City of Los Angeles Housing Element 2013-2021

On December 3, 2013, the Los Angeles City Council adopted the update to the Housing Element of the General Plan. The final document is available below as well as on the Department of City Planning web page here:

Adopted Housing Element 

    Housing Element 2013-2021 (Low Resolution - 6 MB)

    Housing Element 2013-2021 (High Resolution - 72 MB)



A printable two-page summary of the Housing Element project can be found here.  

A printable set of graphic information boards that attempt to explain some of the major topic areas found in the Housing Element can be found here

What is a Housing Element?

A Housing Element of the General Plan is meant to provide the primary policy guidance for local decision making regarding housing programs and decisions. It is a comprehensive statement of City need, constraints and strategies to provide housing opportunities to existing and future residents.

The Housing Element begins with a detailed analysis of the City’s demographic, economic and housing characteristics. It also provides a review of the City’s progress in implementing the previous Element's housing policies and programs related to housing production and preservation. Based on the needs, constraints and opportunities, the Housing Element identifies goals, objectives, policies and implementable programs that address the housing needs of present and future residents.

Housing element law requires that cities adequately plan to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community. The number of housing units each community must plan and accommodate during the 8-year period is called the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation. The allocation takes housing affordability into account, by requiring that a percentage of units be able to be built at sufficient density to be affordable. 

The Housing Element is the only General Plan element that is required by to be reviewed and certified by a State agency - the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).  

What is Los Angeles' Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Allocation?

Local jurisdictions throughout Southern California are expected to help remedy the region’s affordable housing deficit. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the agency responsible for equitably allocating housing units to area cities and counties. The draft 2014-2021 Regional Housing Need Allocation Plan sets a need for 412,716 additional housing units in the 6-county region, with 82,002 of these units allocated to the City of Los Angeles. This need is divided among various income groups, including 20,427 for very-low income households, 12,435 for low-income households, and 13,728 for moderate income households.

While the City is not responsible for assuring that this number of units is actually built during the 2014 – 2021 planning period, it is responsible for establishing a regulatory and land-use policy that that provides the opportunity for this number of new units to be built. The requirement is in line with the City's goal of providing an adequate supply of housing accessible to persons of all income levels.  

Housing Element in Relation to the General Plan

The California Government Code requires internal consistency among the various elements of a General Plan. In Los Angeles, this means consistency with the Framework and Land Use Elements found in the City's 35 Community Plans. Both embrace a vision of targeting and accommodating residential growth in areas where sufficient infrastructure already exists, including near transit and existing community centers. Any actual changes to land-use would occur through a regular community planning process.

What the Housing Element Does Not Do:

The Housing Element does not alter the development potential of any site in the City, nor modify land use of the Zoning Code. It also does not undermine, in any way, neighborhood planning efforts such as Community Plans, Specific Plans or Historic Preservation Overlay Zones. While the State requires the City to evaluate and plan for the existing capacity to accommodate future projected growth, the Housing Element does not have any material effect on development patterns, nor specify areas for increased height or density.

Who Can You Contact for More Information?

If you would like more information regarding the LA Housing Element or would like to make a comment on the plan, please contact Matthew Glesne at / 213.978.2666. Comments will be received up to August 15, 2013. Also, please make plans to attend the Open House/Public Hearing on July 27th.