Housing Element

In 2013, Placer County updated its Housing Element, a State-mandated component of the County’s General Plan. The Housing Element examines current and future housing needs and identifies public and private solutions to increase safe, decent and affordable housing and housing choice in the County’s unincorporated communities.

About the Housing Element

The Housing Element is the main document that establishes the County's housing policies. It is intended to ensure that decent, safe, affordable shelter is provided for all residents in unincorporated Placer County. The Housing Element Update covers an eight year time period, 2013 to 2021. Every city and county in California is required to have a Housing Element. State law defines the specific topics that must be covered. These include:

  • An evaluation of existing housing policies and programs
  • A needs assessment, based on data on demographics and housing conditions
  • An analysis of any obstacles to affordable housing production in the community
  • An inventory of all potential sites where housing may be constructed
  • Goals, objectives, and policies, defining the community's position on various housing issues and setting measurable targets for meeting housing needs
  • An action plan identifying the specific steps the community will take to implement its housing policies

The State does not require cities and counties to actually build the housing necessary to meet the community's needs. However, it does require that each community adopt policies and programs to support housing development, as well as designate adequate land at appropriate densities to meet the housing needs.

About Affordable Housing

Affordable housing refers to housing in which occupants pay no more than 30% of their incomes on the rent or mortgage payment.

Affordable rental housing is typically targeted toward lower income households (those earning less than 80% of the area median income), while affordable owner-occupied housing is targeted toward low- or moderate-income households (those earning less than 120% of area median income). Based on federal guidelines for 2012, a Placer County family of three earning $54,850 or less would be defined as low income. Monthly housing expenses of $1,371 or less would be considered affordable for that household.

Future Housing Needed in County Unincorporated Areas

Between 2013 and 2021, Placer County must provide enough land for a total of 5,031 housing units to be built and affordable at very-low, low, moderate and above-moderate income levels. State law requires each community in California to address its "fair share" of the region's housing needs through its Housing Element. The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is responsible for allocating the "fair share" of this total to the counties and cities in the Sacramento region. In allocating each jurisdiction's share of housing, SACOG assessed factors such as job growth, water and sewer capacity, land availability, proximity to transit, and market demand.