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City Planning Department

General Plan Housing Element and Reports

The General Plan’s Housing Element is the City of San Diego’s housing plan. Housing Element CoverThe City, along with all California cities and counties, is required to adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community and to update its plan every eight years. The foundation for the Housing Element is the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), in which the State estimates each region’s housing needs for all income groups for the upcoming eight years. Each region (for San Diego, the region is all of San Diego County) then determines how much of the region's total housing needs to be produced for each city and county in the region. The City of San Diego's portion of the County's RHNA target for the 2021-2029 Housing Element period is 108,036 homes. This goal is further broken down by income group.

The 2021-2029 Housing Element is the sixth update to the Housing Element and is also referred to as the 6th Cycle Housing Element. In the Housing Element, the City must identify enough potentially developable land zoned for residential use to meet the City’s new RHNA housing capacity/production target and must provide goals, objectives, policies, and programs to meet the housing needs of San Diego's citizens.

Housing Element 2021-2029

On June 16, 2020, the San Diego City Council adopted the 2021-2029 Housing Element. The City subsequently adopted revisions to the Housing Element in June 2021 to meet the certification conditions identified by the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in their October 2020 compliance letter. The Housing Element received full certification from HCD on Sept.  10, 2021. The adopted Housing Element can be accessed through the links below. Important content is found in both the main body of the Housing Element and in its appendices.

El Elemento de Vivienda es una visión estratégica y una guía de políticas diseñada para ayudar a abordar las necesidades integrales de vivienda de la Ciudad durante un período de ocho años.

The Sept.  10, 2021, letter from HCD finding that the City of San Diego’s General Plan Housing Element 2021-2029 in compliance with State law is available at the following link.

The City sent a letter to HCD on Sept.  15, 2021, in response to the HCD Compliance Letter. The letter is available at the following link.

Annual Progress Reports

Annual Report on Homes

Housing is a critical component of the City’s economic well-being and quality of life for all residents. Therefore, it is imperative that San Diego has an adequate supply of homes to meet its present and future demands. For decades, the rate of construction of new homes within the City has not kept pace with demand. This is especially true for affordable homes, where production has only met a very small fraction of the need.

The Annual Report on Homes details the city’s progress in building new homes and implementing new housing initiatives. The report demonstrates that new housing initiatives like the Complete Communities program have had a positive impact on the city, but also underscores the need for further action to create more homes for more people in all communities.

Since 2018, the City has released annual housing reports. Annual reporting is essential for setting the baseline so that trends may become evident. Although the reports had different names, they served the same purpose as the Annual Report on Homes. View prior reports below:

The Biennial Housing Element Report is produced in response to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) certification of the City’s General Plan 2021-2029 Housing Element (Housing Element) and is included in the Annual Report on Homes. Using data reported to HCD in the City’s Housing Element Annual Progress Reports from 2021 and 2022, the Biennial Housing Element Report includes information on affirmatively furthering fair housing through home permitting as well as the adoption and implementation of housing programs. It also provides an analysis of new home permitting in comparison with the Housing Element's Adequate Site Inventory. Finally, the Biennial Housing Element Report summarizes the City’s outreach and engagement efforts since the Housing Element’s adoption.

Previous Housing Element

Housing Element 2013-2020

The City of San Diego General Plan Housing Element 2013-2020 was adopted by the City Council of March 4, 2013. The document can be viewed from the link below, or purchased at the City Clerk's Office, 202 C St., Second Floor, in downtown San Diego.

The Adequate Sites Inventory is a state-mandated inventory of parcels which, based on the methodology described in Chapter 7 of the Housing Element, have some potential for residential development, based upon existing zoning or community plan land use designation.

On April 5, 2013, the state of California Department of Housing and Community Development certified the City of San Diego’s General Plan Housing Element 2013-2020, finding it in full compliance with state housing element law.


Strategic Plan Priority Areas of Focus

This program focuses on the following priority areas of the Strategic Plan:

Create Homes for All of Us

Ensures key data is collected and tracked to meet the City’s goals for providing homes for people in all communities.

Monitors the City’s housing programs to identify additional actions needed to achieve homes for all of us.