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.

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

Housing Element (2013)

Housing Element Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet-RSM-Housing Element
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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)

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

You may find this presentation that Development Services Director Cheryl Kuta presented to the Community Associations of Rancho (CAR) on January 5, 2021 helpful.

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Please note that similar presentations will be made to the City Council on January 13, 2021, and to the Planning Commission on February 3, 2021, and you can listen in.


Your input is important.

Soon, we will post a brief survey which will help us determine local needs and priorities.    We hope that you will complete the survey to provide important 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.