How close is West Hollywood to its state-mandated goal for new housing?
The State of California requires each region to do a Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). It includes an estimate of the number of new housing units needed over the next few years. The total gets divvied up among the region’s cities. We’ll call each city’s number their “goal,” even though they didn’t choose it.
The cities don’t have to force anyone to build the housing. They just have to ensure that their own rules would allow the housing to be built. They’re also encouraged to plan for even more housing.
New housing versus RHNA goal
West Hollywood’s assigned share of needed new housing is only 77 units from 2013 to 2021. A total of 1,065 have already been built. An additional 374 units have been approved but do not yet have building permits.
In the prior RHNA cycle, West Hollywood’s assigned RHNA goal was 584. A total of 836 units were built.
The city’s RHNA allocation dropped from 584 for the last cycle to 77 for the current cycle. At the same time, the production of housing in the city accelerated: 1,065 units built halfway through the cycle versus 836 in the whole last cycle.
New housing versus RHNA goal by income level
The RHNA number is actually four numbers, with separate goals for very-low-income, low-income, moderate-income, and above-moderate-income housing. Compared to the city’s RHNA goals, West Hollywood has already produced three times as many very-low-income units, six times as many low-income units, two-and-a-half times as many moderate-income units, and 27 times as many above-moderate-income units.
The above-moderate-income units are market-rate units, developed by the private sector. The moderate, low, and very-low-income units are affordable units, coming from government, nonprofit, and private-sector efforts. For example, the city requires 20% of the units in new developments to be affordable housing.
Two RHNA cycles combined
In the current RHNA cycle, West Hollywood has exceeded the goals in all income categories. In the prior cycle, the city fell 87 units short of the moderate-income goal. We wondered how the city is doing over the combined period from 2006 to 2021.
For the combined period, the city has already met the low-income goal and surpassed the very-low-income and above-moderate-income goals. The city hasn’t yet achieved the 2021 moderate-income number, though units in the pipeline will narrow the gap.
Affordable units for moderate and lower-income households
About 20% of new units in the combined period were for moderate or lower-income households. The rest were market-rate units for above-moderate-income households.
For the combined period, the RHNA goals suggest that 30% of affordable (below-market-rate) housing would be for moderate-income households. So far, 11% of those new units have been moderate-income. The rest (89%) have been low-income or very-low-income.
Note: Revised on April 22, 2017.