Lafayette is required to adopt a Housing Element, as part of the General Plan, to adequately plan to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community. The Housing Element must be approved by the State and updated every five to eight years. The single most important goal of the Housing Element is to achieve an adequate supply of safe, decent housing for all residents of Lafayette. In order to meet this goal, the policies and programs of the housing element address several major issues:
- Maintaining and preserving the existing housing stock
- Retaining the character of Lafayette's residential neighborhoods
- Meeting the City's regional housing needs allocations
- Providing additional affordable housing, particularly for senior citizens and young families
As part of the Housing Element, the City developed an inventory of vacant and underdeveloped sites.
The City of Lafayette’s Housing Element was certified by the State of California on March 26, 2015.
Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)
Unlike the other General Plan elements, the Housing Element is required to be periodically updated and is subject to detailed statutory requirements and mandatory review by a State agency - the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
The Regional Housing Needs Allocation process, also known as RHNA, is a state-mandate devised to address the need for and planning of housing affordability levels throughout the State. In the Bay Area, each jurisdiction’s RHNA is finalized through the Association of Bay Area Governments or ABAG. Approximately every seven years, HCD allocates a share of the anticipated regional housing growth for the next planning period for each jurisdiction. Housing Elements must be updated to demonstrate that they have an adequate supply of sites and the appropriate zoning to accommodate these needs.
Historically, the City of Lafayette required developers to provide affordable housing when their project was located in the Redevelopment Project Area as required by the Redevelopment Plan. Specifically, it required 15% of all provided housing units to be set aside for moderate, low, and very low income households. In 2011, the State eliminated redevelopment, thereby removing this tool to provide housing at multiple affordability levels. The City adopted an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance in June 2016 reinstating this requirement for new for-sale housing projects in the downtown.
In addition, the City adopted a Density Bonus Ordinance pursuant to State law, which allows a developer to ask for and receive additional housing density in return for providing affordable or senior housing. Please contact Niroop K. Srivatsa, Planning & Building Department Director at (925) 299-3206 for more information.
To find affordable units in Lafayette, please see our Housing Information handout. To find affordable units in Contra Costa County, view the county's Affordable Housing page and click on "Affordable/Subsidized Rental".
Local Resources for Senior Housing, Assisted Living, & Emergency Housing
The City of Lafayette has a range of housing options for seniors, such as assisted living, memory care, and independent living. Local resources, housing options, and affordability levels can be found on our Housing Information handout.
Government Funding Programs
While the City of Lafayette does not provide funding programs, there are a number of regional, state, and federal funding programs available for residents! These funding opportunities primarily encompass mortgage assistance, residential upgrades, and energy retrofits.
New Housing Projects
Curious about new housing projects and other major developments currently under construction? Using a platform created by iCityWork Inc., the City has a Major Development Projects Map. All new commercial construction, new multi-family construction projects of 5,000 sq. ft. or greater, and all major subdivisions will be included. The webpage describes information about each project including application number, scope of work, General Plan Land Use Classification, zoning district, lot area, stories/height, gross floor area, project status, project images/plans, and contact information for each major development project.