Public workshop to focus on local housing needs

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal

The city of Santa Clarita is scheduled to host a virtual public workshop Thursday, April 29, at 6 p.m. to discuss the city’s housing element, which provides a framework to guide new residential development in the city. 

The housing element is one part of the city’s general plan — a long-term plan for the city’s physical development, last updated in 2013. State law requires cities update their housing element every eight years. 

The city of Santa Clarita was allocated 10,031 new residential units over the next eight years to keep up with anticipated growth, according to the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) approved by the Southern California Association of Governments, a regional organization that prepares housing needs data for local jurisdictions. 

The 10,031 new units are to be comprised of 3,397 very-low-income units, 1,734 low-income units, 1,672 moderate-income units and 3,228 above-moderate-income units. 

“RHNA allocation is commonly misunderstood to be a production requirement, and that is not the case,” said James Chow, a senior planner with the city.  

Chow said that a city’s housing element must “demonstrate through a site inventory analysis that, over the course of the next eight years, we have sufficient sites here in the city that can accommodate that RHNA allocation.” 

Housing elements include a housing needs assessment, a projection of future housing needs, an analysis of constraints to building new housing and other components that contribute to a strategy to meet a community’s new housing needs. 

The city must submit a draft of its housing element to the state’s Housing and Community Development Department in October. 

City residents can join next week’s workshop through a city webpage,, which was set up to inform residents about the housing element update.  

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