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Regional Housing Needs Plan


Below is a collection of links providing resources that may be helpful to jurisdictions updating their Housing Elements.

Regional Housing Needs Plan Allocation Process/Methodology

  1. What is RHNA? Housing Southern California and RHNA Guidebook
    Source: Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

    Content: Discusses and defines what the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) is and its role as it relates to growth issues and housing need. The purpose of a RHNA is to quantify the need for housing within each jurisdiction, whereby the communities then plan for and decide how they will address this need through the process of completing the Housing Element for their respective General Plans. As mandated by state law the RHNA is completed by each region and consists of existing housing need and future housing need. This resource is a good example and provides a general understanding of the regional housing allocation process. The RHNA Guidebook discusses the process (to date) for the completion of a regional housing needs plan for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) region. It is meant as a tool to aid local officials and planners who will assist in the preparation and completion of the RHNA.

State Laws

  1. Summary of Housing Element Law
    Source: Parsons; Jeff Goldman (916) 483-0483
    Content: Discusses the specific government law and code sections for the proper completion of housing elements. This document includes the requirements of Housing Element Contents (a), (b), and (c) (Section 65583), Alternative Methods for Identifying Adequate Sites (Section 65583.1), and the Review of Housing Element (Section 65588).

  2. 2000 Housing Related Legislation
    Content: This website provides a list of the chaptered bills that were of interest to the Department of Housing and Community Development during the 2000 legislative year. Bills included are in the areas of building standards, fair housing, farmworker housing, homeless, housing finance, housing elements, redevelopment, senior housing, smart growth, tax credits, and mobile home residency law. Each chaptered bill is documented by name, effective date, and a brief summary of the legislation.

Housing Programs and Implementation Resources

  1. Local Housing Element Assistance Project (LHEAP) Handbook; Blueprint for Bay Area Housing
    Content: This handbook covers all the steps for the reviewing, preparing, revising, and evaluation of a housing element. It was written specifically to address local citizens, planners, housing professionals, city and county officials, and anyone else who has an interest in the local housing needs and problems of the Bay Area. Policy and program suggestions are made throughout.

  2. Redevelopment Housing Activities in California – Uses of Housing Funds; Agency Programs and Projects
    Source: Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) – Division of Housing Policy Development
    Content: Agencies were asked to “briefly describe one outstanding project, cooperative or partnership financing or development arrangement, or other innovative practice or program used to increase or improve the affordable housing stock” during the 96-97 fiscal year – the responses are included within this document. Each program or project is summarized by a description, the agencies role, and a brief history.

  3. Housing Programs and Housing Information From the Six County SACOG Region – Specific City and County Websites
    Content: These City and County websites provide on-line information about the localities specific housing programs and general housing information, as well as useful information regarding the preparation of a Housing Element.

  4. Designing Programs That Work – Housing Elements
    Source: Association of Bay Area Governments
    Content: This document briefly discusses how local policies and programs, in relation to housing element revisions, can be successful in allowing and encouraging community action.

  5. Redevelopment Information Sources
    Content: This website provides a bibliography of housing redevelopment resources including; reviews, studies, programs and organization that deal with affordable housing issues. It is a good general guide for current literature on housing and redevelopment.

  6. Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency
    Content: This website describes SHRA’s role in the City and County of Sacramento in providing for redevelopment of blighted neighborhoods, access to housing for low-income residents, and creating opportunities for employment and self sufficiency. Links on their homepage to “housing assistance programs,” and “community development” are useful in providing information about housing programs and related issues.

  7. Development Standards Case Studies
    Source: Association of Bay Area Governments
    Content: This is a reference document that describes specific programs for affordable housing projects that have occurred in the past. It provides a description of the project, the agency involved, and a contact person. Programs include: multi-generational developments serving very-low income families, technical assistance for providing affordable housing, and redevelopment projects.

  8. Farmworker Housing Grant Application Process
    Content: The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), under the authority of the Health and Safety Code, established the Farmworker Housing Grant Program (“FWHG” Program) in order to provide grant monies for their construction or rehabilitation of housing for agricultural employees and their families. This website explains the program’s objectives, activities, and eligibility criteria for the submittal of a farmworker grant application package. It also provides recommendations on the application process and review requirements. Additionally, this site is useful in describing farmworker housing needs as a special needs group within the Housing Element.

