October deadline

About two-thirds of local governments in Southern California (SoCal) are on the hook for missing a 2022 deadline with the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Just 73 out of 197 SoCal cities and counties met an extended October 2022 deadline to get their housing plans for the next eight years approved, according to the Press-Enterprise.

Missing this deadline has steep consequences. The cities and counties which successfully submitted housing plans for 2021 through 2029 have until February 2025 to submit their rezoning plans. Not so for the delinquent cities and counties — they are doubly noncompliant on their housing element plans and now their rezoning requirements.

First, the noncompliant local governments will need to get their housing element plans approved. The state requires municipalities to revise the housing element — referred to as the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) — once every eight years to ensure adequate housing for low-, moderate- and high-income earners.

Next, local governments need to rezone enough parcels to allow builders to construct the new housing outlined in the district’s housing element plans.

Governments lacking an approved housing plan and the accompanied rezoning process are subject to a host of possible sanctions, including lawsuits, fines, diminished access to grants and less control over future developments.

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The delinquent cities and counties

Though there are more doubly noncompliant governments within the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) than compliant ones, the 73 jurisdictions earning state approval comprise 65% of the 1.3 million new housing units the state wants the SCAG to build by 2030. Real estate professionals rely on local governments to plan construction responsibly for long-term stable income from home sales transactions. Search the HCD’s naughty list by county below for your local service area.

The cities lacking approved housing plans in Imperial County include:

  • Brawley;
  • Calexico;
  • Westmorland; and
  • Unincorporated Imperial County.

The cities lacking approved housing plans in Los Angeles County include:

  • Alhambra;
  • Arcadia;
  • Artesia;
  • Azusa;
  • Baldwin Park;
  • Beverly Hills;
  • Bradbury;
  • Carson;
  • Claremont;
  • Commerce;
  • Compton;
  • Covina;
  • Cudahy;
  • El Segundo;
  • Gardena;
  • Glendale;
  • Glendora;
  • Hawaiian Gardens;
  • Hermosa Beach;
  • Hidden Hills;
  • Huntington Park;
  • Industry;
  • Inglewood;
  • Irwindale;
  • La Cañada Flintridge;
  • La Habra Heights;
  • La Mirada;
  • La Verne;
  • Lancaster;
  • Lynwood;
  • Malibu;
  • Manhattan Beach;
  • Maywood;
  • Monrovia;
  • Monterey Park;
  • Norwalk;
  • Palmdale;
  • Palos Verdes;
  • Pasadena;
  • Pico Rivera;
  • Rancho Palos Verde;
  • Rolling Hills;
  • Rolling Hills Estates;
  • San Marino;
  • Santa Clarita;
  • Santa Fe Springs;
  • South El Monte;
  • South Gate;
  • South Pasadena;
  • Temple City;
  • Vernon City;
  • Walnut City;
  • West Covina;
  • West Hollywood; and
  • Unincorporated Los Angeles County.

The cities lacking approved housing plans in Orange County include:

  • Aliso Viejo;
  • Anaheim;
  • Buena Park;
  • Costa Mesa;
  • Dana Point;
  • Fullerton;
  • Garden Grove;
  • Huntington Beach;
  • La Habra;
  • La Palma;
  • Laguna Beach;
  • Laguna Hills;
  • Laguna Niguel;
  • Laguna Woods;
  • Lake Forest;
  • Los Alamitos;
  • Mission Viejo;
  • Orange;
  • Placentia;
  • Seal Beach;
  • Villa Park;
  • Westminster; and
  • Unincorporated Orange County.

The cities lacking approved housing plans in Riverside County include:

  • Banning;
  • Beaumont;
  • Blythe;
  • Calimesa;
  • Canyon Lake;
  • Cathedral City;
  • Coachella;
  • Desert Hot Springs;
  • Hemet;
  • Indian Wells;
  • La Quinta;
  • Lake Elsinore;
  • Menifee;
  • Murrieta;
  • Palm Desert;
  • Palm Springs;
  • San Jacinto;
  • Temecula; and
  • Unincorporated Riverside County.

The cities lacking approved housing plans in San Bernardino County include:

  • Adelanto;
  • Apple Valley;
  • Barstow;
  • Chino;
  • Colton;
  • Grand Terrace;
  • Hesperia;
  • Highland;
  • Loma Linda;
  • Montclair;
  • Rialto;
  • San Bernardino;
  • Twentynine Palms;
  • Upland;
  • Yucaipa; and
  • Unincorporated San Bernardino County.

The cities lacking approved housing plans in Ventura County include:

  • Camarillo;
  • Fillmore;
  • Moorpark;
  • Ojai;
  • Oxnard;
  • San Buenaventura;
  • Santa Paula;
  • Simi Valley;
  • Thousand Oaks; and
  • Unincorporated Ventura County.

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During the last housing planning cycle (2013 – 2021), the goal was to build 400,000 new homes. SoCal failed to reach that goal.

For the current cycle (2021 – 2029), SoCal needs to build 1.3 million new homes, according to the SCAG.

By income category, SoCal needs to add:

  • 350,000 very-low income units;
  • 200,000 low income units;
  • 220,000 moderate income units; and
  • 550,000 above moderate income units, according to the current RHNA plan.

Like real estate itself, housing development is highly localized. Local zoning laws are a contributing factor to the worsening housing shortage since they limit where and how new construction is built.

Not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) advocates put pressure on local governments to maintain their neighborhood character and prevent new building projects, arguing the solution is better left for other districts besides their own.

Related article:

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But at the state level, it’s clear California needs to build new housing units to correct the supply-and-demand imbalance. Local governments need to cooperate with state-level housing goals, increasing residential construction to meet demand, even when steps towards adding density is met with NIMBY backlash.

The HCD offers penalties and incentives for noncompliant local governments to get their housing plans approved, and to actually make progress towards achieving housing goals. Similarly, the White House is beginning to offer rewards to jurisdictions with more relaxed zoning laws.

California’s local governments face a critical choice at council meetings — they may maintain the status quo to ease tensions with vocal NIMBYs, or loosen zoning restrictions to ease one of the core issues with California’s housing markets.

As gatekeepers to housing, real estate professionals are ideally situated to grasp their service areas’ policy needs regarding housing development. Attending local council meetings when housing issues are contested in your communities are a simple but effective way to protect future income at the local level.

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