Housing Element 101


Since its incorporation in 1974, Moraga's Housing Element and General Plan have described the type of community we want to be in the future and set forth goals, policies and action programs to help us become that community. The housing element identifies opportunities, challenges, and resources associated with housing through the 2015-2023 Housing Element one of the seven mandated elements of the adopted 2002 General Plan. The State mandates the update of the Housing Element on eight-year cycles. The Town is now updating the Element for the next planning period, which is 2023-2031

Housing Element 2023 - 2031

 A major advanced planning initiative with multiple components was included as a 2021 Town Council Goal & Priority. The 2023-2031 Housing Element is the cornerstone of this initiative.  The Town of Moraga falls within the Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) region. The State has determined that the Bay Area region must plan for an additional 441,176 new units, of which Moraga's allocation is 1,118 new housing units for the upcoming 6th Cycle. Strategic rezoning will be required to meet the Regional Housing Needs Allocation. Components of this planning initiative include:

  • Housing Element Update
  • Bollinger Canyon Study Area Rezoning (link)
  • Re-zoning to accommodate the Town’s housing allocation
  • Safety Element Update 
  •  Vehicle Miles Traveled (SB 743) update of existing transportation impact evaluation standards
  • Public Engagement Process
  • Environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

 Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)

 Since 1969, the State of California has required each local government to plan for its share of the state’s housing needs for people of all income levels. The California Department of Housing and Community Development, (HCD), determines the total number of new homes the Bay Area needs to build—and how affordable those homes need to be—in order to meet the housing needs of people at all income levels. Through the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process, every local jurisdiction is assigned a number of housing units representing its share of the state’s housing needs for an eight-year period. The State directs the regional agency, Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to develop a methodology for distributing the Bay Area’s portion of the state housing needs to local governments within the nine-county region. The ABAG Regional Housing Needs Allocation methodology for 2023 - 2031 can be found here

 Environmental Review

 The housing element update will require compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Due to the potential for significant impacts, a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be completed. The EIR will analyze all potential physical impacts to the environment that may result from intensification of development on housing opportunity sites including transportation, traffic, noise, sensitive areas and habitats, air quality, and more. The EIR will take a programmatic approach so that future projects can use some of the analysis and findings when projects are proposed in the future. More information can be found here.