  9. Housing Rehabilitation
    Source: Community Development Block Grant Program: Grant Management Manual – 9/2000; Chapter 16
    Content: The rehabilitation of housing is the most frequently funded activity in the California Community Development Block Grant Program (“CDBG” Program). This document includes necessary information and sample documents for persons who would like to implement a housing rehabilitation program. Topics include: program guidelines, project documentation, qualifications for the CDBG program, and references on where to go for additional assistance. Additionally, this document is an excellent resource in providing general transferable concepts and information across jurisdictional issues.

  10. Rehabilitation
    Source: Association of Bay Area Governments
    Content: This document discusses the option of rehabilitation when providing affordable housing. It provides information about how to get started, funding sources, benefits, and keys to a successful program. Communities with a large older housing stock are recommended to look into rehabilitation as a cost-effective way to provide affordable housing.

  11. HCD Loans and Grants – May 18, 2001
    Content: This website provides a table of the Funds Available Calendar of current Notice of Funding Availability for HCD’s loan and grant programs. It includes due dates for applications, award dates, and other related information. Other links are also available on this site to similar programs, including HCD’s Loan and Grant Program Directory.

  12. Clearinghouse for Affordable Housing and Community Development Finance
    Content: This website is a resource database provided by HCD that catalogs over 200 housing programs, government, private lenders, and foundation grants. Each program is listed by name and identifies the goals, type of funding, and application information needed. This database is updated monthly.

  13. Community Development Block Grant Program – Annual Report, Fiscal Year 1999/00
    Source: or Julie Bornstein, Director/Department of Housing and Community Development
    Content: This annual report provides information regarding CDBG monies, allocation numbers from HCD, and funding activities. Specifically this document discusses the use of specific allocated funds, includes a summary of non-housing accomplishments, provides state objectives for awards, and discusses compliance with civil rights laws and fair housing regulations. Additionally, this document is a good source in describing what cities are doing and have done with CDBG monies.

  14. Loan and Grant Program Directory – Department of Housing and Community Development
    Content: This document is a directory of all HCD loan and grant programs that support the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable housing, child care facilities, shelters for the homeless, public infrastructure/facilities, and jobs for lower income workers. For each program the directory provides a purpose, assistance type, definition of terms, eligible activities, eligible applicants, application procedures, and a contact person and/or organization with phone number. Nine new programs that were enacted in the Fiscal 2000-2001 State Budget or in other bills in the 2000 session of the Legislature are included. In addition, five other existing HCD programs that are mentioned in the introduction received significant new funding in the State Budget.

  15. Community Development Investments – 2000 Directory
    Content: This directory profiles community development corporations in which bank holding companies and state-chartered banks have invested. Each profile includes information on the amount of initial capital invested by an institution, a description of the community development projects and activities undertaken or planned, and contact person who can provide additional information.

  16. Building Communities and New Markets for the New Century (1998 Consolidated Report)
    Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) @ 1-800-245-2691
    Content: This is an informative booklet that one; describes the role of HUD and how they operate to provide resources directly to local communities, and two; a description of programs and funding offered to serve low-income housing needs, economic opportunities to self-sufficiency, homeownership, and fair housing initiatives. (75 pages)

  17. California Housing Financing Agency
    Content: This site provides information on housing financing, income limits, rental housing programs, homeownership, and special programs. CHFA’s headquarters are located in Sacramento.

  18. California Reinvestment Committee
    Content: This committee is a coalition of agencies that advocate for increased access to credit for low-income communities.
Non-Profit Housing Resources
  1. Mercy Housing System
    Source: or call Stanley Keasling, Executive Director at (916) 414-4490
    Content: This site provides information about Mercy Housing and their role in providing, developing, operating, and financing quality affordable housing. Specifically, Mercy Housing serves low-income families and special needs groups. This site also provides helpful links to other related affordable housing sites and funding sources.

  2. California Housing Partnership Corporation
    Source: http:/
    Content: CHPC is a non-profit housing consulting and training organization. CHPC specializes in the preservation of federally assisted housing, multi-family financial consulting, asset and property management for affordable housing, housing policy, and training and resource material. Links on the website include: at risk data, preservation information, tax credits, property/asset management, and financial consulting services.
  3. Rural California Housing Corporation (RCHC)
    Content: The Rural California Housing Corporation seeks to improve the living conditions of low-income people by providing and developing affordable housing. RCHC serves all counties inthe SACOG region: El Dorado, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, and Yuba. RCHC is also affiliated with Mercy Housing System.

  4. Community Housing Opportunities Corporation
    Content: CHOC is a non-profit affordable housing organization that provides housing related services to low-income community members through contracts with other community-based non-profit organizations and local governments. CHOC is based in Davis, California and has serviced West Sacramento, Winters, and Redding with home ownership programs.

