U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


The City of Palm Springs is located in the Coachella Valley, a desert valley in Riverside county. Over the years, the City has grown from a desert village to a sophisticated, attractive community, serving as the hotel, retail and financial center of the Coachella Valley.

Action Plan

The City of Palm Springs' Consolidated Plan represents a blueprint for meeting the housing and community development needs of the its residents. The plan provides a description of existing housing and community development needs, a long term strategy to address those needs and an action plan for the next year. With anticipated spending authority of $679,342 ($667,000 in CDBG Funds and $12,342 available funding from prior year accounts which are eligible for reprogramming), the City hopes to address its housing and community development needs.

Citizen Participation

The City's Consolidated Plan results from considerable discussion and input from many different sources. The lead agency in the plan was the City's Department of Economic Development. In addition to having assistance from other city departments, local and regionally based non-profit organizations and residents, the City created a Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to help develop the plan. Members of the CAC included the Human Rights and Planning Commissions, Mizell Senior Center, African/American Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and other key commissions and non-profit organizations.

The City's coordination and consultation efforts began last fall and included numerous forums, from one-on-one telephone calls with social service providers to public hearings held in the City Council chambers. While no formal comments were received from neighboring jurisdictions, the City provided copies of the plan to afford them the opportunity to comment on the plan.


The City of Palm Springs' transformation from a desert village of Riverside County to an attractive resort community is largely due to success of the City's tourism industry. This success has also brought considerable opportunity and a commensurate demand for public services.

Population in City has grown by 24% over the past ten years from 32,355 full time residents in 1980 to 40,181 by 1990. The largest percentage change during this period among racial/ethnic populations has been the increase in Hispanic residents. The 1990 Census indicates that the number of Hispanic residents represents approximately 19% of the City's total population.

Elderly persons represent a significant percentage of the City's population, 32 percent in 1990. Over the past decade, the City's population of persons 60 years of age and older has grown from 9,432 persons, or 29 percent of the population in 1980 to 13,025 persons in 1990. Although the City estimates 60 percent of the elderly persons are homeowners and 40 percent are renters, many low income elderly persons need housing assistance and other supportive services.

While the City has a growing degree of housing overcrowding, the majority of the its housing is in good condition. There are 33,376 units of which over 8,000, or 24%, are vacation (seasonal) units. Notwithstanding success of its tourism industry, the City suffers from high vacancy rates and a lack of affordable housing units for low income residents.



Success in the City's tourism industry has sparked the local economy for many years and contributed significantly to population growth and increases in the standard of living for many current residents. The City's reliance on the tourism industry have also generated many of the existing affordable housing needs for low income persons in the community.

Housing Needs

The City largely suffers from two major housing needs. One involves the lack of affordable housing, which results from the growth and reliance on the tourism industry. Persons working in tourism-related jobs typically receive low wages and seasonal fluctuations. Additionally, the seasonal housing units, which represent many single-family and condominium units, result in high vacancy rates. Despite the high demand on housing, the seasonal housing units are not affordable to serve those in demand. These occurrences lead to the City's second major housing need, which is to reduce the incidence of overcrowding and rent overburdened low income residents.

Market Conditions

According the to the City of Palm Springs' 1992 data, there were 33,376 housing units. Of this total, 8,331 were seasonal dwelling units and the remaining 25,045 were permanent dwelling units. The major types of permanent housing includes single-family detached homes and mobile homes. Multifamily housing comprises of about 31% of the total housing stock.

The number of vacant housing units in the City is exceptionally high, due to the large number of second and seasonal homes. Of the total housing stock in 1990, 11,895 units or 39 percent are vacant. On a numerical basis, the City appears to have enough housing units to satisfy current demand and still have a surplus to absorb normal movement and growth. However, many of the units in the city are not available to low and moderate income families because they are vacation homes and others are priced will beyond the reach of low and moderate income households.

Affordable Housing Needs

Despite the City's high vacancy rate, the available homes are not affordable for persons of low and moderate incomes. In 1990, approximately 59.9 percent of the City's residents were owners and 41.2 percent were renters. Many low income renter households were rent-burdened, that is, they paid in excess of 30% of their income for housing.

Very low income and low income households have a difficult time finding affordable housing suitable for their needs. These persons are usually faced with the problem of overcrowding, substandard housing, and an inability to acquire a home. In Palm Springs, an estimated 4,973 persons have very low income and 8,225 persons have low income.

With an increasing population of elderly persons, there is a need for affordable housing, especially for those of low incomes. This group is largely limited in resources, therefore there is a greater demand for support from outside sources (i.e. publicly and privately funding programs for addressing their specific needs).

Homeless Needs

Currently, homelessness is not a serious problem in the City, but it does exist and increases are likely to occur over the next five years with population growth. To curtail the increases, the City proposes high commitment of financial, spiritual, and emotional support; coordinated shelter and social services throughout Coachella Valley; understanding of regional economic conditions; continued regional interactive support; restructuring of the mental health system; and a comprehensive approach to the regional homeless problem.

Nightengale Manor, Shelter From the Storm, Food In Need of Distribution (FIND), and Alternatives to Domestic Violence, were four entities identified to provide housing facilities and supportive services for these persons. While there are no transitional housing in the City of Palm Springs, there are an estimated 50 transitional beds in Riverside County.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The City does not currently have, nor does it plan do develop any public housing units over the next five years. The City believes that affordable housing can be more efficiently and effectively provided by for-profit and non-profit developers. While no public housing units exist in the City, it is estimated by the Riverside County Public Housing Authority that 174 eligible families in the city were using Section 8 Certificates and Vouchers for housing.

The City of Palm Springs has nine assisted housing projects which provide affordable housing units to senior citizens, disabled persons and low income households in the City. Within the next five years, some of these units may be converted to market rate housing after termination of the contract or prepayment of the loan. Upon conversion, the City notes that these units may not be affordable to existing tenants. The City, however, has an interest in preserving these units for low income occupancy.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The housing constraints that affect affordable housing in the City are primarily economic and not regulatory or policy oriented. The City attributes both external and internal factors to the barriers of affordable housing. The external factors, controlled by regional, national, or worldwide economic conditions, include land, construction, and financing costs. The limited availability of land and inflation have resulted in higher costs for land; higher construction costs have resulted from higher energy cost, lumber and other building materials; and financing costs (interest rates) have resulted from national policies and economic conditions. The internal factors include increased homeownership costs due to the limited availability of land for new construction and the costs of property maintenance; resident incomes not increasing at rates to support increasing rental cost, especially for the elderly population; and the supply of housing has decreased.

Fair Housing

Aside from tax increment financing, federal and state resources, the City uses fair housing counseling to help promote affordable housing. The City supports a Fair Housing Council designed to limit discrimination in housing, and hence to increase the level of affordable housing to minorities. This agency investigates allegations of housing discrimination, educates the public as to their rights under the law, and provides assistance to persons seeking rental housing.

Lead-Based Paint

Without using the age of housing as the key tool to measure the incidences of lead-based paint, the City of Palm Springs feels it would be difficult to make determinations. The City estimates that approximately 14,993 housing units were built prior to 1979, one year after the use of residential lead-based paint was banned. While no accurate information regarding the incidence of lead-based paint in the City, it requested and received information from the County of Riverside Housing Services Agency, Department of Public Health that revealed 5,649 Riverside County children received tests for lead poisoning in 1993. Of those tested, 31 children had very high lead levels and 63 children had high levels of lead.

Other Issues

Aside from the existing housing needs in the City of Palm Springs, there also exist a need to address public facilities and improvements. To the extent feasible, the City plans to rehabilitate such facilities as health centers, senior centers, libraries, parks and youth centers over the next five years. The City plans to seek CDBG funding support to improve existing roads, bus systems, water and sewer treatments, and solid waste systems. These areas have not received on-going attention, therefore the funding needed to improve them has escalated over the years.

Community Development Needs

Based on the City's attractiveness as a recreational and retirement location, it is projected that the City's population will continue to increase at approximately the same rate, further accentuating the demand for affordable housing. Given its attractiveness to the retirement population, community needs (i.e. affordable housing, support services, medical assistance) to serve this population will likely rise over the next five years. Another population group steadily increasing in the City are homeless persons. Therefore, the sheltered and unsheltered homeless population will need additional support for permanent, affordable, and decent housing, as well as supportive services.

The City has over the past few years been making efforts to expand businesses and job opportunities in the area by moving its community into the 21st Century with new skills and technologies. It is in the process of implementing a comprehensive economic development plan, designed to retain existing businesses, encouraging relocation of new businesses and maximizing employment opportunities to current City residents.


The City's goal is to maximize the number of organizations and the effectiveness of its departments and agencies. The City plans to work closely with social service providers and homeless providers in the community to assure the coordination of housing and supportive services are maximized.

The City has plans to continue working with regional entities to address its immediate housing needs, develop a regional response to the number of homeless persons and families, and work with the health agencies to reduce the level of lead-based paint in residential units.


The City developed a list of conditions that have provided housing opportunities: low lender interest rates have made the purchase and refinancing of homes more affordable for Palm Springs residents; the real estate market remains more stable than other sections of Southern California; numerous economic development activities will foster greater job opportunities and additional income for Palm Springs residents; there is an increased awareness of housing needs of low income elderly residents in the city; the city is seeking ways to spur private sector housing production and economic development; and a growing array of effective social service providers are in Coachella Valley.

The following represents the City's list of housing impediments: there is a lack of three and four bedroom rental units available and affordable for low income families; additional elderly care facilities will be needed as Palm Springs' population gets older; homelessness, particularly families with children, is a growing regional problem; unlike other desert communities, there are not many undeveloped sites for new housing construction; and housing costs are out of reach for many households.

Vision for Change

The City of Palm Springs seeks to enhance the quality of life for all of its residents, including low income and elderly households, by maximizing the use of Federal, State, and local resources to promote economic development, safe affordable housing and quality education and social services.

Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

The City believes that efforts to promote improved economic development within the community will have the most far-reaching benefit for low and moderate income residents. Additional employment opportunities and higher paying jobs will result in housing improvements and greater housing choice. To accomplish these efforts, the City seeks to enhance the quality of life for all its citizens. Partnerships must be developed between the City, non-profit and for-profit organizations to supplement economic development activities.

Housing Priorities

The strategies proposed by the City are to:

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

In this area, the City proposes to:

Anti-Poverty Strategy

The City's focus for this strategy is on the most vulnerable groups in the jurisdiction -- the very low income households, homeless individuals and families with incomes below 50 percent of median income and those households threatened with homelessness because of job loss, medical emergencies and housing overcrowding. A network of housing and human services programs are offered to Palm Springs residents to provide them with the tools they need to become and remain self-sufficient. The City proposes a strategy geared towards an economic development plan rather than just a housing plan to increase incomes and job opportunities for low income households.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The primary source of funding has been through CDBG, which may be used for a wide variety of services to benefit persons of low and moderate incomes. While the City does not anticipate seeking funds through the HOME Investment Partnership Program, it will continue to support applications from non-profit organizations that qualify as Community Housing Development Organizations.

There are three State entities which provide resources that can help the City fund affordable housing programs. Those entities are the California Housing Finance Agency, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, and California Department of Housing and Community Development.

The primary source of local funds for affordable housing will be the City of Palm Springs' Community Redevelopment Agency's Housing Set-aside funds.

The City has been encouraged by recent legislation that strengthens the Community Reinvestment Act and will ask local lenders to participate its affordable housing strategies. It also plans to seek additional support for non-profit organizations.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The City notes that close coordination and interaction among City departments, non-profit and for-profit organizations in the community is necessary to successfully implement their five year strategy. Many City agencies, particularly the City Planning, Redevelopment, Economic Development and Code Enforcement Departments, must work closely with other entities such as Boards, Commissions, non-profit organizations, social services agencies, homeless providers, private lending institutions and private owners and tenants.


The City of Palm Springs anticipates on using a total of $667,000 in CDBG funds with an additional $12,342 in reprogrammed funds from prior year CDBG allocations, for a total of $679,342. The distribution of these funds would be allocated to provide $133,400 for Administration, $100,050 for Public Services, and $445,892 for Capital and Other Expenses.

Description of Key Projects


Over half of the City's proposed projects will be carried out in the immediate City of Palm Springs. Specifically, 10 existing redevelopment areas in the City are targeted to benefit from the proposed programs. Given efforts to address regional concerns (i.e. homelessness), some projects and programs will impact neighboring jurisdictions.

Lead Agencies

The City's Department of Economic Development has the lead responsibility for development and dissemination of the Consolidated Plan. The Department coordinated and consulted with other City departments and other entities and made recommendations to the City Council for CDBG and other funding.

Housing Goals

Considering the seven strategies defined in the City's plan, five strategies or 71% of their plan address the issue of housing. Ranging from transitional housing to permanent affordable housing, the City has geared its plan towards the improvement of area housing conditions. While not directly related, the City proposes to use its economic development strategies to increase their stock of affordable housing and the number of income earners eligible to purchase affordable housing.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 6 depicts Neighborhood Segments and streets with proposed HUD funded projects.

TABLE (without associated map) provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Palm Spring's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Francesca Toscano
Economic Development Specialist
City of Palm Springs
Phone: (619) 323-8197

Return to California's Consolidated Plans.