SANTA ANA, Calif. – Today the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) ruled in favor of the City of Santa Ana’s housing need allocation, a decision that is a victory for the development of fair housing throughout Orange County.
SCAG’s Regional Housing Need Assessment (RHNA) process determines how much housing should be built within each city from October 2021 through October 2029 to address local and regional needs. The City of Santa Ana, which is one of the few in California that has met and exceeded its existing RHNA allocation in all income categories, is required to identify land zoned to accommodate an additional 3,087 housing units.
Four Orange County cities – Garden Grove, Irvine, Yorba Linda, and Newport Beach – appealed that allocation, saying that Santa Ana should be required to build more housing. The SCAG RHNA Appeals Board voted unanimously to deny all four appeals.
“Santa Ana will continue to do the right thing by building much-needed affordable housing and supporting access to a variety of residential options and for people of all income levels,” Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento said. “However, today’s decision signals that Santa Ana cannot solve the housing crisis alone, and that every Orange County city must do its part.”
By this action, the RHNA Appeals Board affirmed that Santa Ana’s Draft RNHA number was consistent with SCAG RHNA methodology approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and statutory housing objectives. This methodology includes the inclusion of the disadvantaged communities (DAC) process, whereby housing units are reallocated from cities such as Santa Ana that are designated as “disadvantaged communities” to cities with high-opportunity areas. This helps meet the goal of affirmatively furthering fair housing by increasing access to high-opportunity areas.