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Affordable Housing on the Horizon

The Housing Element is an 8 year housing strategy for the city of Sacramento and General Plan (which has a 20 year timeframe) requirement element. The purpose of the Housing Element is to identify housing needs within the City of Sacramento, identify the goals and objectives with regard to the City’s housing production, rehabilitation, and conservation to meet needs; as well as define the policies and programs that are to be implemented to achieve the identified goals and objectives. The Housing Element is the plan intended to address the housing crisis in Sacramento by focusing on expanding the housing options and offering a wider range of housing choices for everyone in the City. The Housing Element has established eight housing goals, to provide opportunities for a variety of housing situations, affordability types set for current and future needs of Sacramento residents.

The Presenter Gretha Soos (Associate Planner ) immediately opened the discussion for the 2021-2029 Housing Element strategy, a request for the City Council to adopt a resolution approving a negative declaration for the Housing Element and a resolution adopting the housing element.

“The Lead Agency is the City of Sacramento. The City of Sacramento, Community Development Department, has reviewed the proposed project and, on the basis of the whole record before it, has determined that there is no substantial evidence that the project as identified in the attached Initial Study, will have a significant effect on the environment. This Negative Declaration reflects the lead agency’s independent judgment and analysis. An Environmental Impact Report is not required. “- City of Sacramento (5/17/21)

And quickly began to present the revised draft of the Housing Element Strategy report. Soos explained city staff conducted specific outreach to be applied to the development of the Housing Element plan. Throughout the update process engagement was conducted citywide with working groups, stakeholder groups and focus groups used to inform the Housing Element in planning direction on a variety of topics such as anti displacement, affordable housing requirements, and universe design and accessibility.

One of the key components for planning the Housing Element strategy is the Housing Regional needs allocation (RHIA) which is a state required process to ensure cities/ counties are planning to accommodate all economic circumstances within the community. RHIA is broken down by income levels.

The housing Element planning period- housing target is 45,580 units. It is recommended that Sacramento meets the target development of at least 5,700 units annually across all income levels. 2020 has been the largest amount of housing units produced since 2006 although missing the mark of reaching the annual goal by 2,000 units.

Public Comment was full of spirited community members who were concerned for their neighborhoods. Everyone is in favor of affordable housing, but there are several different opinions on how we get it.

The council members were equally split on their opinions on how we achieve affordable housing, especially across different districts. At the end of the item number Councilmember Venezuela amended the item to please everyone, and the motion was passed unanimously.

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