The 6th Cycle Housing Element Update (2023-2031) will identify where and how the City will accommodate existing and projected future housing needs. This page will be the center of online activity and residents are encouraged to visit frequently to engage in the process, provide feedback, find key documents, see upcoming meeting dates, and learn other information. It will be updated regularly throughout the Housing Element Update process, which will end in December 2023.
Make sure to subscribe to stay informed and receive the latest information on the update process. If you have questions about the site, please be sure to read through the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
We're on this housing journey together and we encourage everyone to get involved as we move forward.
There is much to learn from each other on this journey towards 6th Cycle Housing Element Update certification.
For a deeper dive into details and more information, click on the links below or the folders located to the right for information from the following sources:
We'll continue to update this page throughout the process with any new information.
What is a General Plan?
All properties and land uses in the City are governed by the City's General Plan. The General Plan describes the long-term goals for the City’s future and guides daily decision-making. The General Plan is a roadmap to the future that encompasses the hopes, aspirations, values and dreams of the community. The Plan contains the City’s official policies on land use and community design, transportation, housing, environmental resources and health and safety. In addition to the policies in the General Plan, different areas of the city have specific plan regulations that are applicable to them.
Find more information on what a General Plan consists of here: https://opr.ca.gov/planning/general-plan/
What is a Housing Element?
A state-mandated policy document that identifies where and how cities will accommodate existing and projected future housing needs for people of all income groups. As one of seven elements of the Newman General Plan, it is required to be updated every eight years. The City last updated its General Plan in 2007.
According to Government Code 65583, a Housing Element must:
- Provide goals, policies, quantified objectives, and scheduled programs to preserve, improve, and develop housing;
- Identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs for all economic segments of the community;
- Identify adequate sites zoned and available within the eight-year housing cycle to meet Newman's fair share of regional housing needs at all income levels;
- Be certified (approved) by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) as complying with State Law; and
- Be internally consistent with other parts of the General Plan.
What is zoning?
Zoning is a set of rules and regulations regarding a number of aspects, including building heights, setbacks, landscaping, parking, and fences. Your zoning district determines what can be built on your property and which uses are allowed on your property.
Newman has 13 zoning districts, which include the following:
- Single-Family Residential District (R-1)
- Duplex/Medium Density Single-Family Residential District (R-2/R-2S)
- Multiple-Residential District (R-3)
- Retail Business District (C-1)
- General and Service Commercial District (C-2)
- Highway Commercial District (C-8)
- Light Industrial/Business Park District (M)
- Controlled Manufacturing District (I)
- Public and Quasi-Public District (P-Q)
- Planned Development District (P-D)
- Historical/Cultural Resource District (H-C)
- Mobile Home Park District (R-M)
- Professional Office District (P-O)
Your zoning district determines what can be built on your property and which uses are allowed on your property.
Why do we need a Housing Element?
The need for every city and county in California to plan for their ‘fair share’ of the projected housing need is based in Housing Element Law, enacted in 1969 (Government Code Section 65583). The concept behind the law is that, in order for the private development market to adequately address housing demand, local governments must adopt housing plans that provide opportunities for – and not unduly constrain – housing development.
Having a certified Housing Element ensures:
- Eligibility for critical State and Federal funds;
- Preservation of local land use control; and
- Eligibility for State-administered funding for roads, sewer, parks, housing, and planning.
Without a certified Housing Element, the City is:
- At risk of losing local land use control, including the City’s ability to issue building permits and keep its zoning authority;
- Responsible for accommodating an increased number of housing units;
- Ineligible for various State-administered funds for roads, sewer, parking, housing, and planning; and
- More open to legal action and challenges of its General Plan.
- This legal action could come from developers, housing advocates, and California’s Department of Housing and Community Development.
What does this current Housing Element update cover?
Newman is in the process of updating the Housing Element of the General Plan for the planning period between January 2023 through December 2031. Under State Law, every city and county in California is required to update its Housing Element to address specific requirements per Government Code 65583 and submit the Element to the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for certification.
The Housing Element provides the plan to meet the housing needs of all people at all economic levels, and address segments of the population with special housing needs.
The Housing Element will include:
- An assessment of the unique characteristics of the City’s population;
- An inventory of sites suitable for residential development;
- An assessment of financial and program resources; and
- An analysis of constraints to housing production in Newman.
This data and analysis will provide the basis for a comprehensive set of policies to address current and future housing needs.
What happens if a city does not adopt a Housing Element or if the Housing Element does not comply with state law?
The penalties for non-compliance have increased in scope and severity over the past few legislative cycles, and they currently include:
- Limited access to state funding, including transportation funding for local roadway maintenance and capital improvement projects; and
- Court imposed fines of up to $600,000 per month. The statute also allows the state to collect these fines by withholding state funding due to the city.
For more information please refer to resources listed below.
When a community's housing element is found to be out of compliance, its General Plan is at risk of being deemed inadequate and therefore invalid, opening the possibility for lawsuits. Consequences of lawsuits include:
- Court mandated compliance;
- Court suspension of local control on building matters, freezing the community’s ability to issue building permits, zoning changes, etc.;
- Court approval of housing developments on behalf of the community; and
- Attorney fees associated with the lawsuit.
