Housing Element

The Housing Element is part of Oakland’s General Plan that serves as a blueprint for housing the City’s residents, at all economic levels including low income and households with special needs. The Housing Element presents an inventory of sites suitable for residential development in Oakland; an assessment of financial and programmatic resources; and an analysis of constraints, both governmental and non-governmental, to housing production in Oakland. This data and systematic analysis provides the basis for policies and actions to meet Oakland’s housing needs for the future.

General Plan Update

The General Plan Update is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for all Oaklanders to work together to create a visionary blueprint for our City's future over the next two decades. The update will occur in two phases, guided by a set of core principles rooted in equity.

Phase 1 includes updates to the Housing Element and Safety Element, and the development of a new Environmental Justice Element and Industrial Lands policy. Phase 2 includes updates to the Land Use and Transportation Element (LUTE), Open Space, Conservation, and Recreation (OSCAR) Element, Noise Element, and the development of a new Infrastructure and Facilities Element

Visit the General Plan Update page for more details.


Under State law, every city and county in California must adopt a Housing Element or plan, as part of its General Plan. An updated Element allows a City to access critical local, state and federal funds.

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) is a State rule that requires all California cities to plan enough regional housing to meet housing needs for all income levels. Oakland must plan for 26,251 new housing units between 2023 and 2031. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) makes RHNA “assignments” for each city.

The Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act improves coordination between regional housing and transportation planning to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

To meet the objectives of the RHNA and the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, ABAG developed “Plan Bay Area.” The objectives are:

  • Increase supply, diversity and affordability of housing
  • Promote infill development (development of vacant or under-used parcels within existing urban areas)
  • Promote intraregional relationship between jobs and housing
  • Protect environmental resources
  • Promote socioeconomic equity

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