Housing Element

What’s in a Housing Element?

The City of Hayward is updating the Housing Element of the General Plan. The Housing Element includes:

  • Housing Needs Assessment – Existing and projected housing need for all income segments.
  • Housing Constraints Analysis – Including market, governmental, infrastructure, and environmental constraints.
  • Housing Resources – Residential sites inventory for future housing needs.
  • Review of Past Accomplishments – Describe accomplishments from prior Housing Element programs.
  • Housing Plan – Housing programs, goals, and policies for the planned period.

    Since 1969, the State of California has required that all Cities and Counties adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. State law requires each jurisdiction to accommodate its fair share of affordable housing, as an approach to distribute housing needs throughout the state.

      What type of housing does Hayward have?

      Hayward offers a variety of housing types including single family homes, duplex triplex, apartments, and condominiums. The most common type of housing in Hayward is single family. Most of the housing stock was built in 1960 – 1979. A little over half of residences in Hayward are occupied by owners. Monthly rent is typically $1000-$2500 per month.

      HUD defines cost-burdened households as those whose monthly housing costs exceed 30% of monthly income, while severely cost-burdened households are those whose monthly housing costs exceed 50% of monthly income. Around 50% of the rental community spends more than 30% of their gross monthly income on housing.

        How does the City of Hayward support housing needs?

        The City of Hayward has played a key role in meeting housing needs for the local community. The City has multiple housing programs in place to make sure existing homes provide decent, affordable housing, suitable living environment, and can expand economic opportunity. To make adequate provision for the housing needs of all economic segments of the community, the existing Housing Element establishes goals, policies, and programs to:

        • Conserve and improve the condition of the existing affordable housing stock;
        • Assist in the development of housing affordable to low and moderate income households;
        • Identify adequate sites to encourage the development of a variety of types of housing for all income levels;
        • Address and, where appropriate and legally possible, remove governmental constraints to the maintenance, improvement, and development of housing;
        • Promote equal housing opportunities for all persons; and
        • Provide for the special housing needs of seniors, persons with disabilities, large families with children, single female-headed households, and persons who are homeless.

            What is the demand for housing?

            Additional steps government agencies take to make sure that there is adequate housing construction to meet demand include the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process. The State of California identifies the number of housing units necessary to meet future demand. The State distributes this allocation to regional governments, including the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) of which Hayward is a member agency. ABAG then allocates housing units to all member agencies. This process is mandated as part of Housing Element Law. ABAG’s RHNA website provides background on methodology and RHNA allocations for the nine-county Bay Area

                What is the housing need in Hayward?

                The State assigned 441,176 units to the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) region. In turn, ABAG assigned 4,624 units to Hayward in the draft allocation. Jurisdictions are allowed to appeal their draft allocations and have hearings prior to final allocations, which are expected this Fall. Hayward has not appealed the draft allocation. The City must plan to accommodate those units during the next eight years. As part of this planning process, the City must document to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) that these units can be accommodated across the city, and that policies and regulations support future residential development.

                    What is the regional housing needs assessment for? (RHNA)

                    Communities use the RHNA in land use planning, prioritizing local resource allocation, and in deciding how to address identified existing and future housing needs resulting from population, employment and household growth. The RHNA does not result in housing construction, but rather requires communities to anticipate growth, so that collectively the region and subregion can grow in ways that enhance quality of life, improve access to jobs, promotes transportation mobility, and addresses social equity and fair share housing needs.

                        How is Hayward doing with their 2015-2023 RHNA?

                        The Table below demonstrates progress made toward meeting Hayward’s RHNA goals for the 5th cycle Housing Element period between 2015-2023 as of the last report year (2020), which is shown in the column titled “Reported 2020.” The State allows local jurisdictions to “report” the units when building permits are issued to construct the units.

                        The “Approved” and “Pending Approval” columns provide an estimate of potential compliance by counting both entitled projects and projects going through the entitlement process.

                        2023 RHNA Goal Progress in the City of Hayward

                          What does Housing Element Law require?

                          Since 1969, California has required that all local governments (cities and counties) adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. California’s local governments meet this requirement by adopting housing plans as part of their “general plan” (also required by the state). General plans serve as the local government’s “blueprint” for how the city and/or county will grow and develop and include seven elements: land use, transportation, conservation, noise, open space, safety, and housing.

                          HCD requires Housing Elements to include the following sections:

                            • Review of Accomplishments
                            • Housing Needs Assessment
                            • Evaluation of Housing Constraints
                            • Identification of Housing Sites
                            • 2021-2029 Program Strategy

                          During the Housing Element update, Hayward must also prove it can provide 4,624 units in compliance with a wide range of State rules.

                          How has State Legislation changed recently?

                          The 2019 California Legislative Session ended with over 30 new bills in response to the state’s worsening housing crisis. Several of these bills are designed to increase housing production by easing development regulations, compelling jurisdictions to make fee and land information readily available to potential developers and impose new ongoing reporting and inventory requirements for local jurisdictions. Housing legislation aims to achieve a number of overarching goals:

                            • Accommodate projected housing demand, as mandated by the State,
                            • Increase housing production to meet this demand,
                            • Improve housing affordability,
                            • Preserve existing affordable housing,
                            • Improve the safety, quality, and condition of existing housing,
                            • Facilitate the development of housing for all income levels and household types, including special needs populations,
                            • Improve the livability and economic prosperity of all City residents, and
                            • Promote fair housing choices for all[1].

                          [1] Fair housing is the right to choose housing free from unlawful discrimination. Federal, state and local fair housing laws protect people from discrimination in housing transactions such as rentals, sales, lending, and insurance.

                          Please participate!

                          We invite you to participate in upcoming community events to provide input on your specific experiences and your thoughts about how best to meet your and the larger communities’ housing needs in Hayward. Please visit our Get Involved page.