Over the past 20 years, cities and counties throughout the Bay Area (including Corte Madera, Pittsburg, Pleasanton, Alameda, Benicia, Fremont, Rohnert Park, Menlo Park, Napa County, and Santa Rosa) have faced legal challenges to the adequacy of their housing elements. In virtually every case, the city settled by amending their Housing Element and/or zoning ordinance to accommodate more housing and paid the plaintiffs’ attorneys fees. Each of these cases were filed prior to the most recent amendments to the state housing law which make it exceedingly more difficult for cities to win such cases.
Who determines Newman's housing needs?
The Housing Element Update is how the City addresses its assigned fair share of regional housing needs. This fair share is determined through a Regional Needs Allocation (RHNA) process. The State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), with input from the Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG), determines the total housing need for the 2023-2031 period. StanCOG then determines the housing allocation for each of its 10 jurisdictions. This update of the Housing Element must identify enough land zoned to accommodate the City's RHNA of 1,048 units.
Why did Newman's RHNA increase so much for the 6th cycle?
Due to California’s housing crisis, HCD has expanded its identification of a region’s total housing need to account for unmet existing needs in addition to projected housing needs. To identify unmet existing needs, HCD takes into consideration overcrowded households, cost burdened households, and vacancy rates. This has resulted in substantially greater increases in RHNA for the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update.
How many housing units do we need?
Over the next eight years, Newman must plan for 1,048 housing units which are broken down by income groups, as shown in the following table:
# of Units
Extremely Low (0-30% AMI)
Very Low (30-50% AMI)
Low (50-80% AMI)
Moderate (80-120% AMI)
Above Moderate (over 120% AMI)
Note: AMI stands for Area Median Income level, which is based on specific data for the County. Extremely Low-Income (0-30% AMI) is a subset of Very Low-Income assumed as 50 percent. The City of Newman's Very Low-Income allocation is a total of 197 units, assuming 50 percent will be allocated toward Extremely Low-Income units.
Is Newman required to build the housing assigned?
No, cities are not required to build housing units. Housing construction is still driven by the private market. The City’s role is to ensure that sufficient land is available and appropriate zoning standards are in place to accommodate the RHNA. If current zoning standards cannot accommodate the RHNA, the city must designate new sites by amending existing General Plan and Zoning designations.
How can I get involved?
The update process provides a variety of opportunities for community involvement, including:
- Participating in housing surveys;
- Attending community workshops (in person or virtually);
- Providing feedback on demographics and existing conditions;
- Reviewing potential housing sites and providing feedback; and
- Attending public hearings.
Why does my participation matter?
The State of California has declared a 'housing supply crisis' and holds all local communities accountable for a portion of the housing need, regardless of available land capacity. Your participation is essential to creating a plan that represents Newman's core values while meeting regional and state-mandated housing goals. Local power resides in discovering how Newman will meet these state requirements.
As part of the Housing Element Update, we are asking the community to provide input regarding housing priorities and challenges. Participation from our residents is vital to ensure our community’s values are identified and articulated in the Housing Element and the City’s approach provides the best fit for our community’s goals, values, and priorities.
Initial Draft Housing Element Submitted to HCD for 90-Day Review
On October 24, 2023, the HCD Initial Draft Housing Element was submitted to Housing and Community Development (HCD) for a 90-day review.
To review the HCD Initial Draft Housing Element and for next steps in the process, please click the button below.
Join the Conversation!
The City of Newman is in the process of the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update and welcomes input from Newman residents, employees, business owners, property owners, unhoused community members, and individuals who are interested in living in the City. By participating, you will help the City incorporate your ideas into the housing policy update. Please share this survey with interested parties.
Housing Elements 101
The 2023-2031 Housing Element Update
The Housing Element is one of the City’s General Plan required elements (chapters). It is a comprehensive policy document that identifies where, how, and the amount of housing the City of Newman needs to plan for to accommodate existing and projected housing needs for people of all income groups. In accordance with current State law, Newman must update its Housing Element every eight years. The Housing Element was last updated in 2015 and was referred to as the 5th cycle Housing Element Update and covered the period between 2015 and 2023. The current update is commonly referred to as the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update.
In the 2023-2031 6th Cycle Update, Newman is required to plan for 1,048 new housing units, also known as its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). The City expects that the 1,048 new housing units can be accommodated through past Housing Element sites and new locations. With your participation and input, we will plan for this growth while minimizing impacts on Newman's unique culture and environment.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: The Importance of AB 686
To combat a history of racial housing discrimination, segregation, and unequal access to opportunity, the Fair Housing Act was passed in 1968. The Fair Housing Act prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, (and as amended) disability status, and family status. However, in the nearly 50 years since the Fair Housing Act was enacted, housing inequality, lack of access to opportunity, and racial and socio-economic segregation have persisted.
The passing of AB 686 in 2018 attempts to address these persistent inequities. For more information on AFFH and AB 686 you may refer to the following resources:
The purpose of this board is to act as an online forum for members of the public to share creative and unique ways for Newman to meet its allocated 1,048 new housing units. Help us gain an understanding of what you’d like to see in your community. Ideas can be short and sweet… Think of it as pinning sticky notes for fellow and future neighbors to see and relate to! (max 140 characters).
24 October, 2023
Can the meetings be web-casted ?
14 October, 2023
Affordable units with cost based on existing residents of Newman actual income
Pair with down payment grant similar guidelines
5 October, 2023
Make them affordable just like in the 2008/2009 market crash. At this rate, everyone in the family has to work just to buy a home.
30 August, 2023
Zone to comply but no more building.
25 August, 2023
Possibly rezone empty larger infill residential lots to R2 to allow more housing at a more affordable price.
28 July, 2023
13 July, 2023