Housing Element Update 2023

Adopted Housing Element

The Planning Commission and City Council conducted public hearings and adopted the draft Housing Element and Fair Housing Analysis document.


Following several in-person and online engagement events (see Meetings & Public Engagement), staff used public feedback to craft this first draft of the Housing Element:

The document is available for physical viewing at the Building Counter of City Hall.

Public Hearings: 

Housing Element Overview

The City is in the process of updating the next General Plan Housing Element. California cities are required to update their Housing Element every eight years to plan for projected housing needs at all income levels. Ridgecrest needs to plan for over 1,400 new housing units to be built between 2023 and 2031. 

  • June 27, 2023- Housing Element Public Workshop 2
  • May 8, 2023- Housing Element Public Workshop 1
  • February 28, 2023- Scoping Meeting
Multifamily Housing

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Housing Element

The Housing Element is one of the seven General Plan elements each City must have. The Housing Element serves as a blueprint for future housing development and includes the following components:

  • Housing Needs Assessment that provides demographic and housing need information for the City. 
  • Constraints Analysis of existing and potential constraints on housing development and how those will be addressed.
  • Evaluation of Past Performance that assesses the City's progress in implementing the policies and programs in the previous Housing Element. 
  • Housing Sites Inventory and Analysis that identifies sites available for development or development and that are appropriately zoned to support housing development. 
  • Policies and Programs that are designed to address housing needs in the City. 
  • Community Outreach efforts conducted as part of the Housing Element update. 

General Plan

The General Plan is a long-term policy document that provides guidance for managing a City's physical, social, and economic resources. It provides a basis for decisions that affect future growth and development. It also identifies the community's shared vision and addresses the unique characteristics and needs. Elements of the General Plan are different chapters that focus on specific topics. 

Update Process

The City of Ridgecrest's current Housing Element became effective in 2015 and must be updated in 2023. Following public review and consideration by the Planning Commission and the City Council, the City must submit a draft of the Housing Element to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for its review. The City must adopt the final Housing Element and submit it to HCD by December 2023.

Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA)

The table below shows the RHNA for the City of Ridgecrest 2023-2031 Housing Element.

Very-Low Income Units
Low-Income Units
Moderate Income Units
Above Moderate Income Units

Housing Elements must include plans to accommodate the housing units for each income level identified in the final RHNA allocation. The income levels are based on the Area Median Income (AMI) determined annually for each county by HCD. The 2022 AMI for Kern County is $80,300 for a four-person household. The threshold for different income levels for a four-person household is listed below:

  • Very low income: Less than $38,950
  • Low income:  $38,950 to $62,300
  • Moderate Income: $62,300 to $96,350
  • Above Moderate Income: More than $96,350

Single family housing