Goleta 2023-31 Housing Element Update


On March 20, the City of Goleta received a letter from the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which addresses the City’s most recently adopted revised 2023-31 Housing Element. In this new letter HCD calls for additional revisions necessary to comply with State Housing Element Law. During the Chamber’s review of HCD’s response letter, comments related to the City’s adopted inventory of land stood out. HCD notes that “the element does not include a complete site analysis; therefore, the adequacy of sites and zoning were not established,” and that “the City may need to add or revise programs to address a shortfall of sites or zoning available to encourage a variety of housing types.” The Chamber was glad to see these comments included, as they echoed the Chamber’s concerns that the listed sites could realistically meet our community’s housing needs within the 8-year period. 

HCD also called for a further analysis of land-use controls, inclusionary requirements, and processing and permit procedures. To facilitate this analysis HCD called for the City to engage with the development community and/or interested and engaged community stakeholders. Next steps are for city staff to prepare a revised Housing Element for future re-adoption hearings. The Chamber would like to reiterate that our concerns related to the Housing Element and our support of HCD’s comments are not reflective of a criticism of city staff who have worked hard to continue to implement revisions based on HCD’s comments. However, staff and the City seemed to be constrained by a lack of local political will to implement a wider range of housing solution options. Until we can come together as a community and agree that realistic housing solutions should be our top priority, not to be outweighed by anti-growth sentiments, we will continue to constrain our ability to meet the housing crisis head on. 

Meanwhile more and more employers continue to speak to the struggles of retaining and recruiting a local workforce, as a direct result of the lack of housing stock and diverse housing options – putting our local economy at risk. The Chamber continues to advocate for increasing local housing stock to address this threat to our region’s economic vitality. 

Click here for the most up-to-date news on Goleta’s Housing Element process.