Peer Cohorts & Work Groups

Peer Cohorts & Work Groups

Peer Cohorts are designed to connect community planners sharing similar challenges, to provide targeted technical assistance and facilitate longer term peer-to-peer networking. Work Groups 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.

Transforming Aging Malls & Office Parks 

Launching in September 2022, this work group is designed for local planning, housing and economic development staff interested in learning about the challenges and opportunities involved in transforming aging malls and office parks into neighborhoods affordable to households across the income spectrum.

The work group includes six workshops focused on planning, housing and implementation. Each session includes practical takeaway information, resources and tools that local staff could readily integrate into their work. Review the sessions here.

In advance of the Work Group, a webinar highlighted findings from a white paper on mall and office reuse challenges and opportunities in the Bay Area and beyond. View the presentation from the webinar.

To get details on the Work Group, fill out this registration survey. For more information or to participate, contact Bobby Lu, Regional Planner,

Leading with Equity

This work group is comprised of 15 planning and housing department staff who have self-selected to advance racial and housing equity policies and programs within their Housing Element work. The work group will focus on promoting leadership development, capacity building toward navigating institutional change, peer-support and one-on-one coaching. The lessons from the work group will help participants develop tools and products to aid jurisdiction staff in embedding equity into their housing policy and planning work. Products from this work group will be available as they are created. 

Making Middle Housing Work

This work group focused on "missing middle" housing and how to develop and implement a middle housing strategy. The group explored a sequence of topics, as shown in the list below. Materials from each session, including session recordings, slide decks and notes are posted below as well as a list of key products that were created which will be useful to jurisdiction staff. This includes an interactive Middle Housing Feasibility Tool that lets jurisdictions test how changes to development standards can support or hinder middle housing feasibility. 

Key Products

Wildfires – How to Preserve and Protect Housing

This work group is for local planning and housing staff interested in learning about how the emerging regular reality of wildfires can be included in agencies land use planning efforts including Housing Elements and Safety Elements. The work group held four virtual workshops with experts presenting current information and best practices, case studies, and recent experiences. These sessions will help local agencies gain a better understanding of the evolution and behavior of wildfires, defensible space, home hardening, evacuations (new laws, practical approaches, and new models), and responsive land use planning in the (WUI) Wildfire/Urban Interface. Each session's Resource Guides with practical take away information and references to key documents and helpful background materials are posted below.

View details about all four Wildfires work group sessions, or see details for each of the sessions below:

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

Peer Cohorts and Work Groups Contact:

For more information, email

Contact Information

Contact Information

For More Information


Civic Engagement

Leah Zippert, Senior Public Information Officer
Phone: (415) 820-7995

Data Tools

Joshua Croff, GIS Planner/Analyst
Phone: (415) 778-6618

Housing Equity/AFFH

Christy Leffall, Associate Planner
Phone: (415) 820-7940


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

Online Training Series

Clair McDevitt, Public Engagement Asst.
Phone: (415) 778-6737

Peer Cohorts and Work Groups

For more information, email

County Planning Collaboratives

Bobby Lu, Associate Planner
Phone: (415) 820 7925

Local Grants & Regional Planning Consulting Bench

Heather Peters, Principal Regional Housing Planner
Phone: (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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Subscribe to the Housing Technical Assistance Mailing List

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