Regional Housing Technical Assistance
After enacting ambitious new laws directing cities and counties to step up housing approvals, the California Legislature and Governor included new funding in the FY 2019–20 State Budget to help local governments update their housing policies. Seizing this opportunity, and using a one-time, $24 million state Regional Early Action Planning grant from the state’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) department, ABAG in late 2020 launched its Regional Housing Technical Assistance (RHTA) program, which includes some $11 million in direct assistance to local governments. RHTA serves as a bridge between HCD and local governments responsible for land use policies. The RHTA program already is strengthening relationships between state regulators, the region and ABAG’s 109 local jurisdictions, while advancing an integrated, comprehensive approach to solving the Bay Area’s critical housing shortage.
The program’s goal is to assist local jurisdictions in adopting and implementing compliant Housing Elements, ensuring that Bay Area jurisdictions remain competitive for various state funding programs to increase housing opportunities. More information can be found in:
- the Regional Housing Technical Assistance Fact Sheet
- Overview of Regional Housing Technical Assistance presentation.
For details on the impact of not meeting state requirements, see Consequences for Noncompliance with State Housing Law.
Get More Information
Sign-up for RHTA mailing list to get additional program information.
ABAG has completed more than 10 training webinars to equip local planners with knowledge, tools and resources to update housing elements to meet the new state requirements. More webinars are planned. You can view recordings of past sessions and register for new ones on the RHTA Training page.
Visit the RHTA Tools and Resources page to find regional data tools as well as resources such as templates, fact sheets, presentations, timelines, FAQs and more to help you increase housing opportunities in your community.
Get Tailored Assistance
Recognizing that a top-down approach to the historically local issue of housing will be counterproductive, ABAG granted nearly $5 million in RHTA funding to Bay Area counties to support Planning Collaboratives, Peer Cohorts and working groups to spark a culture of innovation via peer-to-peer learning, sharing of best practices and lessons learned. More information can be found on the Assistance Tailored to Local Needs page.
Regional Planning Bench Streamlines Consultant Assistance
ABAG in May 2021 approved an innovative Regional Consulting Bench of experts to augment local staff. All Bay Area cities, towns and counties can use the bench to hire consultants directly, or opt to have ABAG administer contracts on their behalf. ABAG will also be launching an online marketplace later this summer that will enable local staff to browse the qualifications of consultants and streamline informal procurements as rules allow. Training on this new tool will be offered as soon as it is available. For more information, review these FAQs or email HousingTA@BayAreaMetro.gov.
ABAG adopted an Equity Platform to guide its work, which will include technical assistance to local governments to meet state and federal requirements to affirmatively further fair housing. RHTA funds are supporting pioneering research between ABAG and a team at UC Merced studying historical land use policies, such as redlining maps and racially restrictive housing covenants that contributed to current patterns of racial segregation. ABAG also aims to leverage Opportunity Maps created by the State Tax Credit Allocation Committee to assess a community’s fair housing issues.
Work Groups and Collaborative Events
- Making Middle Housing Work Group began on August 26, 2021 Contact David Driskell, project consultant firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
- Wildfires – How to Preserve & Protect Housing Work Group begins late September Contact Cathy Capriola, project consultant, email@example.com for more information
County Planning Collaboratives meet regularly. To get more information, contact the coordinators.
- Best Practices in ADUs from Around the State
September 24, 2021
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Presented by the Casita Coalition