What is the RHNA?

The State of California, as part of the State Housing Law, sets a targeted number of housing units that each regional council of governments in California must plan for. This targeted housing number known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA, is updated every 8 years and is further divided amongst individual cities and counties by the regional council of governments. RHNA is a representation of future housing needs for all income levels in a jurisdiction (city or unincorporated county) and is a requirement of California State Housing Law. Every jurisdiction must plan for its RHNA allocation in its Housing Element of its General Plan.

How will the RHNA impact the City of La Canada Flintridge?

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the organization tasked with developing a RHNA allocation plan for the Southern California region. SCAG is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization (MPO), which represents six counties and 191 cities, including the City of La Canada Flintridge.

It is important to recognize that the RHNA is a targeted housing number – Cities and counties do not have to build this number of units, but rather they are required by the state to plan for them and demonstrate that under the current land use and development standards, there is capacity to accommodate for this number of housing units. However, if a jurisdiction fails to demonstrate that they can accommodate their RHNA, it can result in the loss of local control and important funding resources.

For the RHNA cycle planning period of October 2021 through October 2029, the Southern California region received an allocation of 1.3 million units. That means that the State is requiring cities within Southern California to demonstrate that they can plan for and have the capacity to build up to 1.3 million new housing units over the next 8 years. For this 6th Cycle of the RHNA, La Canada Flintridge has received an allocation of 612 new housing units.