Cities and counties throughout California are facing a dire affordable housing crisis. The SanJoaquin Region is no stranger to these housing woes–across the cities and the county, there are not enough homes to meet the current need and not enough funding to build necessary units. Building a broader range of housing in the region would help alleviate the severe cost burden for renters in San Joaquin County and encourage housing stability. With this in mind, in late 2020, the Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) Board adopted Regional Housing Priorities. And in February 2021, the SJCOG Board approved a historic program–the Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) program–the first-ever regional funding program for planning activities related to housing. The REAP program, funded by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, will be used to advance the adopted priorities, accelerating housing production.

SJCOG will partner with FUSE Corps to support advancing the Regional Housing Priorities, primarily by project managing a feasibility assessment for establishing a Regional Housing Trust Fund (RHTF) in the region. The Executive Fellow will also determine how to allocate the second tranche of $10.6M in REAP funds, supporting additional affordable housing programs and policies in the region that will complement the RHTF. Overall, FUSE will help SJCOG plan the preservation and production of affordable housing in the region, increasing opportunities for families and individuals to access decent, affordable homes.