The Planning and Building Department continues to solicit input on housing issues as we work on the draft update of the Housing Element, and will solicit additional input once the draft is released for public review.

We have received varied input during the process to-date, but some consistent themes are evident. Key themes in input from community members, stakeholders, workshop and forum participants, survey respondents, and others include:

  • Housing costs are an almost universal concern.
  • More housing supply is needed, although there is diversity of opinion on how and where to provide it.
  • There is a need for greater diversity of housing stock, with more multifamily housing, more housing for special needs populations, supportive housing, and housing appropriate for different household types.
  • Housing pressures are making it difficult or impossible for workers and families to stay in their communities.
  • Housing costs, as well as pressures from new development, are driving gentrification and displacement.
  • New development and increased density, including development driven by state mandates, may negatively impact traffic, parking, infrastructure, open space, and services, and there is an urgent need to comprehensively plan to address these impacts.
  • The development process and the permitting process are too slow, too costly, too opaque, and too inefficient.
  • Transportation, climate change, and access to jobs and educational opportunities are all issues that relate to housing, and should be addressed together.
  • The County’s Housing Element, as well as other County policies, should recognize housing inequities and the disparate impacts of housing issues across different communities, and explicitly consider and address equity and fair housing issues.
  • The County should provide more resources for farm labor housing.
  • There is a need for better information resources on housing issues and policies and on the availability of affordable housing.

There is still opportunity to comment on housing issues, needs, strategies, and any other information the County should consider. You can comment directly to William Gibson at wgibson@smcgov.org, or through the comment form below

All comments and other input received will inform the drafting of the updated Housing Element. After release of the Public Draft Updated Housing Element, additional outreach will solicit response to the findings and policies in the draft, and the draft will be updated to incorporate additional input received.

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