planning bodies and organizations-02-02.jpg

Just scroll down to find these are helpful planning links:

  • US Department of Housing and Development
  • California Department of Housing and Community Development
  • ABAG
  • Plan Bay Area
  • Bay Area Quality Management District
  • MTC
  • BART
  • Cal Train
  • Cal Trans
  • Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition


  • Congress for New Urbanism
  • Housing Trust Silicon Valley
  • Hope SF
  • SF Housing Accelerator Fund
  • Silicon Valley @ Home
  • Affordable Housing Developers/Managers
  • Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • The Knight Foundation
  • SPUR
  • ULI

Most of these descriptions are either direct quotes, or closely quoted from the sites themselves.

Governmental - National

US Department of Housing and Development

HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.

Governmental - State

California Department of Housing and Community Development (HUD)

HUD provides leadership, policies, and programs to preserve and expand safe and affordable housing opportunities and promote strong communities for all Californians.  Specifically HUD provides grants and funding, mobilehome registration, enforces building standards, ensures communities plan for housing and develops housing and community development policies.

Governmental – Regional

Association of Bay Area Governments

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is the comprehensive regional planning agency and Council of Governments for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the San Francisco Bay Region. The region encompasses Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma counties. ABAG provides planning and research resources related to land use, housing, environmental and water resource protection, disaster resilience, energy efficiency and hazardous waste mitigation, risk management, financial services and staff training to local cities, and towns. ABAG's planning and research programs are committed to addressing sustainability, resilience and equity in the region.

Bay Area Quality Management District

The Air District is tasked with regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay.


Plan Bay Area

Plan Bay Area 2040 is the first integrated long-range transportation and land-use/housing plan for the San Francisco Bay Area that addresses the challenge of accommodating projected growth. Mandated by Senate Bill 375 and jointly prepared by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) the Plan integrates transportation and land use to better align jobs and housing with the region’s transportation network and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Plan distributes growth to areas with greater accessibility to transit, job centers, shopping, schools, recreation, and other amenities, while planning for environments that better support walking and biking.  Plan Bay Area 2040 is a limited and focused update of the region’s previous integrated transportation and land use plan, Plan Bay Area, adopted in 2013.  The Plan was jointly adopted by ABAG and MTC on July 26, 2017. 

Transportation - Regional

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area – a federal designation and the regional transportation planning agency for the Bay Area – a state designation.

Cal Train

Caltrain provides commuter rail service along the San Francisco Peninsula, through the South Bay to San Jose and Gilroy.

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition

Endeavors to create a healthy community, environment, and economy through bicycling for people who live, work, or play in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.  SVBCs central goal is to see that 10% of trips are taken by bike by 2025.

Bay Area Rapid Transit

BART) connects the San Francisco Peninsula with Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton and other cities in the East Bay.

California Department of Transportation (Cal Trans)

Caltrans manages more than 50,000 miles of California's highway and freeway lanes, provides inter-city rail services, permits more than 400 public-use airports and special-use hospital heliports, and works with local agencies.

Planning – National

 Congress for New Urbanism

New Urbanism is a planning and development approach based on the principles of how cities and towns had been built for the last several centuries: walkable blocks and streets, housing and shopping in close proximity, and accessible public spaces.  New Urbanism emerged as a response to sprawling, single-use, low-density patterns typical of post-WWII development, which New Urbanists believe inflict negative economic, health, and environmental impacts on communities.

Affordable Housing Resources

Affordable Housing Developers/Managers:

Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California

NPH promotes the proven methods of the non-profit sector and focuses government policy on housing solutions for low-income people who suffer disproportionately from the housing crisis. NPH does not build or develop housing but rather supports its members to build, develop, and preserve affordable housing.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems and is the largest community foundation in the world, with more than $8 billion in assets under management.  SVCF partners with families, individuals and corporations to manage and facilitate their philanthropy connecting donors’ interests to the most pressing needs, in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. 

City Planning Grant Programs

The Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation focuses on 26 cities where the Knight brothers once published newspapers and provides grant opportunities to cities that seek to: attract and nature talent, enhance opportunity and foster civic engagement.

Affordable Housing Initiatives

Housing Trust Silicon Valley

Housing Trust Silicon Valley is the product of local business and community leaders who organized in 1998 in hopes of lessening the disparity between the growing number of jobs in Silicon Valley and the inadequate supply of affordable housing in the area. Housing Trust Silicon Valley has three main program areas: First Time Homebuyer Loans, Multifamily Loans and Homeless Prevention.

Hope San Francisco

The HOPE SF initiative seeks to transform 2,500 unite across four of San Francisco’s most distressed public housing sites (Hunters View, Sunnydale, