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San Luis Obispo County, California


Housing Element

Housing Element

The County’s updated Element 2014-2019 is available online. The Board of Supervisors adopted it on June 17, 2014. The California Department of Housing and Community Development subsequently certified the updated Housing Element as complying with housing element law (see the certification letter here).

Lane Affordable Homes in Templeton

The Housing Element is one of seven required elements of the San Luis Obispo County General Plan. Its primary purpose is to facilitate the provision of needed housing in the context of the Land Use Element of the County General Plan and related ordinances. The secondary purpose is to meet the requirements of State law and achieve certification by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, which in turn will help the County qualify for certain funding programs offered by the State. The State now requires an update to the Housing Element generally every eight years.

Why is affordable housing important?

Affordable housing benefits the entire community in the following ways:

  • It strengthens the local economy by ensuring that employers have access to high quality workers and by allowing people to spend more of their income on goods and services rather than on housing.
  • It can reduce traffic congestion by enabling people to live near their workplaces, shopping, and other frequently visited locations.
  • It can protect the environment by providing housing opportunities for people within urban areas as an alternative to living in sensitive habitat areas and agricultural lands.
  • It facilitates diversity in the local population by allowing persons and households of all income levels to live in the county.
  • Indirectly, it can improve the health of families by enabling them to spend more time and money on health care, nutrition, education and recreation.

What exactly is "Affordable Housing

The term “affordable housing” refers to housing that households can rent or buy while keeping housing costs within certain limits. Housing is generally considered affordable if total housing costs do not exceed 30 percent of household income. The most commonly used categories of affordable housing include housing which is affordable to very low income, low income, or moderate income households. The County also adopted an extremely low income affordably housing category for households earning less than 30 percent of average median income and a workforce housing income category for workers earning up to 160 percent of median income. Information regarding income limits for each of the income categories and affordable rents or sales prices is available in the County’s Affordable Housing Standards Bulletin.

For more information contact Morgan Torell at