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News Release: San Rafael’s 2023-2031 Housing Element Certified by State

Posted on July 5, 2023


July 5, 2023 – The City of San Rafael received notice from the California Department of Housing and Community Development that its 2023-2031 (“6th Cycle”) Housing Element has been found in substantial compliance with State Law.  The Housing Element was adopted by the City Council on May 15, 2023.  Its certification is a major milestone for the City and a critical part of San Rafael’s efforts to meet the housing needs of all residents.

The Housing Element is a state-mandated document required of all jurisdictions in California.  It must be updated every eight years.  As of June 22, 2023, only 29 of the 109 jurisdictions in the Bay Area had been found in compliance.  San Rafael has now joined this list of jurisdictions. A compliance determination is critical to eligibility for State and regional funds and helps ensure local control over future land use and development decisions.

San Rafael’s Housing Element update process was initiated in September 2021.  Hundreds of residents participated through virtual and in person meetings, workshops, surveys, public hearings, and online.  The process was intentionally structured to affirmatively further fair housing and ensure that voices from all areas of the city were represented.

The certified Housing Element provides a detailed road map for achieving four key goals—ending homelessness, eliminating housing discrimination and segregation, ensuring the habitability of existing housing, and creating new housing opportunities in all parts of the City.  Forty-five programs, each with timelines and specific targets, are presented in the document to achieve these goals.

The Housing Element also presents a comprehensive, workable strategy for meeting San Rafael’s share of the region’s future housing needs, including housing affordable to lower- and moderate-income households.  Over 100 sites have been identified as housing opportunities, meeting the City’s assignment to plan for 3,220 units by 2031.

“The City of San Rafael’s Housing Element demonstrates our commitment to advancing fair housing, supporting affordable housing efforts, and increasing housing choices for our community members now and in the future,” said Mayor Kate Colin.

The City wishes to thank the many San Rafael community members who participated in this process.  Certification would not have been possible without the input from our non-profit/community-based organization partners, business owners, neighborhood leaders, Planning Commission, and City Council.  The City of San Rafael will continue to work with the community as this eight-year plan is implemented, working toward a future where all residents have access to safe, secure, healthy housing.

For questions, contact: Alexis Captanian, Housing Analyst,

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