Countywide Vision
Services A-Z
Email Subscriptions


The most recently adopted Housing Element (2014) is presented as part of the beta version of the web-based Policy Plan. Graphics, photos, and search functionality are in development and will be included in subsequent releases of the web-based Policy Plan.

NOTE: The Housing Element was most recently adopted in 2014 and is not being updated through the Countywide Plan.  No substantive changes are proposed.  The Housing Element is scheduled to be updated in 2020/21 per state law.


  • Introduction

    An adequate supply of quality and affordable housing is fundamental to the economic and social well-being of the county.  California cities and counties are required by state law to prepare a housing element to address existing local housing needs and an assigned share of the region’s housing growth in eight-year cycles.  State law also requires that the cities and counties identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs and prepare a series of goals, policies, and quantified objectives, financial resources, and programs to further the development, improvement, and preservation of housing.

    The County of San Bernardino’s 2013–2021 Housing Element contains goals, policies, and programs to address the state law requirements and the needs of our unincorporated communities.  The County of San Bernardino also provides housing services to the entire county through the Housing Authority and Community Development & Housing Agency.

    NOTE: No substantive changes are proposed to the Housing Element through the Countywide Plan.

    When adopted by the County Board of Supervisors in 2014, the Housing Element form the legal basis for housing goals, policies, and programs for the duration of the 2013–2021 housing element planning period.  The next Housing Element update will cover the 2021–2029 planning period as required by state law.

    The goals and policies below are taken directly from the 2014 Housing Element and have been modified to match the writing style of other Countywide Plan goals and policies. The regional breakout of goals and policies is only done in the 2014 Housing Element and this structure is not repeated elsewhere. Some additional changes (tracked) were identified through the Technical Advisory Team review process.

    For consistency with other Countywide Plan Elements, the 2013–2021 Housing Element’s legally required goals have been adapted into purpose statements.  Additionally, principles were added consistent with the Countywide Vision.

  • Purpose

    The Housing Element:

    • Identifies adequate sites to facilitate and encourage housing for households of all economic levels, including persons with disabilities.
    • Removes governmental constraints to housing production, maintenance, and improvement as legally feasible and appropriate.
    • Assists the development of adequate housing for low- and moderate-income households.
    • Preserves publicly assisted multiple-family housing developments in each community.
    • Conserves and improving conditions in existing housing and neighborhoods, including affordable housing.
    • Promotes a range of housing opportunities for all individual and households consistent with fair and equal housing opportunity.
  • Principles

    We believe:

    • A range of housing for all income levels is essential to a complete county.
    • The county’s housing stock should match the type and price needed by current and future residents and workforce, including those with special needs.
    • New housing development should be focused in areas where there is potable water, wastewater treatment, roadways, and public services.
    • Affordable, moderately-priced, and higher density housing should be placed in areas served by public transportation.
    • Preserving, maintaining, improving, and creating distinct neighborhoods and communities protects property values and provides a desirable place to live.
    • Affordable, quality housing helps attract and retain a qualified workforce and supports a prosperous local economy.


  • Goal H-1 Housing Production and Supply

    A broad range of housing types in sufficient quantity, location, and affordability levels that meet the lifestyle needs of current and future residents, including those with special needs.

    Policy H-1.1         Appropriate range of housing
    We encourage the production and location of a range of housing types, densities, and affordability levels in a manner that recognizes the unique characteristics, issues, and opportunities for each community.

    Policy H-1.2        Concurrent infrastructure
    We support the integrated planning and provision of appropriate infrastructure (including water, sewer, and roadways) concurrent with and as a condition of residential development to create more livable communities.

    Policy H-1.3        Quality multiple-family standards
    We enforce multiple-family residential development standards, amenity requirements, and other regulations to ensure the development of quality rental and homeownership opportunities for residents.

    Policy H-1.4        RHNA transfers with annexation
    We work with the Southern California Association of Governments, Local Agency Formation Commission, and cities to develop agreements for the transfer of the regional housing need allocation as a precondition for annexations.

    Policy H-1.5        Life-cycle costs
    We encourage energy-conservation techniques and upgrades in both the construction and rehabilitation of residential units that will reduce the life-cycle costs of housing.

  • Goal H-2 Governmental Development Regulations

    An efficient administrative process that recognizes the need for efficient and timely review of residential projects while also ensuring and valuing the need for quality design, environmental review, and planning.

