Housing Element

The Housing Element is required by State law, and ensuring its consistency with the other Elements, especially Land Use and Community Design, is very important. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the City addresses changing housing needs in Palo Alto by identifying sufficient opportunities to provide housing for all economic segments of the community.

Housing Elements are updated on a State-mandated schedule that does not apply to the other Elements. The City must complete its Housing Element update for the period 2015-2023 and have it accepted by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) by the end of January 2015. As a result, the Housing Element will be 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 HCD.

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.

Community Workshops on the 2015-2023 Housing Element were held in April 2014. Anyone interested may continue to submit comments via the City’s website or at public hearings on the Draft Housing Element, which run through November 2014.

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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 current Housing Element.