Assistance Tailored to Local Needs

Assistance Tailored to Local Needs

Recognizing that a top-down approach to the historically local issue of housing will be counterproductive, ABAG granted nearly $11 million in RHTA funding to local Bay Area jurisdictions to support locally prioritized housing planning tasks and to provide subregional technical assistance through seven Planning Collaboratives. ABAG is also funding regional technical assistance through Peer Cohorts and Work Groups to spark a culture of innovation via peer-to-peer learning, sharing of best practices and lessons learned. Additionally, ABAG has established a Regional Planning Consulting Bench to streamline procurements.

Local Grants & the Regional Planning Consulting Bench

Each Bay Area jurisdiction is receiving grant funding from ABAG to help advance their local housing planning priorities. Funding amounts can be found here: Grant Amounts. Draft funding agreements have recently been sent to all Bay Area jurisdictions offering each the option of receiving reimbursements for eligible expenses, or the option of electing to have ABAG hold the funds and administer consulting contracts on behalf of the recipient jurisdiction. Either way, all Bay Area cities, towns and counties can use the Bench to save time and money.

ABAG will be launching labor-saving online tool from City Innovate that will allow all Bay Area jurisdictions to easy search profiles of 92 consultants on the Bench and to easily compare consultants’ qualifications and rates. The tool will also facilitate informal solicitations of quotes for work when applicable procurement rules allow. The bench will free local staff time from the tedium of contract administration to prioritize community engagement, policy development and rezoning.

Related Links:

For more information about Local Grants & Regional Planning Consulting Bench:
Contact Grecia Mannah-Ayon, Assistant Regional Housing Planner, (415) 778-7935, or Heather Peters, Principal Regional Housing Planner, 415-778-6752

Subregional Planning Collaboratives

Planning Collaboratives are groups of local jurisdictions that share consulting resources as they work together to address their housing priorities. The work of Planning Collaborative consultants will be scoped locally in consultation with ABAG to complement technical assistance offered at the state and regional levels and to deliver tailored trainings and products to each subregion. ABAG is providing funding to support the following Collaboratives through 2023:



Alameda County Collaborative

15 Jurisdictions

Urban Planning Partners, Meredith Rupp, Urban Planning Partners

Contra Costa County Collaborative

20 Jurisdictions


Marin County Collaborative

12 Jurisdictions

Jillian Zieger, Marin County Planner

Napa/Sonoma Collaborative

16 Jurisdictions

4 Leaf, Jane Riley

San Francisco (no Collaborative)

1 Jurisdiction

Due to the unique nature of SF being both a city and county, they are receiving a grant to support robust and equitable public engagement on their housing element.

San Mateo County Collaborative
(“21 Elements”)

21 Jurisdictions

Baird + Driskell, Josh Abrams

Santa Clara County Planning Collaborative

16 Jurisdictions

Baird + Driskell, Paul Peninger

Solano County Collaborative (“SolHIP”)

8 Jurisdictions

STA/Placeworks, Robert Guerrero, Solano Transportation Authority
and Jennifer Gastelum, Placeworks

For more information about County Planning Collaboratives:
Contact Bobby Lu, Associate Planner, (415) 820 7925

Peer Cohorts and Topic-Specific Work Groups

Peer Cohorts are designed to connect community planners sharing similar challenges, such as agricultural towns that need to plan for farm labor housing or areas facing high risk of wildfire to provide targeted technical assistance and facilitate longer term peer-to-peer networking. Regional Topic-Specific Workgroups are short-term, issue-specific trainings and work sessions for jurisdictions adopting similar legislation or working on similar projects. Cohorts and Work Groups will be staffed and funded at the regional level by ABAG.

The first Work Group launched is Making Middle Housing Work. This work group is for local planning and housing staff interested in learning about the missing middle and how to develop and implement a middle housing strategy. In six sessions, the work group will cover definitions, case studies, market data, design issues, regulatory strategies, development standards, affordability, communication tools and how to consider middle housing toward a jurisdiction’s RHNA allocation. Advance registration is required and participation is limited. The Making Middle Housing Work group began on August 26, 2021. Custom tools (a market study, a zoning guidebooks, case studies, etc.) created during the process will be available to participants and others via ABAG's housing technical assistance web portal.

Materials from the kick-off meeting:

Check back for information on the next Work Groups and Peer Cohorts to get underway.

For more information about Peer Cohorts and Topic-Specific Work Groups:
Contact Somaya Abdelgany, Associate Regional Housing Planner, (415) 778-5217

Contact Information

For More Information Email

Civic Engagement
Leah Zippert, Senior Public Information Officer, (415) 820-7995

Data Tools
Somaya Abdelgany, Associate Regional Housing Planner, (415) 778-5217

Housing Equity/AFFH
Christy Leffall, Associate Planner, (415) 820-7940

Michael Germeraad, Associate Planner, (415) 820-7945

Online Training Series
Ada Chan, Associate Planner, (415) 820-7958

Peer Cohorts and Topic-Specific Work Groups
Somaya Abdelgany, Associate Regional Housing Planner, (415) 778-5217

County Planning Collaboratives
Bobby Lu, Associate Planner, (415) 820 7925

Local Grants & Regional Planning Consulting Bench
Grecia Mannah-Ayon, Assistant Regional Housing Planner, (415) 778-7935
or Heather Peters, Principal Regional Housing Planner, 415-778-6752

Other Technical Assistance

ABAG and its regional partners offer a variety of programs to city and county agencies to provide planning and technical support to reach local and regional goals of greenhouse gas reduction, equity, affordability and resilience.

Visit this Technical Assistance web page for a listing of assistance programs by various categories.

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Join the Housing TA mailing list to receive email updates about the initiative and ways to get involved!