housing

The Department of Housing and Community Development has determined that a six-county region, including San Bernardino County, must provide 1,344,740 housing units over the next eight years for four categories: very low, low, moderate, and above-moderate categories.

The numbers, released by the state Aug. 22, are three times the number determined in the previous eight-year cycle that mandated 430,000 units.

As a result, Chino would have to build between 5,045 to 13,104 housing units, depending on the allocation method selected by the Southern California Association of Governments.

Chino Hills would have to build between 3,805 and 5,023, depending on the allocation method.

The numbers are not realistic, according to representatives of Chino, Chino Hills, and numerous other cities.

“We don’t have a lot of land and I’m concerned what penalty will occur if we don’t meet the numbers,” Chino Hills Councilman Ray Marquez said. 

“The only way is to build more apartments, which is the number one complaint from residents,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to build apartments, but I don’t know what our options will be.”

Mr. Marquez serves on the Association of Government’s regional council.

The City of Chino Hills has met past state affordable housing mandates by zoning for high-density multi-unit developments.

Not attainable

City of Chino spokesperson Vivian Castro said the allocation for Chino requires 3,260 to 8,469 affordable housing units to be delivered, which is neither reasonable nor attainable.

She said Chino experienced significant growth during the previous eight-year cycle and facilitated the construction of more than 2,940 homes, of which 340 are affordable.

She said the state’s proposed allocation would require Chino to build 1.1 to 2.88 times as many affordable homes in the upcoming cycle as the total number of homes built in all income categories to date in the previous cycle.

“The Department of Housing and Community Development’s affordable housing numbers are unrealistic given the region’s capacity and delivery during a period of tremendous growth,” Ms. Castro said. “We believe the Southern California Association of Governments should continue to work with the state to develop a reasonable, realistic target.”

Ping Chang, manager of compliance and performance monitoring at the Association of Governments, said jurisdictions are responsible for updating their numbers to accommodate housing need as measured by their allocation.

Legal action

As for penalties, Mr. Chang said a jurisdiction can be subject to possible legal action including financial penalties for not complying with their assigned numbers.

Jurisdictions that do not adopt a housing element or are non-compliant may be ineligible to receive certain grants and funding opportunities from the state.

On the implementation side, there are no direct penalties if the units are not built, Mr. Chang said.

During the public meeting process, which ended Tuesday, more than 200 written comments expressing a wide range of concerns were shared with the Association of Governments, Mr. Chang said. 

“It should be noted that the state’s number may be subject to change if the Association files an objection, and the allocation methodology is not finalized yet,” Mr. Chang said.

After review, the Association will prepare a formal assessment and response.

“In the meantime, we’re soliciting community input on three different methodologies for allocating housing need at the local level,” he said.

Written comments may be sent by Sept. 13 to housing@scag.ca.gov.

To view the three methodologies, visit scag.ca.gov/pro grams/pages/housing.aspx.

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