Housing Element

About the Housing Element

In 2017, the City of Whittier launched efforts to update its General Plan, which establishes a framework for making land-use decisions that affect the quality of life in Whittier. The Whittier Housing Element is one of the State’s mandatory General Plan elements.

The Housing Element provides goals, policies, and actions that help Whittier plan for current and future housing needs for all segments of its population and expresses community goals about housing. Community input is critical to developing a Housing Element that responds to community needs, values, and preferences. 

Anticipated Housing Element Schedule

Milestone Anticipated Schedule
HCD Draft Housing Element  Released
Planning Commission and City Council Public Hearings September 29, 2021
State of California Final Review/Housing Element Certification Fall 2021

Housing Element Workshops

In November and December 2020, the City hosted five community workshops to collect input on housing challenges, needs, and strategies from a broad cross-section of residents and stakeholders. Following guidance from public health agencies regarding public gatherings and COVID-19, the meetings were held virtually using online video conferencing. Twenty-seven (27) community members participated in one or more of the five workshops. 

The five workshops are summarized here. Meeting presentations, notes and video recordings are provided below. 

Please contact our Planning Services Manager, Sonya Lu, at (562) 567-9343 or slui@cityofwhittier.org if you have questions. 

 

District 1 Workshop (Completed)

Tuesday, December 1, 2020
6:00 - 7:00pm

Whittier held its Housing Element Workshop for District 1 on December 1, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. The meeting was held using Zoom video conferencing. 

City staff, consultants and members of the public discussed the following: 

  • Welcome and Introductions 
  • Whittier Housing Update Process, Overview and Timeline
  • Housing Challenges, Needs and Strategies 

 

Links to files: 

District 1 Meeting PowerPoint Presentation

District 1 Meeting Notes


Video Recording: 

 

District 2 Workshop (Completed)

Monday, November 30, 2020
6:00 - 7:00pm

Whittier held its Housing Element Workshop for District 2 on November 30, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. The meeting was held using Zoom video conferencing. 

City staff, consultants and members of the public discussed the following: 

  • Welcome and Introductions 
  • Whittier Housing Update Process, Overview and Timeline
  • Housing Challenges, Needs and Strategies 

 

Links to files: 

District 2 Meeting PowerPoint Presentation

District 2 Meeting Notes
 

Video Recording:

 

District 3 Workshop (Completed) 

Thursday, December 10, 2020
6:00 - 7:00pm

Whittier held its Housing Element Workshop for District 3 on December 10, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. The meeting was held using Zoom video conferencing. 

City staff, consultants and members of the public discussed the following: 

  • Welcome and Introductions 
  • Whittier Housing Update Process, Overview and Timeline
  • Housing Challenges, Needs and Strategies 

 

Links to files: 

District 3 Meeting PowerPoint Presentation

District 3 Meeting Notes

 

Video Recording: 

 

District 4 Workshop (Completed)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
6:00 - 7:00pm

Whittier held its Housing Element Workshop for District 4 on December 9, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held using Zoom video conferencing. 

City staff, consultants and members of the public will discuss the following: 

  • Welcome and Introductions 
  • Whittier Housing Update Process, Overview and Timeline
  • Housing Challenges, Needs and Strategies 

 

Links to files: 

District 4 Meeting PowerPoint Presentation

District 4 Meeting Notes
 

Video Recording: 

 

Citywide Workshop (Spanish) (Completed) / Taller por toda la ciudad (en Espanol) (completo) 

Thursday, December 3, 2020 / jueves, 3 de diciembre de 2020
6:00 - 7:00pm

Whittier llevó a cabo un taller en español sobre el elemento de vivienda de la ciudad el 3 de diciembre de 6:00 a 7:00 pm. La reunión se realizó mediante videoconferencia Zoom.

El personal de la Ciudad, los consultores y los miembros del público discutieron los siguiente temas:

  • Bienvenida e introducciones
  • Descripción y proceso de actualización del elemento de vivienda de Whittier
  • Necesidades y estrategias para abordar los problemas de vivienda

 

Enlaces a archivos:

Citywide Workshop in Spanish PowerPoint Presentation  

Citywide Workshop in Spanish Meeting Notes


Videograbación:

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the Housing Element?

The Housing Element is one of the mandatory elements that must be included in a city’s General Plan. The Housing Element provides goals, polices, and actions that help Whittier plan for existing and future housing needs for all segments of its population and expresses community goals about housing in Whittier. Whittier’s Housing Element is required to be updated every eight years and must be approved by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

When was Whittier’s previous Housing Element prepared?

Whittier’s City Council previously adopted Whittier’s Housing Element in December 2013. On February 6, 2014, HCD issued a letter of certification for the adopted Housing Element.

What are the items that the Housing Element covers?

The Housing Element must cover the following topics:

  • An evalution of a city’s demographic and housing characteristics and trends including an analysis of existing and projected housing needs, the number of people living in overcrowded housing, residents paying more for their homes than they can sustainably afford, people with special housing needs and affordable units at risk of converting to market rate;
  • A review of potential market, governmental, and environmental constraints to meet a city’s identified housing need;
  • An evaluation of land, administrative, and financial resources available to address the housing goals (developed by the Southern California Association of Governments, SCAG);
  • A review of a city’s past accomplishments under the previous Housing Element; and,
  • A Housing Plan including goals, policies, and programs that the City will adopt to assist the development of housing for different income and special needs groups, ensure equal housing opportunity, and preserve and improve the existing housing stock.

What is the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) and how does it relate to the Housing Element?

Every Housing Element must make an "adequate provision for the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community." The estimated 2021-2029 RHNA for Whittier is 3,431 units composed of four different income affordability categories. Despite the wording, the RHNA is a "distribution of housing development capacity" that each city must zone for in a planning period. A community is not obligated to actually provide housing to all in need but it must plan for it.

How is the Housing Element connected to the work the City has been doing on “Envision Whittier” (General Plan Update)?

The Housing Element is a required chapter of the General Plan and was not originally included in the General Plan update due to the timing of the Housing Element (due October 15, 2021 and covering the time period of October 15, 2021 to October 15, 2029). However, General Plan update’s work completed to-date and the public input received will be used and supplemented with additional public input to inform the Housing Element update. State law requires that the General Plan contain a consistent set of goals and policies. The Housing Element will, therefore, be consistent with the policies contained in other elements of the General Plan.

Why is it important for the City to have a State Compliant Housing Element?

Housing Element is considered out of compliance with State law if one of the following applies: 1) It has not been revised and updated by the statutory deadline, or 2) Its contents do not substantially comply with the statutory requirements. If a Housing Element is certified, there is a legal presumption that it is “compliant” or adequate.

Who prepares and certifies the Housing Element?

The City of Whittier prepares the Housing Element, but the Housing Element must be certified by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). This certification creates a presumption that the Element is compliant with State law.

How can I get involved and provide comments and feedback on the Housing Element Update?

The City will be conducting outreach activities during the Housing Element update. Due to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, the City is working to identify safe and effective forms of public input and will be announcing those soon. You can view our Events page for upcoming activities and sign up for email updates at the bottom of this page or use the contact form on this site.

For more information of the Housing Element update Please contact Sonya Lui, slui@cityofwhittier.org, 562.567.9343.

Para obtener información adicional sobre la actualización del Elemento de Vivienda,un capítulo importante del Plan General de la ciudad, favor de contactar a Sonya Lui, slui@cityofwhittier.org, 562.567.9343.