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2024-2029 Housing Element Update

The 2024-2029 Housing Element Update is currently underway! This page contains information related to the Housing Element Update. The Project Team will post all deliverables and notices here as they are produced. Please check back regularly. 

Housing Element Newsletter #1

Newsletter #1 describes what a housing element is, how and why it is being updated, the project schedule, and how to get involved in the update process.

What is a Housing Element?

The County is currently working on an update to its Housing Element for the 2024-2029 planning period. The purpose of the housing element is to identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs in order to preserve, improve, and develop housing for all economic segments of the community.

A Housing Element consists of two parts: the Needs Assessment and the Policy Document.

  • The Needs Assessment identifies and analyzes the existing and projected housing needs, provides a list of sites for housing development that are adequate to accommodate the County’s regional housing needs allocation, documents constraints to housing production, and analyzes local and regional fair housing issues. In short, the Housing Needs Assessment provides the context for the County’s housing action plan.
  • The Policy Document includes goals, policies, and programs that respond to the housing needs, constraints, and issues identified in the Needs Assessment and serves as the County’s housing action plan for the next four years.

Housing Element Process

1. Project Initiation

February and March 2024

2. Housing Policy Analysis

March 2024

3. Administrative Draft Housing Element

June 2024

4. Public Review Draft Housing Element

July and August 2024

5. HCD Review

September through November 2024

6. CEQA Compliance

October and November 2024

7. Review and Adoption

December 2024 and January 2025


Why update the Housing Element?

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). General plans serve as a local government’s "blueprint" for how the city and/or county will grow and develop and include eight mandatory elements: land use, transportation, conservation, noise, open space, safety, environmental justice (if disadvantaged communities are identified), and housing. The law mandating that housing be included as an element of each jurisdiction’s general plan is known as “housing element law.”

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 excessively constrain), housing development. As a result, housing policy in California rests largely upon the effective implementation of local general plans and, in particular, local housing elements.

Explaining the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)

The State of California requires each city and county to plan for its fair share of the regional housing need. This fair share is determined through a process called the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA). Once a local government has received its RHNA, it must revise its housing element to show how it plans to accommodate its portion of the region’s housing need.

For the 2024-2029 planning period, the County’s RHNA includes a total of two units affordable to lower-income households. To plan to meet the RHNA, the Housing Element will need to identify vacant or underutilized parcels zoned for multifamily development.

Click here to download the County's RHNA letter, issued by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How is the Housing Element Connected to the General Plan?

The Housing Element is one of the seven required elements of the General Plan. However, it has several unique requirements that set it apart from the other six elements. First, the housing element is the only element reviewed and certified by the State for compliance with State law. Additionally, unlike other general plan elements, State law requires each local government to update its housing element on a prescribed schedule (every four years) and specifies what information must be included in the housing element to be compliant with State law.

Certification of a compliant housing element is important to the County’s eligibility for State funding programs for transportation, infrastructure, and housing.

What has changed since the last Housing Element Update?

The 2024-2029 Housing Element builds upon the previous Housing Element and works to respond to new State requirements. Key aspects of this Update include:

  • Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH) chapter to be added based on new State requirements.
  • Housing Needs chapter to be updated with new data to reflect conditions since the last update.
  • Constraints to Housing chapter to be updated based on new State requirements, the County zoning code, and feedback from stakeholders and the community.
  • Sites Inventory to be updated based on development activity.
  • Goals, Policies, and Programs to be updated to respond to changing housing needs, new State laws, and findings in the AFFH analysis.
Who oversees the Housing Element process?

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has the critical role of reviewing every local government’s housing element to determine whether it complies with State law and then submits written findings back to each local government. HCD must certify the housing element before the County can adopt it as part of its overall General Plan. HCD review for this Housing Element Update is scheduled to take place in late summer 2024. More info on this topic is available on the HCD Website

When will the 2024-2029 Housing Element be completed?

The updated Housing Element is anticipated to go to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for adoption in January 2025.

How can I get involved?

There will be several opportunities to get involved with the Housing Element Update process and provide your input!

  • Visit this website regularly for updated information on upcoming and past events.
  • Join our eMail List to stay up to date on meetings and key milestones. The Housing Element Team will send out timely emails throughout the process regarding upcoming events, workshops, meetings, and project documents. To sign up just click the orange tab on the side of your screen.
  • Send us a comment! You can send us written comment day or night by clicking the green "Comments" button on the side of your screen.

Why should you get involved?

The Housing Element process provides all residents, property owners, and businesses with the chance to help guide the future of housing in the county. A successful Housing Element will reflect the community needs through the year 2029.  In order to do this, we need your input!

How to participate?

  • Join our email list. Just click the orange “eMail List” button on the right side of the screen.
  • Send us your thoughts, anytime! Use the green “Comments” button to send us a comment at your convenience.
  • Participate in Activities. Throughout the Update process, the Housing Element Team will host events, online surveys, and more. These will be critical opportunities for you to provide guidance to the Housing Element Team. Please check the website regularly and watch for announcements via the mailing list.
  • Review Documents. The Housing Element Team will post all draft documents to the website. Please check the Documents page for all project deliverables and instructions on commenting.  


Trinity County
Community Development Services
530 Main Street 
Weaverville, CA 96093

Phone: (530) 623-1351

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