What is a Housing Element?

The Housing Element is Irvine’s “housing plan” and a required chapter in the General Plan. Irvine, along with all California cities and counties, is required to adequately plan and meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. All cities and counties are required to update their Housing Element every eight years for State certification. For reference, the current 5th cycle Housing Element is available here.

What does the State require?

The upcoming October 2021 through October 2029 Housing Element is the sixth update to the Housing Element and is referred to as the 6th Cycle Housing Element. In the update, the City must identify enough potentially developable land suitable for residential use (i.e., site inventory) to meet Irvine’s new Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation.

To accomplish this, the Housing Element must provide goals, objectives, policies, and implementation programs demonstrating how Irvine will meet its existing and future housing needs for all income levels. The Housing Element must also address recent housing legislation adopted in response to the state’s housing crisis.

Although the City does not build the housing, the Housing Element does create a plan and regulatory framework, which provides opportunities for the private sector to do so, where market conditions determine when and where housing is built.

For additional information and resources about the Housing Element, visit California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) website at www.hcd.ca.gov.


​How You Can Get Involved 


City Council Scoping Session
DATE: Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Time: 4 p.m.

On or after January 28, 2021 at 8 p.m. click here for the City Council meeting agenda, staff report, and online meeting participation instructions.

Public Meeting Notice


Planning Commission Study Session
DATE: Thursday, February 18, 2021
TIME: 5:30 p.m.

On or after February 3, 2021 at 5 p.m. click here for the Planning Commission meeting agenda, staff report, and online meeting participation instructions.

Public Meeting Notice


Anticipated Project Timeline 

Winter 2020
  • Introduction to the Irvine HEU: 
    • City Council General Plan Amendment Scoping Session – scheduled February 9, 2021
    • Planning Commission Study Session – scheduled February 18, 2021 
  •  Stakeholder outreach
  • Develop site inventory
  • Assess and develop draft HEU goals, policies, and objectives
  • Develop draft implementation program
Spring 2020
  • Community workshops
  • Stakeholder outreach
  • Finalize site inventory
  • Prepare draft HEU and environmental review for CEQA
Summer 2020
  • HCD pre-submittal review of draft HEU
  • Public review of draft HEU and CEQA documentation
  • Project briefings with Planning Commission and City Council
  • Finalize HEU and CEQA documentation
Fall 2020

Adoption hearings:

  • Planning Commission
  • City Council
State Due Date October 15, 2021 (for certification)