Model Housing Element Development Process

​Step 1: Extracting and Analyzing Housing Data

Using the Housing Dashboard, gather information about housing supply and need in your community. The dashboard does not include every measure in these areas, but it does include the following important data/demographic indicators at a variety of geographies, available in both chart and tabular format. Planning encourages jurisdictions to pull the data directly from the dashboard and insert it in their housing element.

Housing Supply

Housing Tenure: The percentage of owner vs. renter occupied unit

Use: Informs the jurisdiction about how households pay for and invest in their homes. Is it skewed too far in one direction? Does the community want to encourage more homeownership or increase the availability of rental units for its low-income residents or workforce? The community should decide the ratio of owner to renter occupied that it desires.

Housing Occupancy: Percentage of occupied vs. vacant housing units

Use: Provides a measure of the viability of the local housing market and may infer the condition of housing units. Limited vacancy is good because it allows for new and moving residents to find housing units, but too much vacancy may indicate a weaker market or substandard housing. Too little vacancy may indicate insufficient housing supply.

Units in Structure: Percentage of units by type (Single Family Detached/Attached, Duplexes, Multi-family)

Use: Key indicator of a community’s housing diversity. Not every household can afford to buy or rent a single-family house, and not everyone may desire to live in an apartment or condominium.    

Bedrooms: Inventory of bedrooms per unit

Use: While more bedrooms may often equate to higher costs,they can also provide suitable housing for families and extended family households.

Value of Owner-Occupied Units: Count of housing units at different value ranges

Use: Provides a summary of the diversity of homeownership affordability within a study area or community.

Selected Monthly Owner Costs as Percentage of Income: Percentages of household income allocated to housing costs.

Use: The dashboard shows the full range of monthly housing costs and collapses them into categories of less than and more than 30% of monthly household income. This can facilitate an analysis of homeowner housing burden in a study area or community.

Gross Rent: Count of monthly rental costs for households at varying ranges

Use: Provides summary of the housing rental costs within a study area or community. This information can be compared to affordable (less than 30%) monthly costs at the low-income and workforce limits, also provided by the dashboard.

Selected Monthly Owner Costs: Count of monthly homeowner costs for households at varying ranges

Use: Provides a summary of the housing owner costs within a study area or community. This information can be compared to affordable (less than 30%) monthly costs at the low-income and workforce limits, also provided by the dashboard.

Gross Rent as a Percentage of Income: Percentages of rental household income on housing costs.

Use: The dashboard shows the full range of monthly housing costs and collapses it into categories of less than and more than 30% of monthly household income. This will facilitate an analysis of renter housing burden in a study area or community.

Housing Demand

Households by Type: Total residents, average household size, and the percentage of youth and seniors within a household.

Use: Provides a quick snapshot to a jurisdiction about the types of households that it has and what kinds of units it may need to plan for to accommodate housing needs.

Year Household Moved Into Unit: Count of households by year range that they moved into their current residence

Use: Gives a sense of housing stability in a study area or community and if there is pressing or waning demand for housing.

Income and Benefits: Count of households at various annual income ranges

Use: This data point informs a jurisdiction about the income of its households applying various pre-selected ranges.

Commuting to Work: Percentages of how individuals commute to work in varying categories

Use: Housing and transportation are closely linked. This data point allows a jurisdiction to gauge how its residents get to work and can assist the planning objective of promoting proximity between jobs and housing or housing and transportation facilities. 


Hunting Creek Affordable Rental Units, Lexington Park, St. Mary’s

The Dashboard includes the following additional information in tabular form in the Reports tab:

  • Year Structure Built
  • Vehicles Available
  • Race
  • Mortgage Status
  • Employment Status
  • Occupation
  • Industry
  • Class of Worker
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Percentage of Families and People in Poverty
  • Residence One Year Ago

>> Step 2