On Tuesday evening, West Hollywood City Council heard a presentation of the final version of the city’s Sixth Cycle Housing Element for the period of 2021-2029.
The housing plan aims to address housing affordability, equity, and sustainability issues in the city and it meets the State Housing and Community Development Department’s (HCD) Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation assigned to the city of West Hollywood for housing construction during this eight-year period.
The city’s RHNA allocation for this period requires the development of 3,933 new units, with an attached buffer required of 15%. The new total is 4,484 units.
WeHo could lose state financial aid for affordable housing if it fails to meet the RHNA numbers and follow through with HCD’s directives.
City Council asked staff to include several points in the revised Housing Element, such as maximizing the development of affordable and median-income housing, finding ways rezoning could help in that goal, and analyzing the environmental impact of reallocating housing across the city.
The city asked for a one-year extension from the state to finished these moves and also asked HCD to consider allowing co-living arrangements, micro units, and other housing types to count towards the RHNA numbers.
Commercial projects are currently required on the first floor of mixed developments, but the city is considering whether this policy is still appropriate given the escalation in online shopping.
The Builder’s Remedy loophole requires cities without an approved Housing Element to approve any development project that promises at least 20% of its units will be low-income or 100% moderate income, without any public process or debate.
The city council approved the updated Housing Element on a 5-0 vote and it will now be sent to HCD for approval or additional feedback.