Housing issues affect the entire community — residents, employers, and the public and private sectors. The public participation requirement of housing-element law presents an opportunity to engage constituents in a dialogue — defining problems and creating solutions.
The inclusion of community stakeholders (including residents) in the housing-element public participation process helps ensure appropriate housing strategies are more efficiently and effectively evaluated, developed, and implemented. An inadequate public participation process may lead to anti-development initiatives, and strong, vocal community opposition to greatly needed housing development. Successful public participation is important because a diverse cross section of the population can be engaged in defining the housing problem and in crafting solutions that work for everyone in the community. Broad participation and true engagement of the public increases the likelihood that the community members involved in the discussion and planning processes will support new housing strategies and housing developments.
Government Code 65583(c)(7) requires: "The local government shall make a diligent effort to achieve public participation of all economic segments of the community in the development of the housing element, and the program shall describe this effort."
Government Code 65585(b)(1) requires: “The local government of the planning agency shall make the first draft revision of a housing element available for public comment for at least 30 days and, if any comments are received, the local government shall take at least 10 business days after the 30-day public comment period to consider and incorporate public comments into the draft revision prior to submitting it to the department. For any subsequent draft revision, the local government shall post the draft revision on its internet website and shall email a link to the draft revision to all individuals and organizations that have previously requested notices relating to the local government’s housing element at least seven days before submitting the draft revision to the department.”