Development Services

Housing Element Update

The City is updating the Housing Element of the General Plan, as required by State law. The 2021-2029 Housing Element is the sixth update and is also referred to as the 6th Cycle Housing Element. The Housing Element Update builds upon and revises the goals, policies, and programs of the existing Housing Element to ensure that the City can meet the housing needs of all Long Beach residents through 2029, when the plan is scheduled to be updated again.

The Housing Element provides the City with a roadmap for accommodating the projected number of housing units needed to house existing and future City residents and guides future decisions that impact housing. The Housing Element aims to achieve several overarching goals:

  • Accommodate projected housing demand, as mandated by the State,
  • Increase housing production to meet this demand,
  • Improve housing affordability,
  • Preserve existing affordable housing,
  • Improve the safety, quality, and condition of existing housing,
  • Facilitate the development of housing for all income levels and household types, including special needs populations,
  • Improve the livability and economic prosperity of all City residents, and
  • Promote fair housing choice for all.

In the current housing and economic climate, a major focus of the Housing Element will be on removing barriers to housing production to counter well-documented housing shortages, as well as addressing homelessness and ensuring the availability and fair distribution of affordable housing throughout the City to reverse existing patterns of segregation and concentrated poverty.


The proposed 2021-2029 Housing Element and Technical Appendices were approved by Planning Commission on Thursday, October 7, 2021: 


The City of Long Beach hosted a webinar to introduce the draft 2021-2029 Housing Element on July 28, 2021. To learn more, please feel free to view the webinar and presentation slides.



Share Your Story!

The City of Long Beach Planning Bureau is developing an update to the Housing Element of the General Plan. While this is a housing policy document, housing is truly about the people! Housing access, affordability, and quality play a critical role in the health & quality of life of our residents.

Your feedback is crucial to ensuring the update reflects the wants and needs of the Long Beach community, so we want YOUR voice to be heard! 

There are two ways you can submit your story:

You can either fill out the sections below and include a photo or submit a video. If you chose to do a video, here's a couple of things to keep in mind: find a comfortable spot with good lighting, make sure to speak clearly, and use the questions in the link to help guide you. 

Don't want to make a video? You can provide a written submission by filling out the form linked below. We hope you will include a photo so we can better tell your story visually. 

If you prefer to share a photo, here are some ideas: a picture of your neighborhood/community, family members or an expression of how you feel about your current housing situation.

We look forward to your submission!


Virtual Open House Background Information

Visit the Housing Element Virtual Open House to learn more background information about housing needs in Long Beach and other considerations that have helped shape the draft housing element.

The virtual open house is also available in Spanish. Haz clic aquí para participar en el casa abierta virtual Actualización del Código de Vivienda en español.

Housing Element Update Overview

The Housing Element Update (HEU) identifies strategies to implement revised goals and policies. They will be wide-ranging and may include the development of new zoning districts, zone changes and other ordinances that will create incentives to encourage the production of housing, including affordable housing, as well as those that strengthen renter protections. Regulations that expand the range of allowable housing types and grow and protect the City’s housing stock may additionally include density bonus regulations and other incentives for affordable housing and provisions to legalize unpermitted units and allow micro-units, live-work units and co-living housing typologies, among others.

State law requires Long Beach and all California cities and counties to plan for and update their Housing Elements every 8 years. The upcoming cycle, the Sixth Cycle of the Housing Element, is for the period from 2021-2029, and the update is required to be adopted by City Council and submitted to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for approval by Fall 2021. In order for the State to approve or “certify” the City’s Housing Element, the City has to demonstrate that the City’s zoning has enough capacity to allow the development of a specific number of units that represents the City’s share of regional growth. This number is known as the Regional Housing Needs Assessment or RHNA. A RHNA is allocated to the Southern California region by the State Department of Housing and Community Development. Subsequently, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the regional planning body, is tasked with distributing this RHNA to each city within this six-county region (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura). SCAG prepares demographic projections and plans the region’s transportation network and how land uses can support that network in a sustainable manner, through the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), a planning process which takes place every four years. For the upcoming Housing Element cycle, the City’s housing unit allocation or regional housing needs assessment (RHNA) is approximately 26,500 units. While this number is currently still in draft form, it is not expected to change significantly and is the housing unit number the City will be planning for in this Housing Element Update.

The City has to ensure that the Housing Element that meets our RHNA allocation and is otherwise compliant with State law is completed and approved by the state by the October 2021 deadline. Unlike the past and in response to the severe statewide housing crisis, cities that do not have a legally compliant housing element by the deadline face penalties, which can include fines and the loss of transportation and affordable housing funding.

About the Update

Frequently Asked Questions

Project Timeline

Resources and Documents

Stay Informed

The City of Long Beach values your input on this project.

Please sign up for project emails to stay connected with us and find out about how you can share your feedback.

If you represent an organization or group interested in the Housing Element Update, the project team may be able to provide a virtual presentation or other engagement opportunities for your group. Please email your request to housingelementupdate@longbeach.gov.
For more information or questions about the Housing Element Update, please email housingelementupdate@longbeach.gov or call (562) 570-6194.

Project Staff

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