  5. Eden Housing, Inc.
    Content: Eden Housing, Inc. is based in Hayward, California and serves low- and moderate- income families, seniors, people living with physical, developmental disabilities or mental illness, homeless, and homeowners. Their affordable housing projects include rental apartments, single-family ownerships, cooperatives, and supportive living environments. Through this website one can contact Eden Housing for more information.

  6. Sacramento Mutual Housing Association
    Content: SMHA works to develop and operate affordable housing for Sacramento’s low-income communities. Their mutual housing communities are designed and developed on vacant in-fill lots and properties that have been targeted for acquisition and rehabilitation.

  7. Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) – Housing Program
    Content: The RCAC Housing Services has three areas of emphasis to provide affordable housing: farm worker housing, self-help housing and Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs). Additionally, the housing division has begun working with special projects involving the combination of housing with businesses, social services, health care and childcare.

  8. Volunteers of America - Housing
    Content: Volunteers of America is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of quality, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly. This website can link you to local branches and resources.

  9. El Dorado County Habitat For Humanity
    Content: Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that help fund and build affordable housing in partnership with low-income families. This website is affiliated with the El Dorado County branch of HFH, however HFH is in many locations and jurisdictions which can provide assistance for affordable housing needs.

  10. The Enterprise Foundation and Network
    Content: The Enterprise Foundation is a national non-profit housing and community development organization working with other community-based non-profit organizations and public housing authorities to provide low-income people with affordable housing. Through their website community-based organizations can search for programs, services, and funding sources to improve the quality of life for low-income people in their community.

  11. The National Housing Trust
    Content: The National Housing Trust is a non-profit organization that helps to save multi-family properties at risk of converting to market rate housing. Their website provides links to information about public policy, legislation, technical assistance, and the data clearinghouse, as well as predevelopment loan funds.

  12. Bridge Housing Corporation
    Content: This website describes the beginnings of BRIDGE and their role in the Bay Area and beyond of providing affordable homes primarily for families earning $18,000 to $35,000 annually. BRIDGE has expanded into five additional non-profit, public benefit subsidiaries that help a diverse range of groups with affordable housing.

  13. The Housing Partnership Network
    Content: This website is the homepage of The Housing Partnership Network. HPN works to develop and preserve affordable housing, while providing predevelopment and acquisition loans. Links to single-family preservation projects and their national policy forum in Washington are available.
Housing Needs Assessment
  1. How Much Housing Do We Need?
    Source: Association of Bay Area Governments This document stresses the importance of the assessment of a community’s need for housing when conducting a housing element update. Information provided within this document includes discussions about the need for housing both locally and regionally, existing housing shortages and related issues, the need for housing to meet future demands created by population growth, and the need to create affordable housing.

  2. Using Data Effectively – Housing Elements
    Source: Association of Bay Area Governments
    Content: This document discusses the importance of accurate and relevant data when revising a housing element. It provides advice and suggestions for data collection and use. For example some suggestions include; use several sources, update old data, and take a critical view of housing data and projections.

  3. Division of Housing Policy Development (HPD) and The Housing Resource Center
    Content: Housing Policy Development is a division of HCD and it is their mission to, “administer, develop, and advocate policies and laws to further housing and community development.” This website explains the role of HPD and provides links to technical assistance needs, state housing planning, and state plans and reports, as well as federal plans and reports. Additionally, the Housing Resource Center is a part of the Housing Policy Division and provides the information and communications support necessary for the diverse program and policy activities.

  4. The State of California’s Housing Markets 1990-1997
    Content: This document reveals the lack of housing affordability in California as it relates to problems with the housing supply. This site also discusses the Statewide Housing Plan (SHP), which describes housing conditions in California since the 1990 Census. The report includes: demographic and income trends impacting housing, the issues of lagging housing production, residential overcrowding, and the loss of affordable federally subsidized housing stock.

  5. U.S. Census Bureau
    Source: and
    Content: The U.S. Census Bureau is a good resource for current population, economic, housing, and geographic data. The second site listed specifically covers poverty thresholds and other useful information about low-income status.

  6. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Content: This website is a good location for employment, inflation, and economic data - just link to your preferences via their homepage.

  7. Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) Program
    Content: This website provides information regarding data on housing overpayment and overcrowding.