    Policy H-2.1         Development Code review
    We review the Development Code regularly for possible revisions that might unduly constrain the production or rehabilitation of residential development.

    Policy H-2.2        Small lot sizes
    We continue to utilize Planned Development density bonus and density transfer provisions as described in the County Development Code to allow the development of lot sizes less than that normally required by residential land use districts.

    Policy H-2.3        Flexible standards
    We allow flexibility in the application of residential and mixed-use development standards to gain benefits such as exceptional design quality, economic advantages, sustainability, or other benefits that would not otherwise be realized.

    Policy H-2.4        Incentives
    We maintain incentives that can be offered when projects provide benefits to the community such as exceptional design quality, economic advantages, environmental sustainability, or other benefits that would not otherwise be realized.

    Policy H-2.5        Certain and transparent process
    We maintain a residential development review process that provides certainty and transparency for project stakeholders and the public, yet allows for the appropriate review to facilitate quality housing development.

    Policy H-2.6         Critical infrastructure
    We ensure the efficient provision of critical infrastructure needed to accompany residential development and the building of complete communities, and ensure that the costs are fairly apportioned to the development community.

  • Goal H-3 Housing and Neighborhood Quality

    Neighborhoods that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community, and enhance public and private efforts in maintaining, reinvesting in, and upgrading the existing housing stock.

    Policy H-3.1         Public services, amenities, and safety
    We support the provision of adequate and fiscally sustainable public services, infrastructure, open space, nonmotorized transportation routes, and public safety for neighborhoods in the unincorporated area.

    Policy H-3.2         Code enforcement
    We support the timely removal of neighborhood blight through graffiti abatement, abandoned or inoperative automobile removal, trash and debris removal, housing repair, and other code enforcement efforts.

    Policy H-3.3         Housing maintenance
    We enforce all applicable state and county health, safety, building, and zoning laws directed at housing and property maintenance to maintain healthful, sound, and attractive residential properties.

    Policy H-3.4         Housing rehabilitation and improvement
    We encourage the rehabilitation, repair, and improvement of single-family, multiple family housing, and mobile homes and, if needed, the demolition of substandard housing through available loan and grant programs.

    Policy H-3.5         Inspection of subsidized housing
    We inspect or facilitate the inspection of -assisted multifamily rental housing, contract shelters, voucher hotels, and other housing projects on a regular basis to ensure that properties are regularly repaired and maintained in good condition.

    Policy H-3.6         Neighborhood improvements
    We support comprehensive neighborhood efforts to address housing conditions, property maintenance, infrastructure repair, public safety, landscaping, and other issues affecting the livability of neighborhoods.

  • Goal H-4 Affordable Housing Assistance

    The development, maintenance, modernization, and preservation of affordable housing; and the provision of assistance, where feasible, for residents to rent or purchase adequate housing in San Bernardino County.

    Policy H-4.1         At-risk units
    We preserve publicly assisted and multiple-family housing units that are at risk of converting from lower income affordability to market rents due to the completion of affordability covenants or funding contracts.

    Policy H-4.2         Rental assistance
    We support the provision of rental assistance to qualified extremely low, very low, and low income households and special needs households served by the County Housing Authority, Department of Behavioral Health, and other County entities.

    Policy H-4.3        Homeowner assistance
    We support the expansion of homeownership opportunities and preservation by offering financial assistance when available, working in collaboration with partners to increase funding, and supporting foreclosure prevention programs.

    Policy H-4.4        Modernize and replace multiple-family projects
    We support the Housing Authority’s efforts to modernize and replace, where needed, existing multiple-family projects to provide safe, sound, and affordable housing options for qualified low income individuals and families.

    Policy H-4.5        Nonprofit partnerships
    We continue to form and strengthen partnerships with nonprofit organizations, public agencies, community-based organizations, and housing developers in order to increase housing opportunities for very low and low income and special needs households.

    Policy H-4.6        Housing discrimination
    We further fair housing opportunities by prohibiting discrimination in the housing market; providing education, support, and enforcement services to address discriminatory practices; and removing potential impediments to equal housing opportunity.

  • Goal H-5 Implementation and Monitoring

    A planning and monitoring system whereby housing, employment, environmental, and other program data are integrated in a cohesive manner to implement the County’s housing vision.

