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Regional Housing Planning


For more information about this plan, contact Heather by email or phone: (831) 264-5086

Regional Housing Needs Allocation 

AMBAG prepares the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) plan for Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. The RHNA plan establishes the total number of housing units that each city and county must plan for within an eight-year planning period. The amount of housing a region must plan for is largely determined by the California Housing and Community Development Department’s (HCD) housing need assessment.

Since 1969, California has required that all local governments (cities and counties) adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. HCD oversees this process for all regions throughout the state. The statutory objectives of the RHNA process are to ensure jurisdictions have the capacity to (1) increase the housing supply and mix of housing types, affordability in an equitable manner; (2) promote infill development & socio-economic equity, protect environmental and agricultural resources and encourage efficient development patterns; (3) promote improved intraregional jobs-housing relationship including jobs housing fit; (4) balance disproportionate household income distributions; and (5) affirmatively furthering fair housing.

Under state law and HCD oversight, AMBAG must develop RHNA every eight years. This process begins with HCD providing a Regional Housing Needs Determination (RHND) for the Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. The regional determination includes an overall housing need number, as well as the percentage of units required in different income categories. AMBAG received its 6th Cycle Regional Housing Need Determination from HCD in August 2021. AMBAG released the Draft 6th Cycle RHNA Plan on April 22, 2022 for a 45-day public review period. The public review period closes on June 6, 2022. The Final 6th Cycle RHNA Plan is scheduled for adoption in fall 2022. 

Based on the adopted RHNA plan, each city and county must update its housing element to demonstrate how the jurisdiction will meet the expected growth in housing need over this planning period. Each jurisdiction’s housing element must be updated every eight years or every four years if the jurisdiction is not in compliance as mandated as part of California Government Code Sections 65580 et seq.).

Housing Elements

Since 1969, California has required that all local governments (cities and counties) adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. California’s local governments meet this requirement by adopting housing plans as part of their “general plan” (also required by the state). The California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) oversees and approves each local jurisdiction’s housing element. For more information on housing elements please visit:


AMBAG and the California Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) will host periodic webinars for local jurisdiction elected officials and staff to assist in the preparation of its 6th Cycle Housing Elements.

Introduction to 6th Cycle Housing Elements Webinar - March 29, 2022

AMBAG & the HCD staff held a webinar for local elected officials and local jurisdiction planning/housing staff in the AMBAG region on the 6th Cycle Housing Elements. This introductory webinar discussed the new state requirements for 6th Cycle Housing Elements and offer insight on how to prepare to start your 6th Cycle Housing Elements. To view a recording of this webinar please visit:

Future webinars will be held later in 2022.

For more information and additional housing element tools from HCD: