Irvine Assigned 22,803 Residential Units – How Should We Plan For It?


The State is requiring Irvine to plan for 22,803 additional housing units over the next eight-year period. This is the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (“RHNA” pronounced “reena”) allocation handed down to Irvine for its “fair share” to address Orange County’s housing needs. The city was assigned a RHNA of 12,149 units in the last cycle. In order to meet all levels of affordability RHNA assigns housing production targets across households at very-low, low, moderate, and above moderate income levels. The RHNA number is a key driver for the city’s future development and growth strategy.

For general reference, please see the Planning Area Map and the Dwelling Unit Chart.

Planning Area Tract Map



Dwelling Unit Chart

Residential DU Data 10.16.2019 (1)


The above data shows the number of existing dwelling units and the number of remaining dwelling units that have been approved but have yet to be built. Overall, 82% of the prior maximum number of approved and zoned dwelling units have already been built. Only 18% were left to be built prior to this new RHNA assignment.

As this unfolds, strategies for increasing the housing supply and infrastructure needed to reach these much higher RHNA numbers will be discussed in public meetings with plenty of opportunity for community engagement. City Council action will be required.

What are your thoughts on how the city can meet the state housing goals?

  • Is it possible to preserve and protect the Irvine village character in the residential core neighborhoods that were designed to be community villages with balanced amenities?
  • What additional city services and resources are needed to support the added RHNA households?
  • How will the new homes affect the capacity of the street system to handle traffic?
  • What incentives might the city offer to developers to offset the cost of providing affordable housing?