    Policy H-5.1         Reporting activities
    We support the planning and reporting of housing activities throughout the County in a manner that can be readily integrated into the housing element and useful for the development and refinement of policy and programs. This effort will contain:

    • Annual housing element production totals
    • Grantee performance reports for the consolidated plan
    • Projects funded by the Department of Behavioral Health
    • Progress in the Homeless Service Continuum of Care efforts

    Policy H-5.2         Local and regional infrastructure
    We support the integrated planning and provision of appropriate infrastructure (including water, sewer, stormwater, and roadways) to create more livable residential environments.  This effort will contain:

    • Cooperation with the San Bernardino Local Agency Formation Commission and service providers in service planning
    • Coordination of capital improvement planning efforts with cities and through the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority
    • Review minimum improvement standards for rural areas in the update of the County development code
    • Coordination with the Southern California Association of Governments to include transportation improvements into the regional transportation plan
  • Goal V/H-1 Valley Region

    A diversity of housing and neighborhood improvement and preservation strategies that address the needs of residents living in county islands and spheres of influence.

    Policy V/H-1.1    Housing compatibility
    We encourage housing types and designs that are compatible with established land use patterns and the environment of the region, including single-family dwellings, mobile home parks/manufactured home land-leased communities, and apartments.

    Policy V/H-1.2    Rehabilitation target areas
    We identify areas targeted for rehabilitation to enhance the housing inventory of the Valley Region. These areas may include but are not limited to: North Chino, West and South Fontana, South Montclair, Bloomington, Muscoy, and other, similar areas.

    Policy V/H-1.3    Preferred housing types
    Within the Valley Region, we favor the following types of development: urban infill, single family detached (specifically adjacent to the Foothill Freeway corridors), clustered development with single-family appearance, and single-family detached on large lots.

    Policy V/H-1.4    Pre-annexation coordination
    For unincorporated islands that are planned for eventual annexation, we work with cities to encourage and approve residential projects that are consistent with the general plans and design guidelines for annexing cities.

  • Goal M/H-1 Mountain Region

    A diversity of housing products that respects and complements the topography, character, and lifestyle of the Mountain Region.


    Policy M/H-1.1  Site design
    We regulate the density, mass, and height of residential development in hillside areas in order to reduce fire hazards, prevent erosion, preserve natural viewsheds, and maintain the forest character of the Mountain Region.

    Policy M/H-1.2 Building design
    We require architecture and outside facades of residential development that are in keeping with the mountain character; use natural woods, wood composite materials, and masonry as much as practicable.

    Policy M/H-1.3 Single family building size
    We ensure that development standards for single family homes result in building sizes that are limited to size and scale that are compatible with existing development and the character of the Mountain Region.

    Policy M/H-1.4 Protection of scenic qualities
    We use the planned development permit or other discretionary reviews to regulate the density and configuration of residential development along the shores of all mountain lakes or on slopes to protect their scenic qualities.

    Policy M/H-1.5 Grouping or clustering
    We encourage the grouping or clustering of residential buildings where this will maximize the opportunity to preserve significant natural resources, natural beauty, or open space within the density limits of the underlying zone.

  • Goal D/H-1 Desert Region

    Residential land use patterns that enhance and preserve the rural character valued by the residents of the Desert Region.

    Policy D/H-1.1    Rural living pattern
    We encourage lower density residential development in the Desert Region by retaining Rural Living (RL) zoning in Community Planning Areas that are outside of city spheres of influence and removed from more urbanized community core areas.

    Policy D/H-1.2   Rural-scale infrastructure
    We discourage urban-scale infrastructure improvements (e.g., such as curbs, gutters, and street lighting) for different communities in the Desert Region in cases where public health, safety, and welfare are not endangered.

    Policy D/H-1.3   Waterwise landscaping
    Where multiple-family apartment projects are required to have landscaping, we encourage water-conserving, drought-tolerant, or native landscaping that is capable of surviving a desert climate.

    Policy D/H-1.4   Funding priorities
    As funding becomes available, we prioritize the use and application of grants and loans for housing rehabilitation, energy conservation retrofits, and water conservation retrofits for housing in the Desert Region.

    Policy D/H-1.5   Desert housing repair and improvement needs
    We seek to secure loans, grants, and other financing means for addressing the unique housing needs in the Desert Region, such as mobile home rehabilitation, septic system repairs, water wells, and other similar expenses unique to the region.