These are 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

HESS Tool 1.0 Tutorial Webinar, Tuesday, October 19, 9 – 11 am

Join ABAG staff as they unveil the new Housing Element Site Selection (HESS) Tool for local governments. 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.

This virtual tutorial will walk local planning staff and consultants through the HESS Tool 1.0 interface. It will also demonstrate 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
  • Register here for HESS Tool 1.0 Tutorial Webinar

    Surplus Public Land: What Local Agencies Need to Know Webinar, Tuesday, October 26, 9 – 11 am

    Join State of California Dept. of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and ABAG/MTC for a webinar outlining the steps public agencies need to take to comply with the Surplus Land Act.

    If you work for any public agency that owns a significant amount of land, this webinar is for you. HCD staff will offer an overview of the Surplus Land Act’s expanded requirements, highlight common mistakes made by public agencies trying to dispose of surplus land, and explain HCD’s roles in monitoring compliance with the Act and promoting affordable housing on public land.

    ABAG/MTC staff will cover the agency’s upcoming regional initiative to support Bay Area public agencies in developing strategies for their real estate portfolios and prioritizing key sites for affordable housing.

    Speakers include:
  • Harrison Anixter, Housing and Community Development Specialist, Housing Policy Division, California Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Jillian Burgos, Innovative Projects Manager, California Department of Housing and Community Development.
  • Register here for Surplus Public Land Webinar

    Check back for planned trainings in the near future on such topics as those listed below.

    • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
    • Open office hours

    Past ABAG Training Sessions

    Context of SB 9 and Potential Impacts

    September 20, 2021

    Summary: This event 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.

    Integrating Climate Adaptation/Resilience Into Your Housing Element

    July 27, 2021

    Summary: The workshop, co-produced by California OPR, presents ways to integrate resilience into Housing Element updates.

    Additional resources from the webinar:

    Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Data Deep Dive

    July 13, 2021

    Summary: This webinar showcases 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.

    Additional resources from the webinar:

    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.

    Image is of graphic typewriter

    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!