Hayward Housing Element, Climate Action Plan, Safety Element and Environmental Justice Update

Project Overview

Updates to Hayward’s Housing Element, Climate Action Plan, Hazards Element, and the addition of a new Environmental Justice Element began in 2021 and were adopted in 2024 as amendments to the 2040 General Plan. These four elements of the General Plan were prepared together because issues of housing, environmental justice, safety and hazard planning and climate change are inextricably linked. Planning for all of these efforts simultaneously provided the opportunity for holistic and comprehensive outreach, environmental analysis, and will result in coordinated program implementation efforts. While outreach and preparation of all Elements was done together, adoption of the General Plan Amendment to incorporate the 6th Cycle (2023-2031) Housing Element was expedited to meet State Law deadlines.  

The City's Housing Element was adopted by the City Council on February 5, 2023, and subsequently certified by the State Department of Housing and Community Development on July 27, 2023. Links to the 6th Cycle Housing Element are provided on the Planning Division webpage under Planning Documents.   

The 2024 Climate Action Plan, Hazards Element & Environmental Justice Element were adopted by the City Council on January 30, 2024. Links to the full documents are provided below. 

Why update the Climate Action Plan?

View of Hayward and the Bay from the hayward Hills

The purpose of the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) is to make Hayward a more environmentally and socially sustainable community by equitably reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The new, updated CAP identifies the actions needed to achieve the City’s 2030 greenhouse gas emission target and put the City on a path to carbon neutrality by 2045. The previous CAP’s focused on how to achieve the City’s 2020 emission target, which was reached two years early in 2018. 

The 2024 CAP was heavily influenced by community input. Since the beginning of the CAP Update in 2021, community members provided written comments and three public workshops were hosted to receive feedback on the draft CAP, Hazards, and Environmental Justice Elements. Outreach also included gallery walks, a project website, focus groups, online surveys, tabling at community events, and more.  

2024 Climate Action Plan:

Previous Climate Action Plans:

Why include Environmental Justice & Safety Element as part of this project?  

Wildfire smoke

In 2016, the California legislature adopted Senate Bill (SB) 1000 requiring local jurisdictions to review and update Safety Elements of the General Plan to address and update hazards related to flooding, fires and to include climate adaptation and resilience strategies. In addition, SB 1000 added the topic of Environmental Justice to be addressed in local jurisdictions’ General Plans as a separate Element or addressed through related goals, policies and objectives within other Elements. In adopting this legislation, the State found that low-income communities and communities of color have experienced disproportionate environmental effects, pollution burdens and related health impacts.

As a result, these communities face barriers to overall health, livelihood, and sustainability. Based on State guidance, Environmental Justice-related work must disclose and work to reduce the disproportionate health risks in disadvantaged communities, to promote civic engagements in the decision-making process and to prioritize improvements that address the needs of identified “disadvantaged communities.”


If you have any questions or would like to get involved in the Housing Element, Safety Element and Environmental Justice, please reach out to leigha.schmidt@hayward-ca.gov or call Leigha Schmidt, the project planner, at 510-583-4113.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved in the Climate Action Plan, please reach out to environment@hayward-ca.gov or call 510-583-4700.