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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 is scheduled to release the 6th Cycle RHNA Plan in early 2022 with adoption scheduled for summer 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.).