Housing Element

Community Engagement and Outreach Committee recruitment

Over the next 18 months, the City of Menlo Park will be focused on updating its Housing Element and Safety Element, and the preparation of an Environmental Justice Element. The City of Menlo Park is seeking residents to serve on the newly created Housing Element Community Engagement and Outreach Committee (CEOC). The CEOC’s overall purpose is to assist the City in ensuring a broad and inclusive community outreach and engagement process. The 10-member advisory committee will be integral in helping guide and providing feedback on the types and frequency of activities/events/meetings and the strategies and methods for communicating with the various stakeholders in the community. The committee would not provide policy guidance, though members are welcome to participate in planned events and meetings as individuals.

This is a once in decade opportunity to get involved in the Housing Element process. CEOC applications are due to the City Clerk by 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 12, 2021. 

Appointments are expected to be made by the City Council no later than Tuesday, May 25, and the first meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 27, from 6-8 p.m.

What is a Housing Element Update?


Housing Elements are housing plans that are one part of the General Plan – a guide to all the ways each city, town or county is planned and managed, from our roads and sidewalks to our parks and neighborhoods. With an update required every eight years by the State of California, this Housing Element update will create a foundation for all the policies and programs related to housing. 

While city governments do not generally build housing themselves, they create the rules that affect where housing can be built, how much and how it is approved. Each jurisdiction’s housing plan needs to help ensure that there will be enough capacity and supportive policies to meet the projected need over the next 10 years.

Why it matters


  • More and more, purchasing a home is out of reach for many while renters face rent prices that are just too high. Just about every city in the region needs more housing, of all types and sizes. 
  • Teachers, firefighters, health care and other essential workers are traveling long distances to work or being forced to relocate to other cities. 
  • Young adults and students - including your children and grandchildren - are unable to purchase homes or even live in the communities they grew up in once they leave their childhood homes. 
  • Communities of color and non-English speakers – who make up the majority of our community members living in overcrowded and unsafe conditions – cannot afford to be near their jobs, school or families.

More housing and more diverse housing choices means


  • Young families can find an affordable starter home
  • Young adults moving out of their childhood home and into the housing market can stay in the cities they grew up in
  • Our aging population will have more options for retirement, including downsizing, providing housing for on-site health or home care, and staying in their communities
  • Workers - teachers, firefighters, health care workers, essential workers - can find homes near job centers (which will reduce traffic!)
  • Your children and grandchildren can stay near you in the communities they feel a part of
  • More people will have more opportunities, across incomes, to rent or own homes in the places they live, work and love.