State Review Finds Alameda’s Draft Housing Element in Compliance

City of Alameda -- The City of Alameda draft Housing Element was declared in compliance by the state of California.

State Review Finds Alameda’s Draft Housing Element in Compliance

On August 25, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) notified the City of Alameda that its draft General Plan Housing Element is in substantial compliance with State Housing Element Law.

In a letter addressed to Andrew Thomas, City of Alameda Director of Planning, Building and Transportation Department, the HCD thanked the city for submitting their draft Housing Element and draft housing revisions. They also applauded the city’s leadership for taking significant steps forward to affirmatively further fair housing and accommodate the future housing needs of all segments of the community.

“The positive response to the draft Housing Element from the State of California is a reflection and validation of the hundreds of hours that the Alameda Planning Board and the Alameda community put into creating a plan that carefully balances the requirements of State Housing Law with local goals and preferences as to where and how to build housing in Alameda over the next eight years,” said Thomas. “It is quite an achievement.”

HCD is anticipated to certify the Housing Element pending the City Council’s adoption of the plan and key programs by January 31, 2023. Before the certification, the city must complete numerous zoning actions to accommodate the regional housing need allocation (RHNA), including lower-income households to facilitate and encourage a variety of housing types. The zoning actions will allow the development of housing units and/or more housing units at Alameda Point, shopping centers, commercial transit corridors, residential districts and large sites and multifamily districts, according to the letter from HCD Senior Program Manager Paul McDougall.

In its review of the city’s housing plan, HCD said it has also considered comments from the Alameda Housing Element Working Group, Alameda Architectural Preservation Society, Alameda Citizens Task Force and Alameda resident Paul S. Foreman. They also considered the city’s written response to Foreman’s public comment. HCD urged the city to continue to engage with the public in finalizing the Housing Element.

“Public participation in the development, adoption and implementation of the housing element is essential to effective housing planning,” wrote McDougall. “The city must continue to engage the community, including organizations that represent lower-income and special needs households.”

City staff has conducted numerous discussions with Alameda residents about housing this year. A May 24 public forum at the Jim’s on the Course at the Chuck Corica Complex on Bay Farm Island turned contentious when about 200 residents voiced their displeasure about the city’s housing development plan with Thomas who was the speaker at the event (“A Conversation About Housing with Andrew Thomas,” June 2).

The Housing Element is an eight-year plan (2023-2031) to help the city advance its goals of meeting the housing needs of current and future Alameda residents and providing fair housing options for all.

The plan was developed in collaboration with residents, businesses, and other stakeholders, and provides the city with a roadmap to increase housing production to meet the projected demand by the Association of Bay Area Governments of 5,353 new housing units. The plan will also increase housing affordability, improve housing conditions, and facilitate the development of housing for all income levels and household types, according to a statement from the City of Alameda.

The draft Housing Element that was shared with HCD will be presented to the Alameda Planning Board at its Sept. 12 meeting. To learn more, visit