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Using Translation

The County of San Mateo has added a translation feature developed by Google Translate to assist web visitors in understanding information on this website in a variety of foreign languages. Please be aware that Google Translate, a free third party service which the County does not control, provides automated computer translations that may not give you an exact translation. The County cannot guarantee the accuracy of translations through Google Translate so translations should not be considered exact and only used as a rough guide. Anyone relying on information obtained from Google Translate does so at his or her own risk. The County disclaims and will not accept any liability for damages or losses of any kind caused by the use of the Google Translate feature.


Cities and counties play an important role in the supply and affordability of housing. As the first step in this process, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) determines the amount of housing needed for the Bay Area over an eight year period. This number is known as the Regional Housing Need Determination (RHND). As the Bay Area’s council of governments (COG), the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is responsible for distributing the RHND to local governments. The amount each jurisdiction needs to plan for is called the Regional Housing Needs Allocation or RHNA (pronounced ree-nuh). The total RHNA for each jurisdiction is also divided by income level, showing the amount of housing needed for various income categories.  

Regional Housing Need Allocation

The Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) is a crucial process mandated by California law for local governments to address housing needs. Each local government must include a Housing Element in its General Plan, outlining strategies to meet housing demands for all income groups. RHNA involves determining the required number of housing units each jurisdiction must accommodate. This isn’t a single figure. Cities must permit various amounts of very low, low, moderate, and above moderate income housing, based on changing income levels. In the last cycle (2014-2022), San Mateo County was required to provide 16,340 units, and 18,228 units were constructed. However, targets for  very low, low and moderate income levels were not met. Under the current RHNA cycle (2023-2031), San Mateo County and the cities within will need to build a total of 47,687 units, or more than double the number of units built in the last cycle.

Using the map below, click on a jurisdiction to find out the amount of housing built in the last 8 years and how much will be needed for the next RHNA cycle.

  • Vanessa K

    “I have to say that with permanent, stable housing that I could afford, my life has truly transformed.”

    Vannessa K.
    San Mateo, CA
  • Cynthia P.

    “Ocean View provides much-needed housing for seniors in Pacifica, and we look forward to keeping it that way for the next 55 years.”

    Cynthia A. Parker
    President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing
  • Louis M.

    “If it weren’t for Trestle Glen Apartments, I don’t really know where I’d be living right now. I’m really thankful for this place.”

    Louis M.
    San Mateo County
  • Stephen P.

    “We’d lived and worked here for over 20 years. This is our home. But with recent skyrocketing rents, we couldn’t have stayed if not for affordable housing.”

    Stephen P.
    Half Moon Bay, CA
  • James M.

    “When I was homeless I had no idea what would come next. Now that I have a new and affordable home, I want to share my experiences and strength with others. Now that I have this new opportunity, for which I am very grateful, it feels like I’ve been given a new lease on life.”

    Navy Veteran James M.
    Menlo Park, CA
  • Nancy M.

    “There are so many people who need housing like this in the Bay Area. I am one of the lucky ones.”

    Nancy M.
    Half Moon Bay, CA
  • Julie S.

    “Having a safe and wonderful place to live got us on our feet again and enables us to pursue our dreams.”

    Julie S.
    South San Francisco, CA
    Housing Policies and Programs by Jurisdiction
    (MTC/ABAG Housing and Land Use Viewer)

    Tenant Protections by Jurisdiction 

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