Housing Element

The Housing Element, required by State law, must be consistent with the other State-required Elements, especially Land Use and Community Design. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the City addresses changing housing needs in Palo Alto by identifying potential housing sites and types that are appropriate to provide housing for all economic segments of the community.

Housing Elements are updated according to a State-mandated schedule that does not apply to the other Elements. As a result, the Housing Element was adopted as a separate document from Our Palo Alto 2030, although the City can consider additional amendments to the Housing Element when it adopts Our Palo Alto 2030 if those amendments are acceptable to the State Department of Housing and Community Development. The City completed its required Housing Element update for the period 2015-2023, as the City Council adopted the Element on November 10, 2014.

The Housing Element must contain:

  • An evaluation of existing housing needs.
  • Estimates of projected housing needs.
  • A review of goals and programs from the previous Housing Element.
  • An inventory of adequate sites for housing and an evaluation of infrastructure condition and requirements.
  • Identification of any governmental and non-governmental constraints on housing production.
  • Programs to address identified needs.
  • Quantifiable objectives for construction, rehabilitation and conservation of housing.

Public input on the Element was gathered during 2014, including through community workshops which were held in April 2014. Click here to view the meeting agendas and materials.

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Vision Statement

“Our housing and neighborhoods shall enhance the livable human environment for all residents, be accessible to civic and community services and sustain our natural resources.”


Click here to view the Council-adopted 2015-2023 Housing Element.