These webinars are a comprehensive training series for local planning and housing staff focused on updates to local Housing Elements. Many sessions are jointly sponsored by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) or the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR).

The training series identifies key Housing Element topics that local staff must start early in the process. Each training is a live and interactive webinar, with geographically-based breakout groups and opportunities for questions and answers. Access to completed webinar recordings and supporting materials is available below.

Upcoming Trainings

    How to Address HCD Comments for Certification

    10 am, September 27, 2022

    Submitting your Housing Element is just the start. Addressing HCD’s comments to get it certified is the next step. Join us for a webinar to learn how jurisdictions from Southern California and the Sacramento region responded to and worked with HCD to get across the real finish line. Register for How to Address HCD Comments for Certification.

    Check back for future trainings on topics including:

    • New housing laws
    • Working with the media

    Past ABAG Training Sessions

    Bay Area Priority Sites Pilot Program

    September 21, 2022

    MTC-ABAG and the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) recently released the Priority Sites Concept Paper: A proposal to transform public land and aging malls & office parks into neighborhoods. The paper is the first step toward the launch of a Priority Sites Pilot Program.

    Staff hosted a webinar to highlight findings from the concept paper and provide further insight into the pilot program’s proposed approach to advancing major reuse projects. Participants will have an opportunity to provide input on the program’s design to help ensure it meets local needs. 

    Terner Center and ABAG Present: Best Practices to Implement SB 9 and Missing Middle Housing in the Bay Area

    September 13, 2022

    Senate Bill (SB) 9, one of California's most sweeping zoning reform bills, became law on January 1, 2022.  How are cities, property owners, and developers responding to SB 9? What can we learn from the initial half-year of implementation? How can cities use the impetus of SB 9 and missing middle housing to create more equitable, affordable, and resilient neighborhoods? These panel presentations discussed effective strategies for creating small-scale housing development that advances equity goals.

    Panels included:

    • Making It Feasible: Innovative Zoning and Land Use Approaches from the Bay Area and Beyond, with representatives from Berkeley and San Diego.
    • Making It Easy: New Ideas for Improving Planning Processes, with representatives from Milpitas and other communities.
    • Missing Middle and the Housing Element, with representatives from HCD and Baird + Driskell.

    Read more about this event and view the video recording

    Transforming Aging Malls and Office Parks: Reuse Challenges and Opportunities

    August 24, 2022

    The webinar highlighted findings from a white paper on mall and office reuse challenges and opportunities in the Bay Area and beyond. To support local planning, housing and economic development staff in implementation, ABAG-MTC staff and a team of consultants are convening a Transforming Aging Malls and Office Parks Work Group in September. View the recording and download the presentation.

    For more information, contact Bobby Lu, Regional Planner,

    Leveraging Your Land: Best Practices for Reusing Public Land for Housing 

    August 10, 2022

    MTC-ABAG recently developed a Public Lands Playbook to guide local governments and other public agencies through the process of inventorying, prioritizing and reusing publicly owned land. Staff provided an overview of the Playbook and other technical assistance resources during this webinar. Watch the video recording of the "Leveraging Your Land" webinar.

    Webinar for Elected Officials: Learn About Available Assistance for Housing Element Updates  

    March 25, 2022

    ABAG has developed a technical assistance program, funded by a California Regional Early Action Program (REAP) grant, to assist local governments in implementing the state’s RHNA requirements. This webinar showcased the program and the range of available technical and communications/outreach products to assist your jurisdiction. 

    Keynote speaker Dr. Tiffany Manuel provided attendees with an overview of what housing means to Bay Area residents and some tools for how to engage residents in productive conversations about housing. Dr. Manuel has worked with both the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California over the past several years, bringing her research to efforts to shift regional conversations around housing equity and access. ABAG staff presented highlights from the first year of the program and plans for this program going forward. Staff also discussed new tools available for local jurisdictions related to wildfire prevention and missing middle housing and provided an overview of communications resources designed for elected officials and staff. 

    Watch the video and view the handouts for "Learn About Available Assistance for Housing Element Updates."  

    New Annual Progress Report Requirements with HCD 

    January 18, 2022

    AB 1255 and AB 2345 (passed in 2020) added new data requirements that local jurisdictions must include in their Housing Element Annual Progress Reports (APRs) due April 1st. HCD Housing Policy staff Ava Hoffman, Ashley Sanchez and Tom Brinkhuis explained the new legislative requirements and the changes in the APR form.

    New Annual Progress Report Requirements with HCD: Watch the video and view the presentation.

    Keep Calm and Certify On: Tips from Early Adopters

    January 11, 2022

    This presentation and roundtable conversation covered the new state requirements for 6th cycle housing elements and perspectives from HCD and jurisdictions who have successfully submitted their housing elements. 

