Housing Element Update

The Housing Element is a mandatory element of the Seal Beach General Plan. The City's General Plan Housing Element provides an overview and guides housing programs development, emphasizing affordable and special needs housing, removal of governmental constraints to housing development, and equal access to housing. The General Plan Housing Element is required by law to be updated every 8 years.

The City Council adopted the 2021-2029 Housing Element on February 7, 2022, but the document was not certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development. Staff continues to refine the Element. The adopted Housing Element can be found here.


UPDATED AUG 24, 2023 — In response to comments received from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, revisions have been made to the Housing Element. These revisions remain in draft form, and are available for public review and comment and will be submitted to HCD as well. Please send written comments to Alexa Smittle, Community Development Director, at asmittle@sealbeachca.gov.



Key Information

  • The City is in the process of updating its Housing Element, a required chapter of the City’s General Plan. State Law requires that all cities in California designate sites and create policies to accommodate their share of the regional housing need for households of all income levels.

    Housing Elements are a mandatory part of the General Plan because providing housing for all Californians is of vital statewide importance. In particular, the State legislature has made housing production a priority in recent years, adopting dozens of new laws that have made this Housing Element update substantially more challenging than in previous cycles.

    The Regional Housing Needs Assessment or RHNA, is a state mandate set by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) which determines the total number of new housing units needed for each region in California. The City of Seal Beach is a member of the six-county Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region. SCAG, as the regional planning body, is responsible for distributing the RHNA among its member cities and counties. Seal Beach’s RHNA allocation is 1,243 units at varying income levels.

    To meet the State mandate, the City needs to designate sites where housing can be developed without additional approvals from the Planning Commission or the City Council. The City calls these “housing opportunity sites” and there are 11 such sites throughout Seal Beach. Any opportunity site not currently zoned to allow housing must be re-zoned.

    No. It is the property owner’s choice whether to build housing. Any property owner wishing to build must present a development application to the City.

    No. The private market is responsible for any development that occurs.

    It is unknown if any property owners will choose to develop or redevelop their property. The State mandate requires only that the City allow for residential development at the opportunity sites if a project proposed by the property owner.

    How do I find additional information?

    For additional information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions document.



    Additional Housing Programs

    The City does not offer Section 8 vouchers or manage affordable housing programs, please contact the OC Housing Authority for assistance.

    Staff Contact:

    Alexa Smittle, Community Development Director

    Email: asmittle@sealbeachca.gov
    Phone: 562.431.2527 x1313