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.
Zoning For Affordability
The Zoning for Affordability Work Group was held in late 2023. These sessions were aimed at jurisdictions looking to:
- Adopt an inclusionary zoning ordinance, density bonus policy or affordable housing overlay zone or similar program; or
- Update their existing ordinance or program to make it more effective.
View details about all the work group sessions, or see details for each of the sessions below.
- Session 1a: Introduction
- Session 1b: Evaluating an Inclusionary Housing Policy
- Session 2: Evaluating Economic Feasibility
- Session 3: Compliance Alternatives
- Session 4: Working with State Policies
- Session 5: Communicating with the Public
Transforming Aging Malls & Office Parks
Completed in the fall of 2022, this work group was 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 included six workshops focused on planning, housing and implementation. Each session included 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.
Leading with Equity
This work group convened in 2022 and was comprised of 15 planning and housing department staff seeking to advance racial and housing equity policies and programs within their Housing Element work. The work group focused on promoting leadership development, capacity building toward navigating institutional change, peer-support and one-on-one coaching. The lessons from the work group helped participants develop tools and products to aid jurisdiction staff in embedding equity into their housing policy and planning work.
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.
- Session 1: What is the Missing Middle?
- Session 2: The Middle Housing Market
- Session 3: Making Middle Housing Happen
- Session 4: Making Middle Housing Affordable
- Session 5: Projecting Middle Housing Production
- Session 6: Talking about Middle Housing
- Middle Housing Feasibility Tool: Accessing this tool requires a password. Email Clair McDevitt for more information.
- Bay Area Middle Housing Market Report
- "Zoning for Middle Housing" Guidebook
- "Making Middle Housing Affordable" Guidebook
- Middle Housing Zoning Changes and RHNA
- Middle Housing Mythbusters
- "What Is Middle Housing?" customizable slide deck
Wildfires – How to Preserve and Protect Housing
This work group was designed 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 sessions with experts presenting current information and best practices, case studies, and recent experiences. These sessions helped 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.
View details about all four Wildfires work group sessions, or see details for each of the sessions below:
- Session 1: Wildfires & Housing 101
- Session 2: Defensible Space & Home Hardening with CAL FIRE Updates
- Session 3: Evacuations – The Law, Practical Approaches & Technology Tools
- Session 4: Land Use Planning in the WUI including ADUs
Peer Cohorts and Work Groups Contact:
For more information, email HousingTA@bayareametro.gov.
- Jurisdiction Housing Element RFP Template a request for Proposals (RFP) template for local jurisdictions to hire consultants to assist with Housing Element updates
- Housing Element Staff Report Template
- Housing Element Timeline Template
- What is a Housing Element? Briefer Template
- Housing Element FAQs Template
- AFFH Template Staff Report
- AFFH Template Staff Slide Deck
- Draft AFFH Data Guidance Checklist
For More Information
Clair McDevitt, Associate PIO, REAP Programs
Phone: (415) 778-6737
Joshua Croff, GIS Planner/Analyst
Phone: (415) 778-6618
Daniel Saver, Assistant Director, Housing & Local Planning
Phone: (415) 778-6789
Michael Germeraad, Associate Planner
Phone: (415) 820-7945
Online Training Series
Clair McDevitt, Associate PIO, REAP Programs.
Phone: (415) 778-6737
Peer Cohorts and Work Groups
For more information, email HousingTA@bayareametro.gov
County Planning Collaboratives
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.