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The City of San Rafael celebrates Pride Month

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Housing Element Document Library

Current 2023-2031 San Rafael Housing Element. Adopted on May 15, 2023 and is part of the San Rafael General Plan. The Housing Element describes the City’s plans to meet housing needs for current and future residents.

Elemento de Vivienda 2023 – 2031 Capítulo 6: Plan de acción para la vivienda

2015-2023 San Rafael Housing Element, adopted in 2015. This has two parts:

Marin County Consolidated Plan. This is a county-level document that identifies program goals for federal funding

Plan Bay Area 2050. This is the recently adopted regional plan for the nine-county Bay Area and provides a high-level framework for local housing policy.

San Rafael General Plan 2040. This is the City’s long-range plan for growth and development. It was adopted by the City Council on August 2, 2021 following a four-year planning process.

In particular, please check out the new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Element.

Downtown Precise Plan. The Precise Plan was also adopted on August 2, 2021. It provides for approximately 2,200 new dwelling units in Downtown San Rafael and includes an Affordable Housing and Anti-Displacement Strategy.

Voces de Canal. This document was prepared by Canal Alliance in 2014 to articulate the concerns and aspirations of residents in the Canal community. Much of the focus is on the need for safe, secure, affordable housing.

ABAG’s Housing Website. This links to a webpage with a variety of resources for housing planning and production in the Bay Area.

Final Regional Housing Needs Allocation Plan. This will open a document that shows the final “fair share” housing assignments for the 9 counties and 101 cities in the Bay Area adopted by the ABAG Executive Board in December 2021.

HCD Building Blocks. This is the guidance provided to local governments by the State of California for how to prepare a compliant Housing Element.

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing State HCD Guidance. This was issued by California HCD in April 2021 and provides direction for local governments on how to meet the AB 686 mandate to “affirmatively further fair housing” through the Housing Element.

Housing Element Library. This link opens a “dashboard” managed by HCD showing the compliance status of every Housing Element in California. It also includes links to the housing elements of each city and county.

Local Housing Solutions. This is a helpful website designed to help cities understand the policy tools available to address local housing issues. Starting with “Housing 101”, it provides helpful information about housing issues and possible solutions. It is operated by the Furman Center at New York University and is national in focus.

Tips for the Site Inventory. This link will open a page with additional hyperlinks, displaying information compiled by Abundant Housing LA, a Southern California non-profit advocacy organization.

Why Housing Messages Fail and What to Do About It. This provides guidance on how can retool our messaging and communication strategies related to housing.

SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America on Apple Podcasts. This November 29, 2021 podcast from KQED addresses the housing crisis in California and explores possible new solutions.

Housing Element Primer. Here’s a great primer prepared by the Marin Environmental Housing Collaborative that explains the Housing Element process and the impediments to success.

Emeryville: Where Housing Gets Built. An article and accompanying podcast from the San Francisco Chronicle about the City of Emeryville’s successes in meeting its housing needs.

California’s High Housing Costs-Causes and Consequences. This is a 2015 report from the California Office of the Legislative Analyst that takes a look at what’s behind high housing costs in California.

Housing Affordability Update. This is a PowerPoint Presentation summarizing the state of housing costs in California as of the Second Quarter in 2021.

Encouraging Diverse Middle Housing Near Transit. This hyperlink will lead to a document from the Lewis Center that describes the benefits of building moderate density moderate cost “missing middle” housing near transit stations.

Housing Crisis that Fails to Match Jobs to People. This presentation from Dowell Myers (an urban planning professor at USC) looks at the root of the housing crisis, and common misperceptions about the rate of multi-family housing growth in California.

Hard Construction Costs. This report from the Terner Center in Berkeley looks at the cost of building multi-family development in today’s market.

White Paper on Anti-displacement Strategy Effectiveness. This report from Karen Chapple, an urban planning professor at UC Berkeley, examines the effectiveness of different strategies to avoid displacement of lower income residents in communities with rising rent.

How Housing Supply Affects Access to Home Ownership. This report from the Terner Center in Berkeley takes a new look at home ownership, with a focus on the challenges for first-time buyers.

