The San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative (Collaborative) set out to provide more educational and technical assistance events in 2015-16 based on feedback it received in 2014.
In July 2015, the Collaborative hosted the regional forum “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Programs: Funding Opportunities for the San Joaquin Valley.” The forum provided an opportunity for information-sharing with Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program applicants. The more than 85 participants that came from across the region to Merced also learned about resources for accessing programs and discussed the limitations of programs and opportunity areas for change.
In September 2015, the Collaborative partnered with the Northern California Community Loan Fund, Sigala, Inc., and the San Joaquin Valley Rural Development Center to host the regional workshop “Innovative Finance Tools for Community Development in the San Joaquin Valley.”
The workshop provided information and resources for financing community development projects with innovative approaches; topics of interest included affordable housing and new market tax credits. Both rural and urban perspectives from nearly 40 attendees contributed to the discussion in Tulare.
In November 2015, the Collaborative hosted the 4th Annual San Joaquin Valley Affordable Housing Summit, “Re-Imagining the ‘Big Valley’: Advancing Housing Opportunity and Equity.”
The Summit brought together over 160 community development professionals from across the state and region to Bakersfield to expand the conversation around housing affordability, opportunity, and equity.
Breakout sessions addressed:
• Transit, Housing, & Energy: Redefining Affordability
• Housing As Health
• Planning to Stay: Addressing Displacement in the Valley
• De-concentration Inside Out: Creating Diverse, Inclusive, Communities
• Smart Planning for a Dry Region
• Working Lands and Working People: Promoting Equity in the Rural Valley
In April 2016, the Collaborative partnered with the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers to host the Valley-wide symposium “Resources and Strategies to Fight Blight in San Joaquin Valley Communities.”
The symposium highlighted code enforcement as a vital tool in combating blight and promoting the well-being of local communities. Over 95 attendees came to the Visalia symposium to explore successful code enforcement strategies and think through regional and professional partnerships to enhance code enforcement tools and techniques.
The Collaborative convened a committee of over 20 individuals in April 2016 to begin planning the 5th Annual San Joaquin Valley Affordable Housing Summit, “The Housing Connection: Housing as an Anti-Poverty Strategy,” which was held on August 18 in Fresno.
The San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative serves as a much-needed forum to discuss regional challenges and strategies to address the Valley’s long- and short-term housing goals and as an invaluable tool for the region to organize as one voice when communicating with state and federal policymakers and regulatory agencies.
The San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative is a 501c3 nonprofit organization formed as a regional entity in 2009 to specifically address housing issues in the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley. It is governed by a board of directors and operates as a joint partnership between the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State and California Coalition for Rural Housing.