La Habra's comprehensive general plan was prepared and adopted in 2014. Due to changes in state law, two of its chapters are being updated - the Housing Element and Community Safety Element. Below is an overview of each chapter.
Housing Element: An Overview
The Housing Element is a mandatory element of La Habra's General Plan. Its purpose is to ensure that current and future housing needs for all residents in the community are addressed. The Housing Element is updated every eight years and is subject to detailed statutory requirements and review by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The City's Housing Element Update will cover the planning period of 2021 through 2029 and will address the changing needs of residents as well as changes to State housing law.
The RHNA (pronounced REE-NAH) is an important part of the housing element. Every eight years, the State of California gives the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) the number of new housing units that it must plan for. SCAG divides the allocation among all local governments in the region. As part of the RHNA process, La Habra was allocated 803 units divided into income/affordability categories. The City is not required to build or finance the construction of these units, but must identify adequate sites to accommodate them.
Percent of Area Median Income (AMI)
Number of Housing Units
Percent of Total
<50% of AMI
50 - 80% of AMI
80 - 120% of AMI
>120% of AMI
Housing Element Components
As required by State law, the City's 2021-2029 Housing Element will contain several key components:
- Housing Needs Assessment: Demographic, economic, and housing information that identifies current and future housing needs in the community.
- Constraints Analysis: Governmental, nongovernmental, and environmental constraints to the development, improvement, and maintenance of housing.
- Housing Resources: Sites available for housing development to accommodate the City's RHNA and the financial and other resources available to support the development, maintenance, and improvement of housing for all income levels.
- Goals, Policies and Programs: Policies and programs to address the housing needs based on an assessment of existing programs and community outreach and direction.
The City's 2021-2029 Housing Element will be sent to and reviewed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development prior to adoption.
Safety Element: An Overview
The Safety Element is a required element (or chapter) of the general plan. The Safety Element provides the City's policy and planning framework to help protect La Habra against natural, environmental, and human-caused threats to public health and safety. The California Government Code has been amended since the general plan was adopted and requires this update.
The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and the Health and Environmental Justice Assessment will support this effort.
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
The Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) is a detailed analysis on how climate change may harm the city, and how elements of the community (people, infrastructure, buildings, economic drivers, ecological resources, etc.) may be vulnerable to climate-related hazards. The CCVA will take a closer look at specific climate-related hazards, like air quality, drought, extreme heat, extreme storms, geologic hazards, human health hazards, flooding, and wildfire, and how these hazards affect us now and in the future. The CCVA identifies which groups of people face the greatest threat. The CCVA will support the Safety Element and help protect our city and meet State requirements.
Health and Environmental Justice Assessment
The Safety Element will also be supported by a Health and Environmental Justice Assessment. This assessment will identify neighborhoods that are disproportionately affected by pollution and other hazards that contribute to negative health effects, exposure, and environmental degradation. This information will guide policies within the Safety Element to reduce unique and compounded health risks in disadvantaged communities, promote civil engagement, and prioritize programs that address the needs of these communities. Also covered will be an assessment of features of the city (e.g., access to parks, grocery stores, bicycle routs) that affect the health and well-being of residents.
Safety Element Components
The current Safety Element addresses natural and human-caused threats to public health and safety. New state mandates require that climate change, environmental justice, and public health be addressed in the General Plan. Therefore, the City of La Habra has identified the following objectives for the safety element update.
- Update data, goals, policies, and action for consistency with recent state law changes that include, but are not limited to, climate change, wildfire safety, and environmental justice.
- Build upon and maintain consistency with the 2014 La Habra General Plan, Climate Action Plan, and the Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.
- Reflect contemporary community concerns, such as safe and secure housing, community health and pandemics, power safety shut-offs, and other concerns raised by residents and stakeholders.
The Safety Element will include goals that envision the outcome that Safety Element and policies for how to get there. The implementation program will provide specific actions for the City to achieve the Safety Element's policies and goals.