The recommended methodology is a result of discussions over several meetings this past year with the local planning and community development divisions throughout Santa Barbara County as well as State HCD. The methodology proposes a two-step process and is representative of Santa Barbara County’s distinct subregions – North County and South Coast – to allow for an intentional focus on the county’s respective, subregional jobs-housing imbalance. It allocates 60 percent of the region’s RHNA housing unit determination to South Coast where 60 percent of the region’s jobs exist.
The first step to the methodology will factor existing and forecasted jobs to address the current jobs-housing imbalance while also acknowledging that future conditions will shift over time. The second step allocates housing units to each respective local jurisdiction giving equal weight to social equity considerations of communities experiencing overcrowding and cost burden. Cost burden and overcrowding are both defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and are indicated by households expending more than 30 percent of income on housing for cost burden, and households with more than one person per room, including a living room, for overcrowding. The methodology allocates housing units to local jurisdictions based on their relative proportion of cost burdened and overcrowded households.
New to the 6th RHNA cycle is the implementation of Senate Bill 828 (SB 828) which resulted in a significant increase in the number of housing units that the region’s local governments must plan to accommodate adding overcrowding, cost burden and changing the method for calculating vacancy rate in determining the regions housing needs.
Following the discussion at the SBCAG Board of Directors, the draft methodology will be submitted to the California Department of HCD for its approval and return to the SBCAG Board of Directors for adoption, which could occur by March 2021.
The public can view the RHNA Methodology staff report, listed as Item 8, on the December 17 SBCAG Board agenda.
For more detailed information, please visit SBCAG'S RHNA webpage.
WHAT IS RHNA?
RHNA is the State’s fair share housing law. It requires local governments to plan for a minimum number of housing units across four income groups. The State’s Housing and Community Development department is responsible for determining each region’s need. Regional agencies, such as SBCAG, are responsible for developing a methodology to allocate the housing units to local governments. Finally, each local government, by updating its Housing Element, accommodates its share of housing need. The 6th cycle covers the 2023-2031 period. More information can be found on HCD’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation and Housing Elements webpage.