Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)

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.


Resources from the sixth housing element cycle RNHA process include:

RHNA Distribution Methodology Public Review and Comment

The California Department of Housing and Community Development finalized its Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation determination at 10,810 units for the 10-year projection cycle for the San Luis Obispo region and the SLOCOG Board voted unanimously to accept this projection.  

Staff hosted three meetings with the 2019 RHNA Working Team to develop and review materials and distribution scenarios this past Fall.  Staff prepared and presented nine methodologies for housing unit distribution for review by the SLOCOG Board, Citizens’ Transportation Advisory Committee, Technical Transportation Advisory Committee, a RHNA Working Team, and the RTP Stakeholder Group in November and December.  The SLOCOG Board, CTAC, and TTAC all unanimously supported the RHNA Working Team recommendation for Scenario 5 distribution methodology which uses a 75% weighting factor toward employment and removes from the distribution formula the employees of four statewide-unique employers.

RHNA Background

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.

2013 Regional Housing Needs Plan

The Relationship of RHNA and the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS)

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 preparing the new 2019 RTP. For more information on SLOCOG's RTP and SCS, please click here.


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