RHNA - Regional Housing Need Allocation

Regional Housing Need Allocation 

MCAG is currently developing its 6th Cycle Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) Plan. RHNA is a state-mandated process to identify the number of housing units that each local government must accommodate in the Housing Element of its General Plan (Government Code §65584).

As part of the RHNA process, the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) allocates shares of statewide housing need, by income category, to councils/associations of government (COGs), and advises COGs in the preparation of the RHNA plan. MCAG, as the council of government for the Merced County region, is then required to develop a methodology to distribute the housing need to jurisdictions within the region and prepare a regional housing needs allocation plan that determines housing allocations specific to jurisdictions and furthers the objectives of Government Code Section 65584. Each local jurisdiction must then update the Housing Element of its General Plan in accordance with the community’s housing needs.

Senate Bill 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) strengthened the coordination between housing and transportation planning and amended the RHNA schedule and methodology to align with the development Regional Transportation Plans and Sustainable Communities Strategies (RTP/SCS). The development of MCAG’s 2022 RTP/SCS will happen in tandem with the 6th Cycle RHNA Plan. 

As the RHNA Plan is developed, draft and final documents will be posted on this web page.


Final Determination Letter

FinaL RHNA Plan

At MCAG's Governing Board meeting on November 17, 2022, the final RHNA Plan was adopted by resolution.  After receiving approval and certification from HCD that the methodology furthers the five RHNA objectives, MCAG released the draft Regional Housing Needs Plan and proposed housing allocations.  The release of the draft initiated a 45-day appeal period beginning on September 16, 2022 and ending on October 31, 2022.  No appeals were made during the 45-day appeals period.  At the MCAG Governing Board meeting on November 17, 2022, a public hearing was held as a last opportunity to receive comments on the plan.  No comments were received and the MCAG Governing Board adopted the plan unanimously.

Final Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Plan

MCAG Board Resolution

HCD Final Approval


Draft Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Plan

MCAG is required to solicit feedback on the draft RHNA Plan during a public comment period and public hearing.

A 45-day public comment period will commence on September 16, 2022, at 12:00 pm, and conclude on October 31, 2022, at 5:00 pm.

A public hearing will be held on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 3:00 pm during MCAG’s regularly scheduled Governing Board meeting as an additional opportunity to receive comments on the plan prior to Board adoption.


Meeting held in-person at:

Merced County Administration Building

3rd Floor, Board of Supervisors Chambers

2222 M Street Merced, CA 95340

and meeting held via Zoom at:


Webinar ID: 861 0690 8454

Passcode: 36918

For Audio only: 1-669-900-6833

Written comments can be submitted to the MCAG office via U.S. Mail at 369 W. 18th Street, Merced, CA, 95340, Attention:  Planning Department, or via email at info@mcagov.org.

RHNA Appeals Procedure

Pursuant to Government Code Section 65584.05, any local jurisdiction within the Merced region may file an appeal to modify its draft housing needs allocation or another jurisdiction’s draft housing needs allocation included as part of MCAG’s Draft RHNA Plan. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) may also file an appeal to the Draft RHNA for one or more jurisdictions. 

The 45-day appeals period begins on September 16, 2022 and ends on October 31, 2022. 

Final RHNA Methodology

Public Engagement

As part of the methodology development process for allocating the determination of need for the region, MCAG worked with a diverse group of stakeholders, the RHNA Steering Committee, to recommend a methodology to distribute the region’s housing need.

State statute requires that the preferred RHNA methodology be developed in close consultation with the public and should encourage participation by organizations other than local jurisdictions. Members of the Steering Committee included a representative from each of the region’s seven jurisdictions, as well as representatives from Merced County Continuum of Care, California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA), DR Horton, the Merced Bicycle Coalition, and the Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing. Members of the public were engaged through public hearings as well as through close collaboration with public outreach being conducted as part of MCAG’s 2022 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS).

The following actions were taken to gather input from the region’s stakeholders:

  • A local planning factors survey was administered for jurisdictions to provide information on key factors related to the RHNA statutory objectives, including affirmatively furthering fair housing (January – February 2022).
  • Twelve consultation meetings were held between MCAG and representatives from each of its member jurisdictions as well as at-large RHNA Steering Committee members to discuss the survey and RHNA factors (February – March 2022).
  • Five meetings with the RHNA Steering Committee in which the RHNA process and methodological options were discussed and ultimately voted on (January – May 2022). These RHNA Steering Committee meetings were open to the public for comment and questions.
  • Two drop-in “office hours” where RHNA Steering Committee representatives could ask questions and discuss RHNA methodology approaches. (May 2022)
  • Participation in one RTP/SCS workshop to discuss integration between the RHNA and the RTP/SCS and gather input on potential adjustment factors. (April 2022)
  • An Excel spreadsheet tool was distributed among Steering Committee members to explore methodology options for allocating housing need throughout the region. 
  • A 35-day public comment period began on June 21, 2022 and ended on July 26, 2022.  During the public comment period a public hearing was held at the MCAG Governing Board meeting on July 21, 2022. (June – July 2022)
  • The Draft Regional Housing Needs Allocation Methodology Framework was emailed to over 400 interested persons and regional stakeholders to solicit comments.  (June 2022)
  • The Draft Regional Housing Needs Allocation Methodology was circulated through MCAG’s Citizens Advisory Committee, Technical Review Board, and the Governing Board


Meeting DateAgendaRelated Materials 
January 19, 2022 3 PMLink to AgendaRHNA Overview                Meeting Video 
February 16, 2022 3 PMLink to AgendaRHNA Guiding Principles  Meeting Video
March 16, 2022 3 PMLink to AgendaRHNA Adjustment FactorsMeeting Video
April 20, 2022 3 PMLink to AgendaRHNA Potential Methodology  Meeting Video
May 18, 2022 3 PMLink to Agenda  Meeting MinutesRHNA Methodology Outcome  Meeting Video
September 20, 2022 11 AMLink to AgendaRHNA Plan and Appeals          Meeting Video

RHNA Steering Committee

MCAG convened a RHNA Steering Committee made up of local government representatives and regional stakeholders to advise MCAG in developing a methodology for allocating a share of the region’s total housing units to each local government.

RHNA Steering Committee Members
County of MercedSteve Maxey
City of AtwaterGreg Thompson
City of Dos PalosDewayne Jones
City of GustineDoug Dunford
City of LivingstonMiguel Galvez
City of Los BanosStacy Souza Elms
City of MercedScott McBride
Stonefield HomesTiffanie Marshall
Merced Bicycle CoalitionTom Hothem
California Rural Legal AssistanceNick Jensen
Central Valley Coalition for Affordable HousingChris Alley
Continuum CareJohn Ceccoli
DR HortonGuy Gniadek 

RHNA Plans