Regional Housing Needs Assessment
California state law recognizes that local governments play a vital role in developing affordable housing. In 1969, the state mandated that all California cities, towns and counties must plan for the housing needs of our residents—regardless of income.
This state mandate is called the Housing Element and Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA. As part of RHNA, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, or HCD, determines the total number of new homes San Joaquin County needs to build—and how affordable those homes need to be—in order to meet the housing needs of people at all income levels. SJCOG, working with the Ad Hoc RHNA Committee, then distributes a share of the region’s housing need to each city, town and county in the region. Each local government must then update the Housing Element of its general plan to show the locations where housing can be built and the policies and strategies necessary to meet the community’s housing needs.
Visit the HCD website and get the full RHNA details.
SJCOG’s RHNA Responsibilities
SJCOG conducts the RHNA process every eight years as required by state law. The last completed cycle is from 2014-2023. The schedule of key milestones provides more details on how SJCOG is conducting the RHNA process for 2023-2031.
SJCOG’s primary RHNA responsibility is developing the methodology to allocate a portion of housing needs to each city, town, and county in the region. The RHNA is required to meet the five statutory objectives summarized below:
- Increase housing supply and mix of housing types, with the goal of improving housing affordability and equity in all cities and counties within the region.
- Promote infill development and socioeconomic equity; protect environmental and agricultural resources; encourage efficient development patterns; and achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets.
- Improve intra-regional jobs-to-housing relationship, including the balance between low-wage jobs and affordable housing units for low-wage workers in each jurisdiction.
- Balance disproportionate household income distributions (more high-income allocation to lower-income areas, and vice-versa)
- Affirmatively further fair housing
RHNA must also be consistent with the growth pattern from the region’s long-term land use and transportation plan otherwise known as Envision 2050