtesy of Chico Paper Company
Envision • Plan • Act
The City of Chico Housing Element website will be the central location for citizens to learn about the purpose and content of the Housing Element, find out about community meetings and other ways to provide input, as well as tracking the progress of the Housing Element update and dates for important decision-making meetings.
Your Input is Essential
Broad public participation is an essential component of the Housing Element update process and we hope that all City residents will utilize this website as a tool to become informed and stay engaged.
What is the Housing Element?
California requires that all local governments, cities and counties adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. California’s local governments meet this requirement by adopting Housing Elements as part of their General Plan.
General Plans serve as the local government’s "blueprint" for how the city and/or county will grow and develop over a 15-20 year period, and include a minimum of seven mandatory elements: land use, transportation, conservation, noise, open space, safety, and housing. California’s housing element law acknowledges that, in order for the private market to adequately address the housing needs and demand of Californians, local governments must adopt plans and regulatory systems that provide opportunities for and do not unduly constrain, housing development.
As a result, housing policy in California rests largely on the effective implementation of local general plans and, in particular, local housing elements.
Building the Future of Chico. Together.
The Housing Element is a statement of the community’s priorities with respect to housing its citizens, through the setting of goals for the allocation of funding, program coordination and zoning.
The Housing Element analyzes needs, constraints and resources, and lays out strategies to achieve the stated goals.
The Housing Element update process engages community members in a collaborative process to identify needs and set goals.
While the City does not directly build housing, it facilitates production by guiding zoning policies, providing funding and partnering with developers, lenders and nonprofits.
"An effective housing element provides the necessary conditions for developing and preserving an adequate supply of housing, including housing affordable to seniors, families, and workers. Because the housing element must be regularly revised according to a legally mandated schedule, the update process provides the opportunity for jurisdictions to update their housing and land-use strategies to reflect changing needs, resources, and conditions."
- California Department of Housing and Community Development
How You Can Get Involved
The City posted links to online surveys designed to solicit input on housing needs and goals. Learn More >
Webinars and Virtual Meetings were utilized in place of in person outreach in accordance with CDC guidelines for in-person meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn More >
What does the Housing Element Provide?
The Housing Element will:
Perform an analysis of housing needs in Chico, CA based on demographics and socioeconomic conditions
Inventory the resources available to support housing development
Shape goals, policies and actions that address housing needs based on these analyses and the collective vision of our community
Establish a guiding framework for future legislation to follow
The Housing Element will shape the goals, policies and actions that address housing needs based on these analyses and the collective vision of our community.
What is Affordable Housing?
In broad terms, affordability is simply the relationship between housing costs and income. The generally accepted measure for housing affordability is spending less than 30% of one’s gross household income on housing costs (including utilities, rent or mortgage principal and interest). Often times, the term workforce housing is also used to describe affordable housing.
In the context of Housing Elements, affordable housing generally focuses on housing for extremely low, very low, low and moderate income households, but may also address housing for above moderate income households.
"The housing element update can provide a mechanism to adopt efficient land-use strategies such as infill development, mixed-use development (e.g., housing on top of shopping, restaurants, or office space), or downtown revitalization. It can also provide a vehicle for local governments to adopt housing and land-use strategies that address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, promoting higher-density, infill housing for low-income workers or promoting housing along transit corridors, allowing more people to get out of their cars and use public transit.”
- California Department of Housing and Community Development
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Since 1969, California has required that all local governments (cities and counties) adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. California’s local governments meet this requirement by adopting housing plans as part of their “general plan” (also required by the state).
California’s housing-element law acknowledges that, in order for the private market to adequately address the housing needs and demand of Californians, local governments must adopt plans and regulatory systems that provide opportunities for (and do not unduly constrain), housing development. As a result, housing policy in California rests largely on the effective implementation of local general plans and, in particular, local housing elements.