City of American Canyon Draft General Plan Housing Element Update

When and Why does the Housing Element Need to be Updated?

State law requires regular Housing Element updates every eight years to ensure it is relevant and accurate. Today, American Canyon is in the fifth housing cycle that began in 2015 and will end in 2023. The next 6th Cycle Housing Element will cover a new eight-year planning period (2023-2031).

To comply with state law, the City must receive HCD certification of the Housing Element by January 2023. Because we are on the same Housing Element schedule as 100+ other Bay Area jurisdictions, the City must adopt an updated Housing Element on or before summer to avoid the last minute HCD Certification “rush.”

What will the Housing Element Update Include?

American Canyon continues to prioritize housing for all residents, tailored to our unique community demographics. In accordance with State law, the Housing Element update must include the following:

  • Community Needs Assessment: A complete analysis of the specific housing needs and an inventory of the resources and constraints relevant to addressing housing needs.
  • Sites Inventory: An inventory of land suitable for residential development that could accommodate the City’s RHNA allocation.
  • Constraints Analysis: an evaluation of governmental and nongovernmental barriers to housing production in American Canyon.
  • Goals, Policies, and Programs: Identification of specific policies and actions to implement the Housing Element.
  • Other analyses, policies, and goals to meet community housing needs, and/or comply with applicable State law.

Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)

RHNA is a process driven by the State that quantifies the housing need for each jurisdiction. The State determines a housing need for each region in the State based on demographic information and anticipated growth in the area. Our region is the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). ABAG conducts its own evaluation and allocates a “fair share” to each jurisdiction in the Bay Area. The “Fair Share” RHNA is separated into four income categories: Very Low Income, Low Income, Moderate Income, and Above Moderate Income.

The Housing Element update must demonstrate the City has enough land with zoning to accommodate construction of the City’s RHNA allocation in the next 8 years, along with any other housing needs in the community.