Irvine Is Appealing Its Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)

The City of Irvine has appealed its share of regional housing proposed to be allocated under the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) adopted by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). The city is requesting a reduction of 8,259 total units from the final draft RHNA allocation of 23,554.

SCAG is a metropolitan planning organization that is required by the state housing law to assign the RHNA housing unit allocations to its member city and county jurisdictions.

RHNA, a requirement under State Housing Law, is a process of allocating the housing units needed to address future housing and affordable housing needs and to accommodate projected household growth at all income levels during the housing element planning period (8 years). As part of the RHNA process each city and county received a draft allocation.

The appeal filing period is now closed and there is a 45-day comment period and hearings process. The SCAG appeals board will make their decision and inform the city by February/March 2021.

Why is RHNA so Important?

RHNA provides cities with a minimum number of new homes across all income levels that must be planned for in their General Plan. Each city or county must develop a Housing Element as part of its General Plan. The Housing Element is the city blueprint to show how it will meet its community’s housing needs. The Housing Element must include sites zoned for enough capacity to meet the RHNA goals.

In addition to filing a RHNA appeal for their own city – Irvine, Newport Beach and Yorba Linda also submitted appeals on the RHNA allocation housing number assigned to the city of Santa Ana. The appeals cite outdated information and flawed methodology factoring into Santa Ana receiving a lower share of the regional housing allocation than other jurisdictions.

To see a complete list of the appeals filed click here