Housing and Safety Element Update

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Housing Element

The Housing Element is one of seven mandatory elements of the City’s General Plan and sets forth the policies and programs to address the housing needs of all households in Union City. It is the City's principal guide for how it will meet the future housing needs and priorities of everyone in the community. The Housing Element will offer a way to ensure there are enough sites for safe, accessible, and diverse housing throughout the city. We are currently in the process of updating our Housing Element for the 2023 to 2031 planning period.  

Provide Us Your Feedback

The City has released the Draft 2023 – 2031 Housing Element for public review. The Draft Housing Element includes policies and programs designed to address the housing needs in the city, evaluation of the Fifth Cycle housing element, analysis of available housing opportunity sites, housing constraints, and a fair housing assessment. The comments that you provide on the public draft will help in revising the document. 

Below are links to the 2023-2031 Draft Housing Element:

The review period to submit comments ends on July 13, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.. Comments received after the deadline will not be considered for inclusion in the Draft Housing Element.  

Please submit public comments in writing to the project manager, Coleman Frick, via email at colemanf@unioncity.org or by telephone at (510)675-5379. 

Upcoming Public Meetings to discuss the Draft Housing Element:

  • Planning Commission Meeting - July 7, 2022, Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
  • City Council Meeting - July 26, 2022, Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

Background

The City’s current  2015-2023 Housing Element was adopted in January 2015 and covers the January 1, 2015, through January 23, 2023 planning period. The State requires that a housing element be updated every eight years and must be reviewed and certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). This update provides the opportunity to evaluate the previous element and determine which policies and programs have been effective and which need to be improved.

Overview 

State law does not require that jurisdictions build or finance new housing, but they must plan for it by identifying sufficient sites, analyzing and addressing housing development constraints, and identifying programs and policies that will address the community’s needs.

The Housing Element is how local governments make decisions about where safe, accessible, and diverse housing could be developed to offer a mix of housing opportunities for a variety of household incomes. Further, the Housing Element must identify how the City will meet its share of the regional housing need. The State determines each city's Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) based on growth and demographic trends. Union City’s RHNA for 2023 to 2031 is 2,728 new housing units, and 1,358 of those units must be affordable to low- and very low- income households. The Housing Element will provide a strategy to meet this housing need.

The Housing Element will include the following topics:

•     Housing Needs Assessment: An overview of demographic trends and housing needs

•     Constraints Analysis: A summary of barriers to housing production

•     Sites Inventory: A review of land that is suitable for new residential development

•     Fair Housing Assessment: An analysis of the City’s fair housing practices and strategy to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH)

•     Housing Opportunities: An overview of existing resources that can help build housing

•     Housing Plan: The policies and programs that will help us meet our goals

Jurisdictions can face a number of consequences for not having a certified Housing Element. If a city does not comply with State housing law, it can be sued – by individuals, developers, third parties or the State. In addition to facing significant fines, a court may limit local land use decision-making authority until the jurisdiction brings its Housing Element into compliance, and local governments may lose the right to deny certain projects. Conversely, having a certified Housing Element makes cities eligible for numerous sources of grant and affordable housing funding. For more information on the Housing Element, see the Housing Element Update Frequently Asked Questions. 

Click here to read the Housing Element Update Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Get Involved 

The City hosted a variety of community engagement events for the Housing Element Update beginning in February 2022. Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual workshops, stopped by our booth at the farmer's Market, or participated in our online survey. Workshop materials are provided below.

Video and Presentation links for Virtual Workshops:

Virtual Workshop Feb 24

Feb. 24th Powerpoint Presentation

Feb. 24th Video Presentation

Virtual Workshop Feb 28

Feb. 28th Powerpoint Presentation -English/Spanish (English)

Feb. 28th Powerpoint Presentation -English/Spanish (Spanish)

Feb. 28th Video Presentation (English)

Feb. 28th Video Presentation (Spanish)

Sign up below to receive project updates via email and check back here often for updates, meeting announcements, workshop materials, and packets for City Council and Planning Commission Study Sessions. 

Please sign up to receive updates on the Housing Element and other announcements, materials, and study session packets related to the Housing Element. See link below for a guide to sign up for the City's newsletter. 

-How to sign up for Union City Newsletter

Project Schedule 

The Housing Element update process began in July 2021 and will continue throughout 2022. Community engagement will begin in early 2022, with a Public Review Draft anticipated in Spring 2022. After public review, revisions will be made to the Housing Element to prepare and submit for review by HCD in Summer 2022. The Final Housing Element is anticipated to be brought forward for adoption by the City Council along with the Final CEQA document before the State-mandated deadline of January 31, 2023. 

Please check back here often for updates on the schedule.

Project Schedule Graphic_Feb 2022

Safety Element Update

The Safety Element is a required element of the general plan by the State of California. The goal of the Safety Element is to reduce the potential short-term and long-term risk of death, injuries, property damage, and displacement resulting from fires, floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, climate change, and other hazards. State law requires jurisdictions to update the Safety Element upon the revision of the Housing Element.

Union City will be updating the Safety Element concurrently with the Housing Element. The update will address potential and existing hazards in the city relating to flood hazards, fire hazards, and climate adaptation and resilience strategies.

Project Documents 

Current 2015-2023 Housing Element 

Current 2040 General Plan 

Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Overview

Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Methodology

Housing Element Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

Contacts

Francisco Gomez, Housing & Community Development Manager, franciscog@unioncity.org