Housing Element

What is a Housing Element?

The Housing Element is a part of the City’s General Plan, which sets forth guiding policies for future development, and is required by the State to be updated every eight years. The updated plan will cover 2021-2029. The purpose of the Housing Element is to evaluate the housing needs of Aliso Viejo’s current and future residents and set forth policies and programs to address those needs. Housing 1 Element Pic 1

Who decides how much housing is needed and what kind?

California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) determines the number of housing units needed to accommodate the Southern California region. The Southern California Regional Association of Governments (SCAG) takes that number to develop a methodology to allocate units to each city and county. The allocation is referred to as Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). Table 1 shows the final RHNA allocations for Aliso Viejo, Orange County, and the entire SCAG region.  

Table 1. 6th Cycle Final RHNA – Aliso Viejo, Orange County and SCAG Region


Aliso ViejoOrange CountySCAG Region
Draft Housing Need Allocation 2021-20291,195183,8611,341,827

Source: SCAG, 3/4/2021

The RHNA also distributes each jurisdiction’s total housing need into four income categories (the extremely-low and very-low categories are combined for RHNA purposes). Aliso Viejo’s 6th cycle final RHNA allocation by income category is shown in Table 2.

 Table 2. 6th Cycle Final RHNA by Income Category – Aliso Viejo

Extremely Low + Very LowLowModerateAbove ModerateTotal
3902142053861,195

Source: SCAG, 3/4/2021Housing Element Pic 2

What is the process to update the Housing Element?

The process to update the Housing Element includes housing surveys, virtual community workshops, the review of demographic and existing conditions, potential site review, and public hearings. Below is a schedule of the process:

Housing SurveySurvey closed on May 7, 2021
City Council Study SessionMay 19, 2021 at 6 p.m.
Demographic and Existing Conditions ReviewOngoing
Potential Site ReviewOngoing
Public Meeting (see below)August 18, 2021


On Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 7 p.m., the City of Aliso Viejo City Council will consider the draft update to the City of Aliso Viejo General Plan Housing Element Update will be submitted to the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for preliminary review and comment. A final Housing Element Update will be considered at a public hearing by the City Council, subsequent to HCD preliminary review and comment, all in accordance with state housing law. Meeting information can be found here: Meeting Notice.

How do I get involved?

Please check this webpage often for opportunities to provide the City with input on the Housing Element.  If you have questions or comments or would like to be added to the interest list, please contact Rose Rivera, Senior Planner, at rrivera@avcity.org or call 949-425-2528.

Additional Resources:

Housing Element Update Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)

City of Aliso Viejo Local Housing Data (PDF)

2013-2021 Housing Element Part 1 - Housing Plan (PDF)

2013-2021 Housing Element Part 2 - Community Profile (PDF)

2021-2029 Draft Housing Element (PDF)

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing for Orange County (PDF)

Video Resources

The following videos were produced by the Orange County Council of Governments and the Association of Cities - Orange County to explain the RHNA and the Housing Element process.