    Speakers included: 

    • Sohab Mehmood, Senior Housing Specialist at the California Department of Housing and Community Development
    • Paul McDougall, Planning Grants and Incentives unit chief  for the California Department of Housing and Community Development
    • Chelsey Payne,  Director of Urban Design and Planning with Ascent
    • Shawna Purvines, Deputy Director of the Placer County’s Community Development Resource Agency
    • Veronica Tam, Principal with Veronica Tam and Associates

    Keep Calm and Certify On: Tips from Early Adopters — watch the video and view the presentation

    New Housing Laws Discussion

    November 30, 2021

    The recent state legislative session brought many changes to housing law statewide. Beyond SB 9, several new laws impact California jurisdictions' housing elements timelines, permit processes, state density bonus applications, and more. Staff from Goldfarb & Lipman LLP discussed some of the most significant legislation and what it means for jurisdictions. New Housing Laws Discussion: Review the presentation and watch the video. 

    "Surplus Public Land: What Local Agencies Need to Know" Webinar

    October 26, 2021

    In the "Surplus Public Land: What Local Agencies Need to Know" webinar, State of California Dept. of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and ABAG/MTC staff offered an overview of the Surplus Land Act’s expanded requirements, highlighted common mistakes made by public agencies trying to dispose of surplus land, and explained HCD’s roles in monitoring compliance with the Act and promoting affordable housing on public land.

    HESS Tool 1.0 Tutorial Webinar

    October 19, 2021

    The HESS Tool is a web-based mapping tool developed to guide Bay Area cities and counties in identifying opportunity sites for new housing that align with state Housing Element requirements and support regional and local priorities.

    Summary: This virtual tutorial walked local planning staff and consultants through the HESS Tool 1.0 interface. It also demonstrated how to perform the following actions to assist with building a Site Inventory:

    • Filter sites based on HESS screening categories and specified characteristics of interest
    • View detailed information for sites of particular interest
    • Generate a list of selected sites in HCD's new Site Inventory Form with select columns auto-populated with available data
    • Identify actions items to meet HCD Site Inventory requirements for groups of sites with shared characteristics
    • Update underlying data based on local records to improve accuracy of the HESS Tool

    Context of SB 9 and Potential Impacts

    September 20, 2021

    The "Context of SB 9 and Potential Impacts" webinar presented information on the content of SB 9 and the potential impacts of the legislation. The session includes explanations of ministerial two-unit developments and ministerial lot splits: which projects qualify, criteria that cannot, must be or may be used by jurisdictions, how SB 9 intersects with other laws, and the projected impacts in jurisdictions across the state. Presenters included Barbara Kautz from Goldfarb & Lipman and David Garcia from the Terner Center. Webinar resources include:

    • Video recording
    • Terner Center Presentation
    • Legislative Presentation
    • Terner Center full analysis

    Integrating Climate Adaptation/Resilience Into Your Housing Element

    July 27, 2021

    The Integrating Climate Adaptation/Resilience Into Your Housing Element workshop, co-produced by California OPR, presents ways to integrate resilience into Housing Element updates.

    Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Data Deep Dive

    July 13, 2021

    The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Data Deep Dive webinar showcased data analysis and land use policies related to segregation patterns and trends in the Bay Area. A presentation from Dr. Jessica Trounstine, UC Merced, on portions of her work on segregation and land use analysis with special attention to the Bay Area context.

    Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: The Nuts and Bolts with HCD

    June 22. 2021

    Additional HCD resources from the webinar:

    Engage How To! Introduction to Remote Meeting Tools

    May 25, 2021

    Additional resources from the webinar:

    Housing Sites Inventory - Deep Dive

    May 18, 2021

    Incorporating Environmental Justice and Safety into your Housing Element

    May 11, 2021

    Summary: This webinar is co-hosted by OPR.

    Additional resources from the webinar:

    How to Talk About Housing – Data-Driven Lessons on Housing Communications that Work and Those that Backfire

    April 27, 2021

    Summary: Speakers share information developed from two separate efforts to analyze how housing is discussed at the Bay Area level and at a statewide level. HCD also discusses how they are supporting local government around communication of housing issues.

    Additional resources from the webinar:

    Planning Collaboratives Kick-Off

    April 13, 2021

    Summary: This webinar introduces the County Planning Collaboratives.

    Additional resource from the webinar:

    Using Data Effectively in Housing Element Updates – ABAG’s Housing Needs Data Packets and Accessing the US Census

    March 23, 2021

    Summary: This webinar introduces the ABAG data packets.

    Additional resource from the webinar:

    Creating Capacity: An Overview of the Sites Inventory

    March 9, 2021

    Additional resource:

    Additional HCD resources from the webinar:

    Housing Element 101 - Overview and New Laws + Tips

    February 23, 2021

    Planning Innovations Webinar: Regional Data Tools for the Housing Element

    Oct. 29, 2020

    Summary: ABAG, in partnership with HCD, discuss state data requirements, solicit input on regional data tools and train local planners to use a site selection tool to analyze parcel-level data and pre-populate HCD’s new site inventory form. The beta version of the Housing Element Site Selection (HESS) tool is presented at the webinar.

    Housing Planning: For the Future

    July 20, 2020

    Summary: This interactive webinar introduces ABAG’s and HCD’s technical assistance partnership and explains some of the technical assistance tools being developed.

    Additional Resources

    For additional online training HCD and the Institute for Local Government (ILG) have developed a webinar series for city and county elected officials. View upcoming sessions and review previous sessions.

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