Housing Element Update 2021

All cities in the six-county Southern California region, including the City of Rancho Santa Margarita, must update their General Plan Housing Elements by October 15, 2021.   Housing Elements must include an eight-year plan for new housing growth which has been allocated by the State.   Over the coming months, the City of Rancho Santa Margarita will conduct a public outreach campaign to obtain input regarding how the community would prefer to plan for the allocated housing.   This website will provide information regarding the City of Rancho Santa Margarita’s Housing Element Update.  Be sure to check back frequently for updates.   

To be added to the interest list to receive updates on the process, email wstarks@cityofrsm.org.

Housing Element Update Surveys

Housing Element Update Surveys 1 and 2 have closed.  We are currently tabulating the results and will update this page as soon as more information is available.  The results of the surveys, along with other public engagement efforts such as focus groups, will be used by the City to determine the best way to plan for the State-mandated Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) of 680 units. 

Housing Element Fact Sheet

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Regional Housing Needs:

Each California city is required to update its Housing Element every eight years, and each city must plan for its share of housing need as determined and allocated by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).  The draft Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for the City is 680 housing units that are broken down by income category.

RSM RHNA Breakdown
Income CategoryNumber of UnitsPercent of Total
Very Low Income (<50% AMI)20930.6%
Low Income (50-80% AMI)12017.6%
Moderate Income (80-120% AMI)12518.3%
Above Moderate Income (>120% AMI)

RHNA Penalties Fact Sheet


Housing Element Sites Inventory FAQ

Sites Inventory FAQ_Page_1
Sites Inventory FAQ_Page_2

The following videos were produced by the Orange County Council of Governments and the Association of Cities- Orange County to explain RHNA and the Housing Element process.

This video talks about RHNA, and the importance of housing opportunities for all:

Housing Orange County Video Part One Graphic

This video talks about meeting the RHNA, players, and their roles in meeting RHNA objectives:

Housing Orange County Video Part One Graphic

The City’s current Housing Element was updated in 2013 and covers the period 2013-2021

Housing Element (2013)

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Your input is important.

Throughout the process, we will ask the community to participate in brief surveys to help us determine local needs and priorities. We hope you will consider sharing your input with us by completing the surveys as they are available to provide meaningful input to the City.

Finally, please check back on this webpage as there will be numerous opportunities for you to provide the City with input on the Housing Element.  If you have questions or comments or would like to be added to the Housing Element interest list, please contact Principal Planner Wendy Starks at wstarks@cityofrsm.org or 949-635-1807.