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 Need 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.
The Relationship of RHNA and the Sustainable Communities Strategy
As a result of the passage of Senate Bill 375 (Steinberg, 2008), the RHNA must be consistent with the development pattern included in the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) of the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). SB 375 requires that each region plan for future housing needs and complementary land uses, which in turn must be supported by a transportation investment strategy, with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light‐duty trucks. SLOCOG has recently begun the process of updating the 2010 RTP/PSCS with the new 2014 RTP/SCS. For more information on SLOCOG's RTP and SCS, please click here.