RHNA How California is Solving its Housing Crisis

RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Assessment) is what California is using to solve the state’s housing crisis.  SANDAG with information supplied by the City of San Diego along with the other 18 jurisdictions that make up San Diego County, is the governing agency tasked with developing the methodology and allocation of our RHNA assessment for all jurisdictions within the County.  

How does SANDAG determine our Community Planning Area’s share of new housing to take on? As we update our Community Plans and finalize the Morena Specific Plan, we’ll need to know exactly how much and what type of housing to plan for.  One of the problems is that our Total RHNA assessments for new housing we need to plan for are intermingled with all of the City of San Diego’s 52 Plan areas as SANDAG reports our numbers as one juridiction.   88,096 units represent the entire City of San Diego and hasn’t been distributed evenly to the 52 Plan Areas.  In fact, I’ve confirmed with the city’s senior planner over the Morena Corridor,  that we have not been given any specific RHNA allocation for our Community Plans of Clairemont and Linda Vista. 

This may partially explain why the city planning department removed Land Use and Zoning from Clairemont’s Planning Group subcommittee working on the Morena Specific Plan and pushed it into the Clairemont Community Plan Update. It also may explain why city planners inserted the TOD Enhancement Program into the Linda Vista portion of the Morena Specific Plan without discussing it first with the community or the Linda Vista subcommittee for the Morena Specific Plan. 

SANDAG’s population growth estimates, a part of the methodology for RHNA allocation purposes, is less important than their insistence on using future growth models including their “Smart Growth” maps, “TOD” and “City of Villages” concepts in their mandatory annual reporting to HCD an available inventory of existing infill and vacant lots to reach RHNA Allocations.

So what? The problem not having specific RHNA numbers comes when the 52 Plan Areas want to update their plans and they have no specific numbers to work with like our incorporated partners do in the rest of the county such as La Mesa or Solana Beach.  What SANDAG is clearly after is as much housing allowance as possible, consequently the Plan Areas that have Transit Hubs or identified Transit Oriented Areas are targeted for shouldering most of our future housing needs to meet the demands of SANDAG’s population growth models.

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