2023-2031 Housing Element Update

A collage of houses

Description automatically generated with low confidenceThe Town of Windsor kicked off the 2023-2031 Update to the Housing Element in July 2021, starting the process to prepare and adopt the Housing Element by the State by the mandated January 31, 2023 deadline.

Since 1969, State law requires that California local governments (towns, cities, and counties) update their Housing Elements every eight years according to a legally mandated schedule. Upon adoption, the 2023-2031 Housing Element will become a part of the General Plan.

The Town last updated its Housing Element in 2015. You can find the Town’s 2015-2023 Housing Element here. This page will be regularly updated with more news about the Housing Element.

Housing Element Overview

The Housing Element is one of the nine required elements of the General Plan and the only element required to be approved (“certified”) by the State of California. The State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has the legal authority to review and certify housing elements.

A large house with a lawn in front of it

Description automatically generated with low confidenceThe Housing Element includes an analysis of the following:

  • Review of the existing 2015-2023 Housing Element
  • Housing Needs Assessment
  • Housing Resources & Opportunities
  • Assessment of Fair Housing
  • Housing Site Inventory
  • Housing Constraints
  • Housing Programs

With each Housing Element update, local governments adequately plan to meet their communities’ existing and projected housing needs, including their fair share of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation.

The Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) process is the part of Housing Element Law used to determine how many new homes, and the affordability of those homes, each local government must plan for in its Housing Element.  The State sets the total housing units needed in each region.  For the Bay Area, which Sonoma County is a part of, the region must plan for 441,176 housing units, about half of which must be affordable to lower income households. Windsor Multi-Family Housing

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) takes the total units determined by the State (441,176) and assigns a number of units to each jurisdiction.  Through the Housing Element, the Town of Windsor is required to demonstrate a plan to accommodate the number of units assigned to the Town.  For the 2023-2031 planning period, the Town if Windsor is required to provide 994 units.  Note: The total units for Windsor is still draft and subject to change by ABAG.

Safety Element Overview

In addition to the Housing Element, the Town is also required to update the Public Health and Safety Element of the General Plan, which is designed to reduce the short-term and long-term potential threats to community health and safety, helps foster a resilient local economy and natural ecosystem. Cities and counties are required by State law to review their Safety Elements during preparation of the Housing Element Update to determine if updates are needed to respond to and incorporate the latest California State General Plan Guidelines for compliance with State law regarding climate change adaptation and resilience, wildfire mapping, mitigation, and evacuation routes.

Get Involved & Share Your Input

Focused and meaningful community engagement is an important part of the Housing Element Update process. The Town invites you and other members of the public to provide your input and recommendations on the draft Housing Element.

Upcoming ways to participate:

  • Planning Commission Meeting to review Draft Housing Element anticipated April 2022. 

Past Outreach Information:

The Town Council and Planning Commission heard an overview of the 2023-2031 Housing Element updates, including an introduction to new Housing Element laws that will affect this housing element update. 

  • Virtual Community Workshop on October, 14, 2021


Here is the estimated Housing Element Update schedule. This schedule is subject to change. Please click here to view the schedule in Adobe.Housing Element Schedule (V03)

Contact Information

For information on the Housing and Safety Element Update process and/or to be included on the e-mail distribution list for the project, please contact Patrick N. Streeter, Community Development Director, at pstreeter@townofwindsor.com.