Housing Element Site Selection (HESS) Tool

A newly constructed housing development.

The Housing Element Site Selection (HESS) Tool is a web-based mapping tool developed by ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to guide Bay Area local jurisdictions in identifying potential sites for new housing that align with state Housing Element requirements and support regional and local priorities, including equity, growth, and climate goals.

HESS assists local jurisdictions in:

  • Creating a site Inventory
  • Meeting the jurisdiction’s Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA)
  • Affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH)

The tool includes:

  • Interactive maps
  • Data tables
  • Reports

The tool was developed to assist local jurisdictions with development of their Housing Element site inventory, helping to support compliance with state requirements and to lift up best practices at the regional scale. It is intended to save jurisdictions time and resources by streamlining the data collection process and auto-populating sections of the Site Inventory Form required by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).