California requires all local governments to adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community.

INDIO — April 20 was a red-letter day in the largest city in the Coachella Valley. This was the day that Indio received official notice from the State Department of Housing and Community Development that its updated housing plan had been certified.

This makes Indio the first city in the Coachella Valley to be formally certified, and the 10th to be certified out of 197 total jurisdictions within the boundaries of the regional planning agency Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).

Since 1969, California has required that all local governments (cities and counties) adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. California’s local governments meet this requirement by adopting housing plans as part of their “general plan” (also required by the state). General plans serve as the local government’s “blueprint” for how the city and/or county will grow and develop and include seven elements: land use, transportation, conservation, noise, open space, safety, and housing.

California’s housing-element law acknowledges that, in order for the private market to adequately address the housing needs and demand of Californians, local governments must adopt plans and regulatory systems that provide opportunities for (and do not unduly constrain), housing development. As a result, housing policy in California rests largely on the effective implementation of local general plans and, in particular, local housing elements.

Every eight years, the state of California sets the total number of housing units that each region must build, then SCAG identifies how many of those units must be built within each city. The Housing Element formally adopted by Indio’s City Council in spring 2022 lays out a plan for the production of 7,812 housing units between 2021 and 2029, of which 38 percent must be considered ‘affordable.’

Indio First in Valley Certified With Housing Plan

Indio First in Valley to Have Housing Plan Certified

“The plan has a number of programs that Indio will be using to support increasing housing production and housing diversity in the city over the next eight years,” City Manager Bryan Montgomery said in a prepared statement. “Putting together this plan was a huge task involving robust public engagement during a challenging time, and we are pleased the state certified our plan so quickly.”

Some of the 37 diverse projects in the city of Indio’s sixth cycle Housing Element include programs like affordable homeownership opportunities, employee housing, housing assistance resources, preservation of affordable housing units, and housing rehabilitation.

Read the full Housing Element by clicking here.

Image Sources

  • Bryan Montgomery: Bryan Montgomery
  • Aerial housing: City of Indio