Azusa Housing for All
The City of Azusa is updating its eight-year housing plan, called the Housing Element. The Housing Element is one component of Azusa’s General Plan, which establishes policy direction for long-term development in the City. The Housing Element must be adopted by the City Council by October 15, 2021. Public input is critical to the drafting of this updated housing plan so that it is reflective of the community’s housing needs, values, and priorities. State law requires that every city and county in California address statewide housing needs. Azusa is part of the six-county Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region, which is required to plan for 1.3 million new homes during the 2021-2029 period. Azusa has been assigned a housing construction target of 2,651 new residential units that it must accommodate in its housing plan.
The project is supported by an advisory committee composed of members of the Azusa City Council, Azusa Planning Commission, Senior Advisory Committee, Azusa Chamber of Commerce, Azusa Unified School District, and Azusa Pacific University, and Azusa Resident.
• Andrew N. Mendez, Azusa City Council
• Mercedes Castro, Azusa Planning Commission
• Christell Hutchinson, Azusa Senior Advisory Committee
• Steve Castro, Azusa Chamber of Commerce
• Latasha Jamal, Azusa Unified School District
• Maureen Taylor, Azusa Pacific University
Housing Element Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the Housing Element?
The Housing Element is one of the nine mandatory chapters, or elements, required by State law to be included in a city’s General Plan. The Housing Element sets forth goals, polices, and actions that help the City plan for the housing needs for all segments of the City’s population and that expresses community housing goals. The Housing Element must be updated every eight years and is reviewed by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for compliance with State law. Most critically, the Housing Element identifies strategies to meet the existing and projected housing needs of people of all ages and incomes.
When was Azusa’s previous Housing Element prepared?
The City's previous Housing Element was adopted by the City Council on October 21, 2013. On November 4, 2013, HCD issued a letter of certification for the adopted Housing Element, indicating that the current Housing Element meets the requirements of State law.
Because the Housing Element is updated frequently, the previous element provides a foundation for this update. This update gives us the opportunity to evaluate the previous element and determine which parts have been effective and which should be improved. Read the 2014-2021 Housing Element for more information on existing policies and programs: City of Azusa 2014-2021 Housing Element
What topics must the Housing Element address?
The Housing Element must cover the following topics:
• An analysis of the City’s demographic and housing characteristics and trends, including the number of people living in overcrowded housing, people paying more for their homes than they can sustainably afford, people with special housing needs, and affordable units at risk of converting to market rate.
• A review of market, governmental, and environmental constraints to meeting the City’s housing needs
• An evaluation of resources available to address Azusa’s “fair share” of regional housing (see discussion below of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment)
• An evaluation of progress implementing programs in the previous Housing Element
• A Housing Plan that includes housing goals, policies, and programs that the City will adopt to assist development of housing for different income and special needs groups, ensure equal housing opportunity, and preserve and improve the existing housing stock
What is the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), and how does it relate to the Housing Element?
Every General Plan must contain a Housing Element that makes "adequate provision for the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community." The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) assigns growth allocations to regional governments, and those regional bodies in turn distribute “fair share” housing goals, or construction targets, to local cities and counties. As noted above, SCAG is the regional agency that develops these goals for cities in Southern California. The 2021-2029 RHNA for Azusa is 2,646 residential units, divided into four categories of income and affordability.
6th Cycle Regional Housing Needs Allocation for Azusa
|Income Group||% of County AMI||Number of Units Allocated||Percent of Total Allocation|
|While cities do not build housing – that is the function of private developers – they do adopt plans, regulations, and programs that establish the rules for how and where housing can be built. An example of an adopted plan is the General Plan, which through its Housing Element provides housing programs and the Development Code, which provides the rules for where and at what densities housing can be built. The RHNA is a construction target – each city and county must have plans and development standards in place to accommodate housing to meet the RHNA.||A RHNA 101 webinar was presented by SCAG to provide an overview of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process. SCAG has also provided a PDF of the PowerPoint slides presented at the webinar.|
What happens if the City does not adopt a Housing Element or the Element does not comply with State law?
If Azusa does not adopt a Housing Element by the October 15, 2021 deadline, the city would need to prepare a new Housing Element in just four years (instead of eight) and could face fines per month until it approves a plan. A Housing Element can also be considered out of compliance if it does not meet the requirements of Housing Element law. In addition, without an approved housing plan, the risk of housing-related lawsuits and challenges to the city’s entire General Plan increase. Having an approved housing plan avoids these significant problems, helps maintain local control over land use decisions, and makes the City eligible for state grants to help fund infrastructure improvements.
Who prepares and certifies the Housing Element?
The City of Azusa prepares the Housing Element, but it must be certified by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). This certification creates a presumption that the Element is compliant with State law.
How can I get involved and provide comments and feedback on the Housing Element Update?
The City will be conducting outreach activities throughout the Housing Element update process. Check back at this page for upcoming events. Sign up for email updates at the bottom of this page. The City will also be posting information on the Housing Element update on its social media pages:
People who live, work or play in Azusa will be invited to help update the plan to provide various housing options and needs for all of Azusa.
Sign up for project emails. Share images and thoughts on housing in Azusa on social media by using the hashtag #AzusaHousingforAll
Azusa Housing for All known as the Housing Element Update is made possible by a grant from the California Housing and Community Department’s Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) Grant.