average home price 2½ times above the national average
Assess Regional Housing Needs
From SCAG President BILL JAHN:
“Your voice is important
in determining local housing need.”
No community is immune from the safety, health and economic
consequences of the housing crisis.
Across California, the average home price is nearly 2½
times above the national average, while the average rent is nearly 50% higher
than the rest of the country. More than 50% of households spend more than 30%
of their paychecks on housing costs.
While the Inland Empire (IE) is slightly better-off
than our coastal neighbors, most of our residents are on the outside looking in
when it comes to buying or renting a home that meets their needs. According to
the California Association of Realtors,
just 42% of households in the IE can afford to purchase a median-priced home.
That compares to a U.S. average of 55%. Rental costs, meanwhile, are rising at
nearly double the average rate nationally.
Let’s be clear! This is about more than simply an affordable roof over our heads.
Access to housing impacts our ability to attract businesses and create jobs. Higher
housing costs limit what families can spend on food, clothing, healthcare and
other essentials. That, in turn, hurts sales tax revenues and the ability of
municipalities to fund essential services. Public safety, code enforcement and
even our schools feel the strain when housing demand overpowers supplies.
All of which brings us to RHNA – the Regional Housing Needs Assessment – the
process by which the state determines immediate and future housing needs.
California requires that every city and county adequately plan to ensure that
adequate housing is available for households across every income level – and RHNA is the mechanism for making that
The process starts with public outreach and,
eventually, a regional needs assessment sent down by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).
Later this month, HCD will provide the Southern
California Association of Governments (SCAG) and other regional planning
organizations across the state with an assigned total for their jurisdictions
as part of the next eight-year RHNA cycle, which runs from October 2021 through
At this point, we don’t know what that number
will be for the six counties that comprise SCAG. In June 2019, our Regional
Council has proposed a regional need of 430,289 new units.
Whatever that number winds up being, it is SCAG’s legal responsibility to then
allocate need on an individual community basis to cities and unincorporated
areas within its jurisdiction. Those local allocations can be based on a
variety of factors, including population, access to transit, income levels and
Over the past several months, SCAG has offered
three different options for determining local need, and is asking for your help
in determining which makes the most sense.
Tuesday, August 20, SCAG produced a webcast of the public
hearing taken at SCAG Headquarters, located in Los Angeles: https://scag.zoom.us/j/864778877
This hearing also provided
videoconferencing at SCAG’s regional offices, including the SBCTA location. Due
to limited space available, a RSVP by email was requested at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A series of public hearings is scheduled this
month, including one here in the IE on Tuesday, August 27, at the San
Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) board room, 1170 W. Third
St. The hearing will be held from 6:00 until 8:00 P.M.
In addition to the hearings, SCAG is encouraging
residents and stakeholders to submit written comments to: email@example.com
or by U.S. mail to: Southern California Association of
Attention: RHNA, 900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1700,
Los Angeles, CA 90017.
Comments will be accepted until 11:59 P.M. Friday,
Your input is extremely
important! SCAG is
committed to settling on the fairest methodology possible, and doing so, in an
open and transparent process. More important, we’re taking the lead in
addressing a housing crisis that stands as the single biggest threat to our
quality of life here in the Inland Empire (IE) and throughout California.
More information about the three options by visiting: http://www.scag.ca.gov/housing
As well as, questions about the public hearings, please
Edited by E T