The Housing Element is part of a city’s General Plan, which shapes the future of the city by deciding what housing should look like. This matters because the Housing Element determines the shape and characteristics of homes in the city, the availability of affordable housing, and therefore who gets to live in the city and who doesn’t.
Housing Element By City or Town
Click on the icons below to view the pages for each of these municipalities' Housing Elements. You can take surveys and polls, ask questions, access key documents, learn about upcoming meetings, provide commentary throughout the process, and learn more about the Housing Element where YOU live!
More About the Housing Element
The Housing Element process is part of something called the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA; pronounced ree-nuh), which must be completed every 8 years. The goal of RHNA is for cities to ensure they meet the needs of the city for growth, and therefore requires them to build a certain number of new housing units. The Housing Element is the tool for determining what future housing will look like.
The fundamental aim of RHNA is for the city to plan for a range of housing, including housing for people at all income levels, ensuring communities are inclusive and diverse.
It is up to us to make our voices heard and tell our representatives that we want inclusive, affordable, and welcoming communities.
Housing Element Advocacy
Please get involved with this process! A great first step is exploring the Housing Element websites for each municipality linked above. To find more ways to get involved in this process, check out SV@Home's Housing Element Toolkit.
Want to learn more about getting involved in the Housing Element process with West Valley Community Services? We would love to have you by our side! Please reach out to our Public Policy Coordinator, Kylie Clark, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 471-6122 to for more information.
Past Housing Element Town Halls
Cupertino Community Meeting for Inclusive Housing: Perspectives of Students and Older Adults
When it comes to housing, young adults/students and older adults both face unique barriers and struggles. High school students worry they won't be able to return to their hometown after graduating college due to the high rental prices and lack of affordable housing. Students at universities like De Anza aren't able to afford to live in the city where they attend school. For older adults, as they lose a steady source of income, rent becomes more and more difficult to afford, often leading to severe housing insecurity. Additionally, as individuals age, new housing needs and accommodations tend to arise as their minds and bodies change.
Watch the recording of this community meeting here to learn about these situations firsthand from individuals who have lived these experiences.
Envisioning an Inclusive Cupertino: Housing Element Town Hall
Missed our Cupertino Housing Element Town Hall, or want to see it again? Click here to view a recording of the event! You will learn more about the Housing Element through an informative presentation, and a panel featuring Assemblymember Evan Low, Bianca Neumann from EAH Housing, Nadia Aziz from the Silicon Valley Law Foundation, Matthew Reed from SV@Home, and Mair Dundon, affordable housing resident, and community advocate.
Envisioning an Inclusive Los Gatos: Housing Element 101
Missed our Los Gatos Housing Element 101 event, or want to see it again? Click here to view a recording of the event! You will learn more about the Housing Element through an informative presentation, and a panel featuring Ande Flower from EMC Planning Group (the group hired by Los Gatos to manage the Housing Element), Bianca Neumann from EAH Housing, Alison Cingolani from SV@Home, WVCS client and BMR resident Carla McLaren, and lived experience community member and BMR resident Victor Sakellar.
Cupertino Housing Element: Community Meeting for Inclusive Housing
Missed our Cupertino Community Meeting for Inclusive Housing, or want to see it again? Click here to view a recording of the event! You will learn about Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and the Housing Element and hear from a powerful panel of individuals with lived experiences with affordable housing, homelessness, neurodivergence, disabilities, and discrimination.