What makes a house affordable to an income group?

In a word, density. The foundation of State’s Housing Element Law is based on the premise that density is a proxy for affordability. The idea being, the more housing units on a site (density) translates to lower construction costs per unit, which translates to lower rental/sale prices of those units (affordability). Based on this, California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) assigns minimum density figures to each income category. In Marina, HCD identified a zoning density of least 20 dwelling units per acre to be appropriate for the development of housing that can accommodate low-income households.

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1. When and why does the Housing Element need to be updated?
2. What is the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)?
3. Must cities and counties build the housing required by RHNA?
4. What makes a house affordable to an income group?
5. How will housing locations be selected?