The Housing Readiness Report provides details on how impactful the housing crisis is to our most vulnerable communities and how ready our cities are to tackle the crisis. It includes data on racial diversity, rental housing burden, housing policies and processes towards planning for affordable housing.

Overview & Background

The Housing Readiness Report is a partnership between the San Francisco Foundation's Partnership for the Bay’s Future, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and affordable housing advocates throughout the Bay Area.

The tool provides affordable housing advocates with data, resources and tools to track, monitor and engage housing plans and policies throughout the Bay Area to ensure equitable racial, economic and social outcomes.

About the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)

Every eight years, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) plans for the future of housing across the state. The plans start with the development of RHNA goals – a set number of new homes and how affordable those homes need to be – that regions must build in order to meet local housing needs of people at all income levels.

Once the regional RHNA goals are set, each region’s “council of governments” (in the Bay Area, this is the Association of Bay Area Governments) allocates the housing needs amongst all cities and counties within the region. If cities and counties don’t meet these housing goals, they will not receive certain types of state funding.

About Housing Elements

To meet their RHNA goals, local cities and counties develop policies and programs as well as find developable land that provide opportunities to develop low-income to market-rate housing. The local housing plans are called Housing Elements, and it’s during this planning process that community members are able to provide input and have their voices heard.

Because this only occurs once every eight years, the time is now to plan for the future of your community.

Housing Readiness Report Training

Housing Readiness Report Training Presentation Deck

Housing Elements Resources

If you would like to read more about housing policies or Housing Elements, including resources on how you might be able to participate in your city or county’s housing plan, please visit these sites:

Our Methodology

The Housing Readiness Report aggregates available data from the U.S. Census, MTC/ABAG, and PolicyLink in order to show existing population and housing conditions, city by city, and future potential for a city to equitably increase housing capacity to meet all of its housing needs, especially for the most vulnerable communities.

How We Assess Cities

“Housing Readiness” – the potential future ability a city has to increase housing capacity, especially affordable housing for its most vulnerable population – is assessed using the following metrics:

  • Local needs: The demographics of an existing city’s population and the percentage of that population who are burdened by rent are assessed to determine housing needs.
  • Affordable housing production: The city’s capacity and willingness to reach affordable housing unit goals as set by RHNA, especially in relation to meeting its existing population demographics.
  • Housing policies: The number of housing policies and the potential impact of each policy that a city has enacted to protect tenants, and preserve and produce affordable housing.

Our scoring formula is referenced from The Opportunity Index, which is a composite measure that draws upon important economic, educational, health and civic indicators of opportunity.

Housing Equity

The cost of housing in the Bay Area denies so many of us from having a stable and affordable place to call home, but it disproportionately impacts communities of color. When we look at the data on housing burden (housing costs exceed 30% of income), it is clear that Black, Latino and Native American households are most likely to be rent-burdened. And when we look at diversity within cities, the evidence shows that communities of colors are being displaced at extraordinary rates. The Housing Readiness Report utilizes data on housing burdens and diversity to help us understand what policies and plans cities have or will implement to keep communities diverse and vibrant.

Where are all the Other Cities, Counties and Unincorporated Areas?

In the first phase of the Housing Readiness Report, the resources are tailored towards the cities that participated in the San Francisco Foundation’s Partnership for the Bay’s Future Initiative. As the tool expands to include more resources, it will eventually cover the 109 cities and counties that represent the Bay Area.

Who We Are

The Housing Readiness Report is provided to the Bay Area housing community through a generous grant from the San Francisco Foundation's Partnership for the Bay’s Future and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. It is developed by Exygy, a digital innovation studio on a mission to build resilient and healthy communities. Exygy enables impact-focused organizations to rethink experiences and create digital products that solve their problems and delight users.

Participating Cities

In the first phase of the Housing Readiness Report, the resources are tailored towards the cities that participated in the San Francisco Foundation’s Partnership for the Bay’s Future (PBF) Initiative. PBF provided grants to these cities and partnering community-based organizations (bringing a voice to communities usually excluded to the policy process) to implement equity-centered affordable housing policies. The two-year grants provide technical assistance and added capacity by placing a housing policy fellow in the local government.

Read more about PBF's Policy Grants.

Take action and get involved

Right now, we have a once-in-a-decade chance to address current housing problems, invest in our communities, and create better housing options for all. Sign up with your email to stay connected!
See more resources to get involved in your city's housing plans.