Housing Element Update
On April 25, 2023, the City of Millbrae City Council reviewed and adopted the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update. The Housing Element was revised in response to the State of California Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) comments. The revised document contains additional data and clarifications requested by HCD and emphasizes the City's programs related to equal access and housing mobility and the inclusion of updated building permit issuance information per the 2022 Annual Progress Report. The City has submitted the Housing Element to HCD. HCD has 60 days from the date of submittal to review the revisions and certify the Housing Element or provide additional comments.
The revised Housing Element can be viewed below:
If you have any questions or comments, please email the Planning Division.
- Revised Draft Housing Element Update in Response to HCD Comments & Planning Commission Public Hearing
The City of Millbrae has released a revised Housing Element Update in response to the State of California Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) comments (PDF). The revised document contains additional data requested by HCD, and emphasizes the City's programs related to equal access and housing mobility, as well as the inclusion of updated building permit issuance information per the 2022 Annual Progress Report.
The revised Housing Element is scheduled for consideration before the City Council on April 25, 2023. The Planning Commission approved a resolution recommending that the Millbrae City Council adopt the Housing Element Update and authorize transmittal of the document to HCD at its regular meeting held on March 20, 2023. If you have any questions or comments, please email the Planning Division.
Please reach out to Planning Division at 650-259-2341 with any questions.
The City Council held a Special Meeting on October 11, 2022 to review the 6th Cycle Draft Housing Element Update. City staff received comments from the City Council and the public.
The Housing Element is a core element of the City's General Plan. The General Plan is a long-range plan that guides decision-making and establishes rules and standards for new development and city improvements. It reflects the community vision for the future and is intended to provide direction through the year 2040.
The key components of the Housing Element include:
- A community demographic profile and analysis of population growth and trends.
- A list of available land suitable for housing development.
- An evaluation of local constraints or barriers to housing development as well as opportunities to develop housing.
- Housing goals, programs, policies, and resources for improving and creating housing within the City.
The City of Millbrae initiated work on the 2023-2031 Housing Element of the General Plan to address the existing and projected future housing needs of the City. Local governments are required by California State law to adequately plan for the housing needs of everyone in the community. To do so, local governments adopt housing elements that provide plans, programs, and regulatory systems to create opportunities for housing.
This update is for the 6th Cycle Housing Element which will cover the eight-year planning period from 2023 to 2031 for the City.
We need to hear from you to help ensure that the updated Housing Element reflects the priorities of our community. There are several ways to make your voice heard:
- The City held a virtual public workshop on Thursday, June 30, 2022. The workshop introduced the element, and allowed staff to receive input on potential policies and programs.
- If you would like to sign up for updates, please email Nestor Guevara to be added to our interest list.
- After the draft Housing Element is prepared, there will be opportunities to comment on the draft document and attend public hearings for adoption.
The City held a virtual public workshop on Thursday, June 30, 2022. The workshop introduced the element, presented a community profile, include live polling on housing needs, challenges, and issues, and staff received input on potential policies and programs.
- Why update the Housing Element?
California State law requires that local jurisdictions update the Housing Element every eight years. These frequent updates are required because housing is critical to ensure economic prosperity and quality of life in our region. This Housing Element update is an opportunity to evaluate the previous element and determine which parts have been effective and which should be improved. It also provides an opportunity for residents to get involved and help determine housing priorities, thereby helping to ensure that the City is responding to residents' changing needs.
The updated Housing Element must be adopted by the Millbrae City Council and submitted to the State Department of Housing and Community Development no later than January 31, 2023. If this deadline is missed, Millbrae could lose eligibility for significant sources of funding currently provided by the State and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), including critical infrastructure and transportation funds.
- How is the Housing Element implemented?
The Housing Element sets goals, objectives, policies, and programs that direct decision-making around housing. When a new housing program, project, or idea is considered, the Housing Element provides guidance for decision makers to evaluate the proposal.
- How much housing is needed?
Every eight years, each region in California receives a target number of homes to plan for from the State. This is called the Regional Housing Needs Allocation or RHNA. Millbrae is located in the region administered by ABAG. ABAG takes the number of housing units it receives from the State and divides it among the jurisdictions in its nine-county area, including Millbrae.
To comply with State law, the City's Housing Element must be updated to ensure the City's policies and programs can accommodate its share of the estimated housing growth identified by the State. For the current Housing Element update, the City's share of the RHNA is 2,199 units, split among different income levels (based on Area Median Income, or AMI) as shown in the table below. For more information about RHNA, please visit the ABAG website.
City of Millbrae Regional Housing Needs Assessment 2023 to 2031Assigned by ABAG
Income Group Millbrae Units San Mateo County Units Bay Area Units Millbrae % San Mateo County % Bay Area % Very Low Income (Greater than 50% of AMI) 575 12,196 114,442 26.1% 25.6% 25.9% Low Income (50% to 80% of AMI) 331 7,023 65,892 15.1% 14.7% 14.9% Moderate Income (80% to 120% of AMI) 361 7,937 72,712 16.4% 16.6% 16.5% Above Moderate Income (Less than 120% of AMI) 932 20,531 188,130 42.4% 43.1% 42.6% Total 2,199 47,687 441,176 100% 100% 100%
- Is the City required to build housing?
State law does not require jurisdictions to build or finance new housing, but they must plan for it. Through the Housing Element update process, the City must show that it has land use regulations and policies to accommodate its housing needs. The actual development of housing is primarily done by the private market.
The Housing Element is required to demonstrate potential sites where housing can be accommodated. 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. The City initiated work on identifying these potential sites for rezoning in the Downtown and El Camino Real Specific Plan.
It is important to note that if the City does not identify capacity for its RHNA targets, the City may be deemed out of compliance and risk losing important sources of funding currently provided by the State. It may also lose the right to deny certain projects and be limited in its local land use decision-making authority.
- What is the schedule to complete the Update?
The updated Housing Element must be adopted by the Millbrae City Council and submitted to the State for certification no later than January 31, 2023. The City held Community Meetings to discuss the Housing Element on March 30, 2021, and May 6, 2021. These introductory meetings provided an overview of the Housing Element update process and time to talk to City of Millbrae staff to provide input about the local housing needs and related topics. Additionally, 21 Elements - a collaboration of all 21 San Mateo County jurisdictions - held a 4-part webinar series to help educate residents on regional and local housing issues. The City advertised this webinar series in its website and social media.
- Who to contact?
Nestor Guevara, Associate Planner - Community Development
- Call 650-259-2335