New CA Housing Goals Better Reflect Actual Need

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One of the primary challenges in addressing California’s decades-old housing affordability crisis is the ridiculously low number of new units that the state in the past has set as its goals for building more housing. So, the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) latest estimates released this week as part of its Statewide Housing Plan brought some welcome news. The plan estimates the state must create 2.5 million new housing units by 2031, more than double the 1.2 million included in the last plan or over 200,000 more units annually than is currently being permitted.

Combined with game-changing housing reforms the Bay Area Council secured in 2018 under legislation (SB 828, Wiener) we sponsored, there is greater pressure than ever before on the state and cities to meet their housing obligations. Los Angeles just got a taste of those reforms when HCD recently rejected the city’s housing plan, telling the city it must increase its housing goal by 255,000 new units or face losing critical state affordable housing funding. SB 828 reformed the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) to bring local housing goals in line with demand and hold cities accountable for actually meeting those numbers. For questions or to engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Policy Manager Kelli Fallon.

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