On March 17, 2022, Michael Tilden, the Acting California State Auditor, released a report titled “Regional Housing Needs Assessments” that details problems in how California Regional Housing Needs Assessments (RHNA) numbers are determined. The report can be found here.
An activist for CALE sent the following email:
From: Maria Pavlou Kalban
Date: March 21, 2022
I wanted to share some good news with everyone. CALE, a statewide group of local electeds, has for two years worked tirelessly to get an audit made on the Regional Housing Needs Assessment -RHNA numbers. These are the housing numbers the State demands cities to build. CALE requested the audit because so many cities questioned the accuracy of the numbers. It took two years and lots of hard work and lots of conversations with legislators to finally be granted an audit. Keep in mind, this is a state agency auditing another state agency.
The audit results were released last week and they found irregularities with the data. The audit criticized the method for data collecting and questioned the accuracy of the numbers. This is quite a breakthrough. This is just the beginning. There is still a lot of work to be done but CALE did amazing work to force the State to look at these numbers. I just wanted all of you to be aware of this great effort by CALE, Julie Testa, Susan Candell and other CALE members along with the Embarcadero Institute . We are very excited by their successful effort!!
WHAT is RHNA?For those unsure of what RHNA numbers are. RHNA-regional housing needs assessment- are the housing numbers the state tells us we need to build in each region during a specific time frame. RHNA numbers have been questioned by cities because recently there have been incredible jumps in what each region has to build. Many cities felt they could never reach those numbers. The State now threatens cities with major monetary penalties if the RHNA numbers aren’t met. In a recent United Neighbors presentation we showed you how the US government estimated 3.8M housing units were needed countrywide to satisfy demand while California has come up with a ridiculous 3.5M units just in California! The governor has slowly walked away from those numbers but many in the legislature still use them to justify passing laws demanding more and more housing. And this year, are introducing more bills that would penalize cities for not meeting those numbers. Refer to our last presentation on our website for more information on how RHNA works.
We can’t change the rhetoric coming out of Sacramento alone. With groups like CALE working together we have a better chance to bring sanity back to Sacramento. Each of our groups play an important part in making changes happen in Sacramento.
A March 23, 2022 Letter to the Editor in The Independent newspaper discussed how this issue has local effects: