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Housing Element Update (2021 to 2029) - Home Page


The City of Santa Monica is preparing the 2021 Housing Element Update

Review the Draft Concepts of the Housing Element!

After several months of outreach with the community, the draft concepts and strategies of the Housing Element Update have been released for public review. 

Read about the four overarching strategies

Read About the Draft Strategies

Watch a Recording of the Housing Element Project Launch Webinar!

City Staff hosted three identical introductory webinars on the Housing Element Update on November 12th and 14th. If you missed them, or want to re-watch the webinar and see what questions were asked, check out the recordings and list of questions on Past Events page. And take the housing questionnaire before the deadline of 12/11!


What is the Housing Element?

The Housing Element is an element of the General Plan, such as the Land Use and Circulation Element (LUCE), and is the City’s strategic plan for providing new housing opportunities while preserving housing for existing residents. Every eight years, the State requires each local jurisdiction to plan for a certain allocation of housing units. The City’s Housing Element will serve as the City’s housing plan for 2021-2029, setting clear goals and objectives on meeting the housing needs of all segments of the population and preventing the displacement of existing residents. The Housing Element does not build new units, but rather provides a plan of action for producing housing of all types and income levels in the City.

State law requires the City of Santa Monica to update its Housing Element every eight years. With the previous eight year cycle Housing Element (2013 - 2021) coming to an end, the City must now plan for the next eight year cycle. Santa Monica’s 6th Cycle Housing Element must be adopted and certified by October 2021. Without certification, the City could be penalized and lose important State funding. 

Components of the Housing Element

The components of the Housing Element are largely dictated by the State and typically must include:

  • A detailed analysis of the City’s demographic, economic, and housing characteristics.
  • A comprehensive analysis of the barriers to producing and preserving housing.
  • A review of the City’s progress in implementing current housing policies and programs.
  • An identification of goals, objectives, and policies, in addition to a full list of programs that will implement the vision of the plan.
  • A list of sites (aka the Suitable Sites Inventory) that could accommodate new housing, demonstrating the City’s ability to meet the quantified housing number established in the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). Identification of a site’s capacity does not guarantee that construction will occur on that site. If there are insufficient sites and capacity to meet the RHNA allocation, then the Housing Element is required to identify a rezoning program to create the required capacity.

Schedule for Updating the Housing Element

As required by State law, the revised Housing Element must be certified by the Santa Monica City Council no later than October 15, 2021, or the City of Santa Monica could lose eligibility for significant sources of State funding. The City’s anticipated timeline and steps for revising the Housing Element can be found on the Project Timeline page


Contact the planning team directly at HousingUpdate@smgov.net.

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