This document, required of all cities, is a study of Menifee's plan for how to accommodate the housing needs of its residents today and those who will come to the community in the future. The current housing element draft is designed to cover 2008-2014. According to Carmen Cave, community development director, the document is not a promise to build affordable housing but is a required analysis of the potential land use of the city.
The draft will be sent to state officials for review and feedback and could be adjusted upon its return before it is finalized, said City Manager Bill Rawlings.
"This is a draft document," Cave explained. "Later, we will hold public hearings about this subject. This was required to be submitted by November 2011 and we still haven't met that requirement. If the city fails to submit this, you basically hand over power to someone else to determine how housing will be built."
Cave also said the city would be ineligible for grants and other funding if the housing plan is not submitted.
Based on Menifee's population, economic and housing characteristics and special needs, the city is required to show the capacity to accommodate -- not mandate -- 2,734 new housing units between now and 2014. The breakdown of the requirement is:
-- 648 very low income households
-- 448 low income households
-- 506 moderate income households
-- 1,132 above moderate income households
Income and housing figures will fluctuate with the economy. Although two members of the public spoke out against the document because of concerns about possible excess low-income housing, Cave explained that the draft document makes no such commitment. No specific locations for any additional housing were identified.
"We're not asking you to do something that's illegal," Cave said. "We're asking you to do something to make us compliant with state law."