County of Santa Barbara Long Range Planning Division

Housing Element


housing photo The Housing Element is a part of the Santa Barbara County Comprehensive Plan and contains housing goals, policies, and programs for the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County. The Housing Element is based on an assessment of the County's current and projected housing needs and provides an inventory of sites available for housing construction. It also details market, governmental, and environmental barriers which constrain housing production, and identifies goals, policies, and programs to overcome these barriers and enhance housing production.

Housing Element Documents

2015-2023 Housing Element (Adopted February 3, 2015) - full text, large file
State HCD Conformity Determination (Letter Dated April 29, 2015)

Annual Progress Reports

In accordance with Government Code Section 65400, the Planning and Development Department prepares the annual progress report for the Montecito and County Planning Commissions, Board of Supervisors, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and California Department of Housing and Community Development. The annual progress report describes the status of the County’s general plan (Comprehensive Plan), including the 2015-2023 Housing Element Update, and the County’s progress in implementing the plan from January 1 through December 31 of each year. It also describes the County’s progress in meeting its share of regional housing needs and removing governmental constraints to the maintenance, improvement, and development of housing within the unincorporated areas of the county.

2017 Comprehensive Plan Annual Progress Report
2016 Comprehensive Plan Annual Progress Report
2015 Comprehensive Plan Annual Progress Report
2014 Comprehensvie Plan Annual Progress Report
2013 Comprehensive Plan Annual Progress Report

2015-2023 Housing Element Update

State housing element law mandates that the County periodically update the Housing Element. The County submitted the adopted 2015-2023 Housing Element Update (February 3,2015) to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) by the statutory deadline of February 15, 2015 for review for consistency with state housing element law. HCD completed the review and found the adopted 2015-2023 Housing Element Update in full compliance with state housing element law.

The 2015-2023 Housing Element Update process began with Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) and HCD’s approval of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Plan 2014-2022. The RHNA Plan allocates the housing need assigned to SBCAG’s member cities and the County. The RHNA for unincorporated Santa Barbara County totals 661 units. The land inventory of the 2015-2023 Housing Element Update identifies adequate sites zoned and suitable to meet the County’s RHNA in each income category as shown in the table below.


Regional Housing Need Allocation and Land Inventory
Unincorporated County of Santa Barbara
Income Category
Total Units
Total Units Land Inventory

Very Low and Low






Above Moderate



Unincorporated Total


In addition to updating the land inventory, the County reviewed its preceding 2009-2014 Housing Element and updated the background data to reflect current demographic and employment trends and housing market conditions. It conducted a public outreach process and revised the Housing Element to address public comments and changes in state housing element law. It also revised the existing policies and programs and added new policies and programs as necessary to address housing needs of lower, moderate, workforce income, and special needs households.

Former Housing Elements

2009-2014 Housing Element
2003-2008 Housing Element

Project Information

Final Negative Declaration (14NGD-00000-00014) adopted for the 2015-2023 Housing Element Update
Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Plan
HCD RHNA Letter to SBCAG dated April 27, 2012
Housing Program Implementation Information
Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (2013)


Dan Klemann, Deputy Director:
Allen Bell, Supervising Planner:
(805) 568-2056