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Regional Housing Needs Assessment

The SANDAG Board of Directors adopted the final Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Plan by resolution for the fifth housing element cycle (January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2020) on October 28, 2011.

The RHNA allocates housing needs in four income categories (very low, low, moderate, and above moderate) for each jurisdiction that will be used in local housing elements.

State law requires that housing elements in the San Diego region be completed by April 27, 2013, eighteen months after the adoption of the 2050 RTP/SCS. Appendix E will be added to the RHNA Plan upon its adoption by the Board of Directors, which is expected to occur in January 2012.

A public hearing on the adoption of the Final Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) for the fifth housing element cycle (2013 – 2020) was held on Friday, October 28, 2011, in the SANDAG Board Room. The RHNA report included the proposed RHNA Methodology and Allocation, final RHNA Plan, and responses to comments received on the Draft RHNA Methodology and Allocation during the 60-day public review period.

On May 27, 2011, the SANDAG Board of Directors accepted for distribution and a 60-day public review period the Lower Income Capacity Option 2b as the Draft RHNA Methodology and Allocation. The Draft RHNA Methodology and Allocation can be found on page 15 of the Board report for Item 10 (Table 2b).

The public comment period for the Draft RHNA Methodology and Allocation is now closed. 

View RHNA comment letters received during the public comment period.

RHNA 2010-2020

On February 26, 2010, the SANDAG Board of Directors approved the final 2050 Regional Growth Forecast, for planning purposes for use in preparing the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), and the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) for the fifth housing element cycle.

The RHNA for the fifth housing element cycle is affected by Senate Bill (SB) 375 and SB 575 in several ways. The main differences for this cycle include the timing of the RHNA process, required coordination/consistency with the RTP and its SCS per SB 375, and the length of the housing element cycle. The fifth cycle for the San Diego region will cover an eight-year time period from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2020. Past housing elements covered a five-year cycle.

The RHNA will allocate the total number of housing units by income category – very low, low, moderate, and above moderate – that the 18 cities and county will need to plan for in their 2013 – 2020 housing elements.

The methodology for allocating the RHNA Determination (the overall housing need number for the region), which was provided to SANDAG by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in November 2010, is being developed by the Regional Planning Technical Working Group (TWG) and Regional Housing Working Group (RHWG) meeting jointly (see meeting agendas below).  The TWG is composed of the region’s planning/community development directors, and the RHWG includes representatives of local jurisdictions and people who represent for profit and nonprofit developers, housing advocates, tenants, apartment owners, the environmental community, and labor, among others.

The TWG and RHWG developed RHNA Methodology and Allocation options for consideration by the Regional Planning Committee (RPC) and SANDAG Board of Directors (Board). The RPC reviewed the options and on May 27, 2011, the Board accepted a Draft RHNA Methodology and Allocation for distribution and public comment for a 60-day public review period. On August 11, 2011, the TWG and RHWG met jointly and reviewed a Draft RHNA Plan, which included the Draft RHNA Methodology and Allocation as well as background material on the RHNA, and information regarding the consistency of RHNA with the SCS of the Draft 2050 RTP, and the 2050 Regional Growth Forecast.

The SANDAG Board is expected to approve the RHNA Plan on October 28, 2011, in conjunction with the adoption of the RTP and SCS.  Once approved by the Board the RHNA Plan will be sent to HCD for review.

Based on the scheduled adoption date of the 2050 RTP and its SCS on October 28, 2011, updates of local general plan housing elements for the fifth housing element cycle are required to be completed within 18 months by April 27, 2013. As noted above, updated housing elements will cover the time period of January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2020 (eight years).

The RHNA reports and materials related to the 2013-2020 (fifth) Housing Element cycle can be found on the individual Web pages of the TWG and RHWG, RPC, and Board, and by clicking on the links below:

RHWG - March 25, 2010
RPC - April 2, 2010 
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - June 10, 2010 and Handout
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - July 8, 2010
Board of Directors - July 9, 2010
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - September 9, 2010
RPC - September 10, 2010
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - December 9, 2010
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - January 13, 2011
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - February 10, 2011
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - February 24, 2011
RPC - March 4, 2011
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - March 10, 2011
RPC - April 1, 2011
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - April 14, 2011
RPC - May 6, 2011
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting - May 12, 2011
Board of Directors - May 13, 2011
Board of Directors - May 27, 2011
RHWG/TWG Joint Meeting – August 11, 2011 (Draft RHNA Plan)
Board of Directors - September 23, 2011 (Draft RHNA Plan - Item #10)
Board of Directors - October 28, 2011 (Final RHNA Plan and Responses to Comments - Item #9b)

RHNA 2005-2010

On February 25, 2005, the SANDAG Board of Directors approved the final RHNA for the 2005-2010 (fourth) housing element cycle. The 2005-2010 RHNA contained the total number of housing units (107,301) that the 18 cities and county were required to plan for in their housing elements. The RHNA also allocated each jurisdiction’s housing need into four income brackets: very low, low, moderate, and above moderate. The 2005-2010 RHNA Allocation is attahced to the resolution approved by the Board. 

Directors also approved incentives for jurisdictions that plan for and produce lower income housing and submit an annual report verifying compliance with their adopted housing elements and housing production by income category. These incentives are described in SANDAG Board Policy No. 033.

Two key RHNA reports related to the 2005-2010 (fourth) housing element cycle are listed below:

Board of Directors - January 14, 2005
Board of Directors - February 25, 2005

Project Manager

Coleen Clementson, Principal Planner
Phone: (619) 699-1944, Email:

For media inquiries, please contact the SANDAG Public Information Office at (619) 699-1950 or