What is RHNA?
The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is mandated by State Housing Law as part of the periodic process of updating local housing elements of the General Plan. RHNA quantifies the need for housing within each jurisdiction during specified planning periods. SCAG is in the process of developing the 6th cycle RHNA allocation plan which will cover the planning period October 2021 through October 2029.
6th Cycle Housing Element Adoption
Sixth cycle housing elements are due to HCD by October 15, 2021. Jurisdictions are to submit housing elements directly to HCD through their submittal process — HCD is required to provide comments on submitted draft housing elements within 60 days of submittal. To ensure adequate time for HCD review and any needed changes, it is recommended that jurisdictions submit their draft housing elements well in advance of the 60 days prior to the October deadline.
Jurisdictions that do not have an adopted and compliant housing element by the October deadline may be ineligible to apply for local funding opportunities, including the Permanent Local Housing Allocation/Senate Bill 2 grant anticipated in December 2021. View HCD’s Housing Element Compliance Fact Sheet detailing consequences of housing element compliance and non-compliance, accountability and enforcement.
To comply with state housing law, jurisdictions within California must update their housing element every eight (8) years. In collaboration with the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), SCAG has developed a variety of resources to assist local jurisdictions. These data are available as complete reports as well as in raw format. HCD has certified the local housing data and ADU Affordability Analyses for local use in the housing element.
SCAG was awarded $47 million in Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) funding from Assembly Bill (AB) 101 to provide housing planning and process improvement services to cities and counties.
SCAG has created a Partnership and Outreach Program that aims to align investment in housing planning and production with the sixth cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). SCAG’s partnerships and outreach program is designed to build longer term capacity to address housing issues by strengthening regional and subregional partnerships, collaborations and funding models throughout the region, and establishing regional/subregional vision as basis for future funding.
The Affordable Housing & Sustainable Communities program (AHSC), administered by the California Strategic Growth Council, allows SCAG to partner with local agencies who are responsible for housing and land use and decisions on related activities, whereby SCAG procures subject matter consultants and manages the contracts. AHSC provides grants and affordable housing loans to projects that provide compact transit-oriented development and related infrastructure that can reduce these greenhouse gas emissions.
Eligible categories for housing applications include implementing ADU programs, Housing Sustainability Districts, Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones, and Housing Supportive Tax Increment Financing Districts, and Streamlining housing permitting, parking reduction strategies, housing-related specific plans and other pro-housing policies.
Changes in state law in recent years have increased the potential for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to support increased housing supply. New laws have addressed barriers to their implementation at scale, for example: setting development criteria for ADUs, streamlined processing, and limiting impact fees.
HCD Housing Planning Hub
HCD launches the Housing Planning Hub Site, a repository of statewide and regional toolkits, factsheets and guidance on a variety of housing policy areas with a specific focus on priority policy areas. The hub includes interactive maps, model ordinances resources, toolkits, checklists and online trainings.