County of Marin - News Releases - Housing Element

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2023

State Approves Marin’s Housing Element

County supplements planning document with additional enhancements

San Rafael, CA – The State of California has approved the County of Marin’s plan to meet housing needs through 2032 and comply with state housing policies.

a hilltop view of Richardson Bay, with Sausalito in the foreground and Belvedere in the distance.The County of Marin is continually devising ways to accommodate housing needs in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) notified the County on June 19 that updates to its submitted long-range plan, known as the Housing Element, were in “substantial compliance” with state law

The Board of Supervisors reviewed and adopted the eight-year plan on January 24, and the County’s Community Development Agency (CDA) subsequently submitted it to HCD for review. In March, HCD sent a request for additional information needed for state final certification.

This spring, CDA responded with more details on affirmatively furthering fair housing measures that were presented in the adopted Housing Element, such as increasing efforts to expand housing options in high-resource neighborhoods and place-based planning and investment in lower-resources areas such as the unincorporated neighborhoods of Santa Venetia, Marin City, and portions of West Marin. For example, the state wanted to see specific information on strategies for community revitalization, improvements to neighborhood infrastructure, and reduction of risks of displacement for low-income renters.

A state-approved Housing Element – part of the Countywide Plan – is required by law by all municipalities. Marin’s Housing Element only affects housing considerations for the county’s unincorporated areas for 2023-2032. Each city and town develops its own Housing Element.

CDA Director Sarah Jones said that with HCD’s stamp of approval on the Board’s adopted Housing Element, the agency can now turn its attention to implementation.

The Housing Element update addresses the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). For 2023-2032, the County was directed to plan for at least 3,569 new units in unincorporated areas. Within that total, at least 1,734 must be designated as affordable to lower-income households, at least 512 for moderate-income households, and at least 1,323 for above-moderate-income households.

The County is devising ways to accommodate housing needs in one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States. Many older adults and Marin’s workforce are struggling to pay rent and mortgage payments, causing a housing affordability and employment recruiting crisis. The response will require a shift from single-family detached homes toward development of attached units and townhomes, a point that was consistent with public outreach feedback. Today, more than 80% of Marin homes are single-family detached buildings, limiting housing options and escalating costs.


Jillian Nameth Zeiger
Senior Housing and Federal Grants Planner
Community Development Agency

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 308
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7549
Email: Jillian Nameth Zeiger
CDA website