Public Records Request

Public records maintained by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will be available for inspection by members of the public pursuant to the following procedures:

  1. Public records maintained by HCD are available for inspection during HCD’s regular business hours. HCD is entitled to a reasonable period of time to locate the records if they are not readily accessible and to determine whether they must first be reviewed, and possibly redacted, in order to protect confidential or other exempt material from improper disclosure.
  2. Requests for inspection or copying of public records:
    1. Should be specific, focused, and not interfere with the ordinary business operations of HCD. The operational functions of HCD will not be suspended to permit inspection of records during periods in which records are required by HCD personnel for the performance of their duties. If the request requires review of numerous records, a mutually agreeable time should be established for the inspection of the records.
    2. Should sufficiently describe records so that identification, location, and retrieval of the records can be achieved without undue burden. Reasonable assistance shall be given to the requestor to help him or her satisfy this requirement.
    3. Should be directed to the office, division, branch, or section of HCD which created and has ownership responsibility of the desired records. If the requestor does not know which office, division, branch, or section is responsible for the desired records, the request for inspection should be directed to prarequest@hcd.ca.gov, HCD’s Public Records Coordinator for routing to the appropriate individual.
    4. Is encouraged to be made in writing unless the request involves records which HCD maintains for the purpose of immediate public inspection.
  3. HCD may refuse to disclose any records that are privileged or exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act.
  4. Physical inspection of the records shall be permitted within HCD’s offices and under the conditions determined by HCD. Upon either the completion of the inspection or at the request of HCD personnel, the person conducting the inspection shall relinquish physical possession of the records. Persons inspecting HCD records shall not destroy, mutilate, deface, alter, or remove any such records from HCD. HCD reserves the right to have HCD personnel present during the inspection of records in order to prevent the loss or destruction of records.
  5. Upon any request for a physical copy of records, other than records HCD has determined to be exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act, HCD personnel shall provide copies of the records only upon payment of a fee covering the cost of duplication. There is no charge for the mere inspection of records.
  6. A copy of these guidelines shall be posted in a conspicuous public place in each HCD office. Copies shall also be made available free of charge to any person requesting a copy.