The housing element is one of 7 state-mandated elements of the city’s General Plan. Housing element law requires local governments to adequately plan to meet their existing and projected housing needs including their share of the regional housing need. Within each planning period, regional housing needs are identified for each jurisdiction in a process referred to as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) that includes the state and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). The City of Menlo Park's allocation for the 2015-2023 planning period is 655 dwelling units. The housing element also includes goals, policies, and programs to help guide the city's housing efforts through the planning period.
On April 1, 2014, the City of Menlo Park adopted its Housing Element through the 2023 planning period and on April 16, 2014, the Housing Element was certified by State Housing and Community Development Department.