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Learning Community Recording Available: Building Family, Agency, and Community Resilience: Rural Policies to Improve Housing Affordability and Accessibility

The third Sierra Learning Community for the 2019-20 fiscal year focused upon Building Family, Agency, and Community Resilience:  Rural Policies to Improve Housing Affordability and Accessibility. 

The power point and other materials distributed to attendees are attached to this post.  View the recording by clicking here: 2.13.20 Sierra Learning Community


Make sure to visit the Strategies2.0 YouTube Channel to access recordings of all the Strategies2.0 sponsored webinars and Learning Communities.  The channel holds a wealth of resources you can use for training purposes, or to catch up on the latest programs if you are unable to attend a Learning Community! 

See the attached listing of Strategies2.0 webinars available for free from the comfort of your computer, or organize a group to watch and learn together.  

Highlights and Resources

Christopher Martin, Legislative Advocate from Housing California, provided an overview of policies over the last 40 years that have contributed to the large housing affordability/accessibility gap.  Chris shared information about the California legislative landscapeβ€”specifically, what are some opportunities, especially for rural communities? 

Cheyenne Purrington, Executive Director of the Tahoe Coalition for the Homeless and Principal of Threshold Consulting, then provided reflections from the field, with specific ideas for programs that can be implemented to prevent and reduce homelessness.    Cheyenne discussed social vulnerabilities that lead to homelessness, and helped attendees think about how we can work within our agencies and communities to identify and support high risk individuals and families. 

The participants worked together to identify barriers to developing affordable housing in their communities.  Were there any ideas for how to identify people that are at risk of losing their housing before they become homeless?  

One of the biggest barriers to developing new housing is a lack of available land in rural areas.  So much land is federally owned, or not available for development.  To help prevent homelessness, one strategy identified was to educate people about their rights as tenants.  The idea of employing a housing navigator with a background in realty was suggested.  Additionally, the idea of educational panels to bring in the broader community and explain the problem without asking for any solutions was floated.  Begin a discussion, without making people feel they need to do something. 

How can we identify people who need assistance?  Built for Zero uses data-driven approaches to help communities take a systems-wide approach to ending homelessness.  Built for Zero communities are assisted in developing innovating new housing models, and exploring how to disrupt homelessness from happening in the first place. 

Other housing related resources include: 

Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) has a wealth of resources on developing affordable, accessible and supportive housing in your community.  

  • The CSH One Roof project has child welfare involved families as its focus. Read the 8-Steps-Roadmap to learn about the 8 steps to creating housing solutions for high-risk families. 

Technical Assistance is available through the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), Housing Policy Division.  Using three providers under contract with HCD, technical assistance to improve the delivery of homelessness programs throughout California is available.  CSH is one of the providers, with a focus on Housing and Stability.   Eligible recipients of this TA include California Counties and Continuum's of Care (CoC’s) that administer or receive a direct allocation from HCD of Emergency Solutions Grant and/or No Place Like Home. Counties and CoC’s can request TA on the HCD website at 

Click here for The Basics on California Lawmaker’s Housing Proposals provided by Capital Public Radio. 

To learn more about red-lining, read The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein.  

The  California Housing Partnership creates and preserves affordable and sustainable homes for Californians with low incomes by providing expert financial and policy solutions to nonprofit and public partners. Some key reports:

National Low-Income Housing Coalition advocates for policies that support the development of affordable housing.

  • California Sub-set of above report  You will receive a copy of the first page of this report, but the link will take you to a listing of county and census information for the state of California. 

Next Steps for the Sierra Learning Communities: Save the Date!

 Wednesday, May 13, 2020 from 9:30-12:30  TOPIC:  Further Along the Road to Building Family, Agency, Community Resilience:  How Can Technology Bring Services and Residents Together? 


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