  8. California Department of Finance
    Source:;; and
    Content: DOF provides financial and economic data, as well as statistical information on existing housing, housing characteristics, and housing related issues. Additionally, DOF provides publications and reports on housing and population trends (second and third website listed above).

  9. California Housing Law Project
    Content: This website provides over 40 links to resources on housing data and reports.

  10. Resource – Housing and Costs
    Source:;;;;;; and
    Content: These websites are useful to acquire information regarding land costs, housing costs, and land suitable for development.
Special Housing Needs
  1. Directory of National Homeless and Housing Organizations
    Content: This in an online directory of organizations that work on homeless and housing issues on a national level. The organization’s name, contact person, address, phone, fax, and e-mail are provided, with links to their websites as well.

  2. Directory of Homeless and Housing Advocacy Coalitions
    Content: This is an online directory of state and local organizations that work on homeless and housing issues. The organization’s name, respective city, contact person, address, phone, fax, and e-mail are provided.

  3. Blueprint for Action – National Resource Center for Supportive Housing and Home Modification
    Content: This document details the problems and concerns involved with the growing number of seniors and the need for home modifications. Topics include: barrier to home modifications, the unawareness of programs that can help, funding/resources, leadership and coalitions, and training/education. The report suggests recommendations for change at the nation, state, and community levels as well.

  4. Frail Elders and the Suburbs – National Resource Center for Supportive Housing and Home Modification
    Content: This article discusses the increasing number of elderly persons living in single-family homes in the suburbs and the special needs that they will require. Issues of home modifications, transportation, and elderly advocacy are covered throughout the article.

  5. Housing For Special Needs
    Content: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website has a link to publications; housing for special needs is one of those links. Publications on the link include (only a selection): “Assessment of the Loss of Housing for Non-Elderly People with Disabilities,” “Evaluation of Supportive Housing Programs for Persons With Disabilities,” “Housing Our Elders,” National Evaluation of the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA),” and “Assessment of American Indian Housing Needs and Programs.”

  6. California Care Network; Facilities Search
    Content: This website is a resource that allows one to search a specific geographical area for residential care facilities for the elderly, medical care facilities, mental health care facilities, in-home health/medical care facilities, adult day service centers, and home and community services. For each facility in the search area requested the database displays the name, address, contact person, phone number, facility number, license status, and capacity.

  7. California Department of Development Services (DDS)
    Content: DDS provides services to persons with developmental disabilities. Once you access this site click on “guides, resources, and reports,” that will link you to the affordable housing homepage, which then describes the programs and resources available for special needs and low-income housing.

Analysis of At-Risk Rental Housing

  1. California Notice Provisions for At Risk Properties
    Source: Janet Falk; California Housing Partnership Corporation
    Content: This document includes an overview of the notice provisions for at risk properties. Notice requirements, changes from previous law, who is covered, purpose of provisions, and option to make offer to purchase are all discussed within this document.

  2. Affordable Rental Housing At Risk of Conversion
    Source: California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD)
    Content: This document discusses the varying factors that affect the potential conversion of affordable units to market rate units as subsidy contracts or regulatory agreements expire such as, HUD and FmHA-Assisted housing and mortgage-revenue bond assisted properties. It includes a table (1997) of affordable projects and units at risk of conversion throughout California.

  3. Preservation of Affordable Multifamily Rental Units
    Content: This website provides information in relation to the new state preservation notice requirements of California Government Code Section 65863.10 and 65863.11 effective January 1, 2001. These government code sections relate to preservation notices and notices of opportunity to purchase with federally assisted housing projects. This site links to the specific language of each code section as amended by California Statutes 2000, Chapter 666 (Senate Bill 1572).

  4. Federally Assisted Multifamily Housing Inventory and Risk Assessment
    Source: California Housing Partnership Corporation; Janet Falk (415) 433-6804
    Content: This document is a resource that inventories federally assisted developments that have Section 8 rental assistance, were financed under federal mortgage programs with rental restrictions, or Section 236 or Farmer’s Home Section 515. CHPC also has analyzed all of the projects in the HUD database and assigned a level of risk that corresponds to the likelihood that the project will either terminate their Section 8 contracts or prepay the mortgage at the twenty year mark or later.

Constraints Analysis

  1. NIMBY Resources
    Content: This website provides information in the form of publications as resources and tools for addressing NIMBY concerns relating to affordable and/or high-density housing. Links are also set up to additional relevant sites concerning advocates for affordable housing.

