Communities & Environment > Planning > Housing > Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) > Overview

Regional Housing Need Allocation

State law recognizes the vital role local governments play in the supply and affordability of housing. Each local government in California is required to adopt a Housing Element as part of its General Plan that shows how the community plans to meet the existing and projected housing needs of people at all income levels.

The Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) is the state-mandated process to identify the total number of housing units (by affordability level) that each jurisdiction must accommodate in its Housing Element. As part of this process, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) identifies the total housing need for the San Francisco Bay Area for an eight-year period (in the current cycle, from 2015 to 2023). ABAG must then develop a methodology to distribute this need to local governments in a manner that is consistent with the development pattern included in the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). Once a local government has received its final RHNA, it must revise its Housing Element to show how it plans to accommodate its portion of the region's housing need.

As part of the RHNA process, local jurisdictions within a county have the opportunity to form a subregion to develop their own methodology and carry out their own allocation process. For the 2015–2023 RHNA, subregions were formed in Napa, San Mateo, and Solano Counties.

For the Bay Area the "projection period" or the time period for which the Regional Housing Need is calculated is January 1, 2014 – October 31, 2022. The "planning period" for the Bay Area, or the time frame between the due date for one housing element and the due date for the next housing element, is January 31, 2015 – January 31, 2023. For more information on the projection or planning periods please refer to this link.