The State of California determines the number of homes that are needed for the Bay Area. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) then distributes this information, the regional need, for the nine Bay Area counties. Each city and county is assigned a portion of the regional need based on considerations such as future population, access to jobs, and other factors. This assignment is known as the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), and is intended to promote the following objectives:
- Increase the housing supply and the mix of housing types in an equitable manner
- Promote infill development, efficient development, and Greenhouse Gas reduction
- Promote better relationship between jobs and housing, particularly jobs-housing fit
- Balance existing disproportionate geographic concentrations of income categories
- Affirmatively further fair housing
Each jurisdiction must show there is enough land zoned for housing to accommodate future population growth.