Housing Technical Assistance Program

Housing Technical Assistance Program

Regional Early Action Planning Grants

ABAG is currently developing a new regional housing technical assistance program with the support of new state funding disbursed by the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).  The process to develop the technical assistance began with a listening session at the ABAG Special General Assembly.  There is planned outreach to local jurisdictions in early and mid-2020 to gather feedback on program design.  Later in 2020, we expect to begin deployment of these new technical assistance resources to Bay Area cities, towns and counties.

The funds come from the 2019-2020 Budget Act, which provided a one-time allocation of $250 million to regions and local jurisdictions to implement the sixth cycle of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) and otherwise accelerate housing production.  The funding is divided between two programs: the Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grants program, and the Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) grants program. 

As the Bay Area’s Council of Governments, ABAG is eligible to receive funding through the REAP program on a population-based formula – totaling roughly $23.7 million.  On February 7, 2020, the ABAG Special General Assembly voted to approve an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2019-20 Budget to authorize ABAG to receive these funds.  Pursuant to state legislation, ABAG has submitted a request for approximately $5.9 million (25% of the total regional allocation) and is awaiting an award from HCD.  HCD plans to release a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the remainder of the funds later in 2020.      

In addition to the ABAG-administered REAP program, the LEAP program is designed to help cities and counties directly by providing funding, incentives, and technical assistance to local governments through over-the-counter grants.  Every local jurisdiction is eligible to apply to HCD for direct LEAP funding per a population-based formula. The first Bay Area workshop on LEAP is February 21, 2020, 1:30 p.m. at the Bay Area Metro Center, 375 Beale Street, San Francisco.

LEAP applications are due by July 1, 2020; however, HCD strongly encourages jurisdictions to submit their applications as soon as possible.

Register here for the LEAP workshop.

Visit HCD’s website for more information about LEAP.

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)’s Special General Assembly —Regional Housing Needs Allocation: The New Normal and Business Meeting — held Friday, February 7, 2020, kicked off with a dynamic panel discussion on Bay Area housing featuring state Sens. Scott Wiener and Jim Beall, and Assemblyman David Chiu, who discussed the hot-button topic. A question-and-answer period with local electeds and city and county staff followed. 

Housing in the Bay Area and throughout the state is a topic that has dominated headlines. The General Assembly brought more than 150 attendees together to hear information on the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process, while providing an opportunity for local governments to share their concerns about the process.

Funding Accepted
ABAG’s delegates also approved an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2019-20 Budget to accept $23.7 million in Regional Early Action Planning Grants Program (REAP) from the State. Technical assistance using REAP funding will be rolled out to assist local governments. 

More information is available here