Housing Element Law Overview
California Housing Element Manual 5th Ed., Law, Advocacy, and Litigation (March 2023)
This manual is a summary of California’s landmark land use planning requirement for housing. The guide covers review, advocacy, and litigation for this plan.
Appendices include excerpts from California’s land use laws and materials from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Updated March 2023. If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com.
Inclusionary Zoning Revitalized—AB 1505 (2018)
Inclusionary Zoning After Palmer & Patterson (May 2010)
Inclusionary Zoning: Legal Issues (December 2002)
Inclusionary Zoning: Policy Considerations and Best Practices (December 2002)
Inclusionary zoning policies require a certain percentage of all new housing to be made affordable to lower income households. Over 100 cities and counties in California have adopted such a policy. PILP has produced three publications on inclusionary zoning policies in California. The first and second publications discuss the legal issues relating to inclusionary zoning policies. The third provides an overview of best practices – suggested policy approaches that have proven effective in practice.
Legislative Updates on Housing Element Law
SB 197 Extends Housing Element Rezoning Deadline for Certain Jurisdictions
AB 72 Strengthens Mid-Cycle Housing Element Enforcement
AB 1397: Housing Element Law Site Identification Strengthened (Updated June 2021)
SB 166: No-Net-Loss Law Strengthened Fortified Housing Element Site Preservation Requirements
SB 167: Significant Changes to the Housing Accountability Act (aka the “Anti-Nimby Law,” Gov. Code, § 65589.5)
Surplus Land Act Materials
The California Legislature amended the Surplus Land Act in 2019, AB 1486 (Ting), to substantially strengthen the provisions of the law to prioritize affordable housing development.
AB 1486 Frequently Asked Questions on the Surplus Land Act and a flow chart for the process.
Surplus Land Act (AB 1486)-Understanding the SLA (Presentation Slides on AB 1486)
In April 2021, the Department of Housing and Community Development issued guidance on the amended Surplus Land Act.