How Housing Supply Affects Access to Opportunity for Renters. This is the companion document to the report above but looks at how current market conditions are affecting the rental housing market.

San Rafael Age Friendly Action Plan. This recently completed Plan discusses the needs of
older adults in San Rafael, including the need for housing and home retrofits that help residents
“age in community.”

Marin County 2019 Homeless Report. This presents the results of the last Countywide point-intime survey for unsheltered residents in Marin County.

Impact of Supportive Housing on Neighborhoods. This report from the Furman Center in New York looks at the benefits of including supportive services for persons with special needs as a component of new affordable housing development.

Marin County Homeless Vehicle Count. This provides data on the number of persons living in vehicles in Marin County.

Marin County Cities Case Management Fund. This is a recent application for American Rescue Plan funding to help persons transition out of homelessness by developing sup

Marin County Analysis of Impediments. This is a federally mandated document that looks at impediments to fair housing in the County of Marin, including its incorporated cities. It is the starting point for conversations and strategies to affirmatively further fair housing and end housing discrimination.

Racial Equity Toolkit. This menu of strategies prepared by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity is intended to help cities advance racial equity and opportunity for all through their policies, programs, and operations.

Segregation Data for San Rafael. This is a one-page table from the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley showing the demographic distribution of San Rafael neighborhoods. The results may surprise you.

Race Counts. This is a link to the Race Counts Advancement Project, which includes data and policy assessments related to race and equity in California, including specific data on housing.

GARE Communications Guide. This publication of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity is aimed at helping local governments improve their communication and messaging on issues related to race and equity and overcome structural racism in their communities.

Trends in Wealth Holding by Race and Ethnicity. This article from the US Federal Reserve looks at disparities on wealth between White and non-White populations related to home ownership.

Paying an Unfair Price: LGBT People of Color. This article looks specifically at the systemic housing challenges of LGBT communities of color.

Bay Area Advancing Racial Equity. This is a PowerPoint presentation on how local governments in the Bay Area can advance racial equity in their language, services, and operations.

Myths and Facts About Affordable Housing. This publication from the State Department of Housing and Community Development dispels common myths about affordable housing, while also providing important facts.

Why We All Benefit from Affordable Housing with Supportive Services. This publication from SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research) speaks to the many benefits of affordable housing in our communities.

Affordable Housing Primer. This is a short primer with some basics about affordable housing from the Lewis Center at UCLA.

How Affordable Housing Can Improve a Neighborhood. This is a case study about the Richardson Apartments in San Francisco, describing the benefits and positive effects of having affordable housing in the neighborhood.

The Costs of Affordable Housing. This Terner Center (Berkeley) publication looks at the cost of Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects, with a focus on construction costs and the benefits of federal tax credits.

Supply Skepticism. This report from the Furman Center (New York) addresses housing supply and affordability issues.

HCD Library of Resources on Affordable Housing and Property Values. This document provides useful hyperlinks to other reports and studies that assess how affordable housing has affected property values around California.

Does Affordable Housing Negatively Impact Property Values? This is another “meta-level” literature review of this topic, with a recap of various studies and some interesting conclusions.

There Doesn’t Go the Neighborhood. This interesting research study from on-line real estate platform Trulia looks at the impacts of affordable housing on property values in surrounding neighborhoods.

Who Wants Affordable Housing in their Backyard? This graduate-level research study from Stanford looks at the impacts of Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects on surrounding neighborhoods, using complex mathematical models and formulas.

A number of Southern California cities received grant funding to prepare videos explaining the Housing Element process. Several of these videos have been translated into other languages, including Spanish and Mandarin. The links below provide easy-to-understand animated explanations of Housing Elements and what they cover. While they were prepared for communities in other parts of the state, the content is transferable to San Rafael.

Housing Element – Orange County (in Spanish) – 3 min 49 sec (this is focused on RHNA)
Housing Element – Temecula (in Spanish) – 24 min 35 sec
Housing Element – Los Angeles (in Spanish) – 1 min 33 sec
Housing Element – Azusa (Mandarin Subtitles) – 3 min 59 sec

In addition, Sonoma County has prepared this video as part of their update process (in English)

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