  2. NIMBY Report; Smart Growth and Affordable Housing
    Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition
    Content: This document is a collection of articles concerning growth management and affordable housing issues. The backdrops for several of the articles are individual states and their respective concerns surrounding growth. Other articles include, “Neighborhood Advocacy for Affordable Housing in Smart Growth,” “How to Deal With Property Values Concerns,” “Six Steps to Getting Local Government Approvals,” and “Why Affordable Housing Does Not Lower Property Values.”

  3. Raising the Roof – Chapter 3: Land and Site Constraints
    Content: This chapter discusses concerns relating to location, use, reuse, density, and cost of land with a specific question in mind, “Does California have enough developable land to accommodate projected growth?” Sub-topics discussed within the chapter include raw land capacity, infill development capacity, and redevelopment agency housing activities.

Equal Housing Opportunities

  1. Fair Housing Planning Guide (Volume 1)
    Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity – contact your local HUD Office or go to for further information
    Content: This guide was written to provide State, State-funded, and Entitlement jurisdictions with a way to deal with applicable HUD regulations pertaining to fair housing. The contents within this guide provides information on how to prepare and conduct an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI), undertake activities to correct the identified impediments, and the types of documentary records to be maintained. The concepts in this document are useful to examine fair housing issues and policies, as well it is useful for any jurisdiction in acquiring information about housing equality and discrimination issues.

  2. Fair Housing Advocacy
    Content: This site provides information regarding the major barriers of housing people with mental disabilities and the opposing views related to “NIMBYism.” Included within this site are links to judicial decisions involving the federal Fair Housing Act, fair housing resources, and the American with Disabilities Act.

  3. The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
    Source: Non-Profit Housing Association
    Content: The Non-Profit Housing Association is an organization working toward providing services and resources for the advocacy of affordable housing. This website contains numerous affordable housing links to other organizations helping to provide housing for low-income persons. Links include: HCD, Center for Community Change, Eden Housing, Housing Assistance Council, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, to name a few.

  4. Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP)
    Content: This website contains information concerning fair housing policies and laws. Specifically, FHAP is a way that HUD provides State and local governments with support in providing equal opportunity for affordable housing. Grants are awarded and this website describes the application process, eligibility, and contact information.

  5. California Housing Law Project
    Content: This governmental agency provides advocacy and information services on state affordable housing legislation.

  6. National Low-Income Housing Coalition
    Content: This site contains updates on federal housing legislation, calls for action, housing resources, and a comprehensive list of web links to housing related sites.

  7. Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Database (Equal Housing Opportunity)
    Content: This database provides searches of mortgage loan data by geographic area, particular bank, bank market share, application records, and summary reports of national statistics. The database is ideal for acquiring detailed information on lending patterns and discriminatory lending patterns in local communities.

Employment Trends

  1. California Employment Development Department
    Content: EDD provides applicable information regarding the labor market, employment, and unemployment rates. Through links on this site one can access specific information and data by specific geographic region, city, or county.

Energy Conservation

  1. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network – Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development
    Source: U.S. Department of Energy website; and
    Content: This website provides information about key planning principles and resources for strategies to help communities with sustainable land use planning. Specifically, this site provides opportunities for energy conservation in the area of “green development.” Community green building programs, green building efforts, affordable housing and green building, and green building success stories are just a few of the links on the site. This site also provides additional resources and links to other “green” conscious organizations and programs.

Miscellaneous Information

  1. The California Planners Book of Lists – 2000; p. 47-57
    Source: Governor’s Office of Planning and Research website
    Content: This document provides information concerning the activities of different jurisdictions throughout California. Specifically, the 1999 survey results of city and county planning activities and the 1999 survey results of city and county CEQA activities are contained within the document from pages 47 thru 57. A book of lists is produced each year, and previous years or any other GOPR documents can be obtained by calling (916) 322-6312. The 2001 Book of Lists is currently being compiled and the current status of the list can be obtained at

  2. Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) – Strategic Plan, 2000-2003
    Content: This document includes goals and objectives designed to further public awareness of the need for an adequate and diverse supply of affordable public housing. It also emphasizes the need to establish housing as an ongoing state priority. Components of the plan include mission and vision statements, shared values and core principles, a description of HCD, an internal/external assessment, and the 2000-2003 goals summary.

  3. Examples of Materials and Outreach Strategies used in Housing Education Campaigns
    Content: This website provides resource information concerning a wide range of materials and outreach tools groups have used in the Bay Area to inform communities about affordable housing. The tools include a variety of print and audio-visual materials and several; government, public, and media outreach strategies.

Sacramento Area
Council of Governments
1415 L Street, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
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