SoCal News: Debate over Housing Allocations Across the Region

Thursday, December 12, 2019

During the Southern California Association of Governments’ regional council meeting in November, the council heard public testimony on the allocation of regional housing needs assessment (RHNA). RHNA is a state mandate that ensures that General Plans update the local housing element to account for housing needs and projections. The RHNA process includes quantifying housing needs within each jurisdiction. SCAG is developing the 6th cycle of the RHNA allocation with input from the SCAG board, the RHNA subcommittee, and public comment. During the November general assembly, public comment overwhelmingly supported a substitute motion posed by Mayor Rusty Bailey from The City of Riverside. The motion proposed a different allocation strategy by prioritizing transit accessibility and jobs access as the methodology for choosing housing allocation locations.  This approach would allow for equitable housing access throughout the region. Reception to the proposal seemed to be favorable across the board, especially for disadvantaged community areas. The process (and further consideration of the substitute motion) is set to start back up in January with the RHNA subcommittee and will continue to be up for public comment alongside Connect SoCal. As transportation advocates, the costs of housing and access to safer streets are policy issues that are critically connected. Safe Routes Partnership will continue to stay engaged in this process early January. To learn more about RHNA and upcoming events related to RHNA, see the link here.