Housing has become a hot topic issue not just locally but throughout the state. In 2019, Governor Newsom signed eighteen bills to jumpstart housing production. According to the California Housing and Community Development Department (HCD), the state needs to add 180,000 new homes annually to meet projected population and household growth. The state allocates these needed units through the required Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process. According to SLOCOG’s 2019 RHNA Plan, our region needs to plan for 10,810 new units by 2028. In 2019, AB 101 authorized HCD to provide regions and jurisdictions with one-time funding for planning activities to meet the RHNA 6th cycle. The funding is divided between Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grants and Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) grants.

Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)

The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process has three main components:

  • RHNA Determination: Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) regionwide housing need determination.

  • RHNA Plan: SLOCOG’s plan to distribute the RHNA Determination to the local jurisdictions by four income categories, which includes RHNA methodology.

  • RHNA Result: Each jurisdiction’s housing need allocation in four income categories for use in updating local housing elements. State law requires that housing elements in the San Luis Obispo region be completed 18 months after the adoption of SLOCOG’s 2019 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).

Since 1980, the State of California has required each jurisdiction to plan for its share of the state’s housing need for people of all income levels. The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) is the process by which each community is assigned its share of the housing need for an eight‐year period. This allocation consists of two steps. First, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) determines the total housing need for each region in the state. Second, as the Council of Governments for the San Luis Obispo region, it is the responsibility of SLOCOG to distribute this need to local governments.  

The RHNA identifies each jurisdiction’s responsibility for planning for housing, and is divided into four income categories - very low, low, moderate and above moderate - that encompass all levels of housing affordability. Once it receives its RHNA, each local government must update the Housing Element of its General Plan to show how it plans to meet the housing needs in its community.

Regional Housing Needs Allocation 6th Housing Element Cycle: 2020 to 2028

The RHNA process for the sixth housing element cycle was prepared in conjunction with the development of the RTP. It was conducted with input and recommendations from the 2019 RHNA Working Team, Technical Transportation Advisory Committee (TTAC), Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC), SLOCOG Board of Directors, and the public.



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