There are many reasons California has not kept up with the demand for housing in its cities, and one of them is resistance from cities, especially ones dominated by single family homes. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs, the closest thing California has to regional governments) have a mostly toothless mechanism to increase housing called the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, or RHNA (pronounced “reena”), wherein MPOs tell cities how many of the regionally-needed housing units the cities are responsible for. But cities sidestep and sometimes just ignore their RHNA. Several bills currently awaiting the governor’s signature seek to make it harder for them to do that.
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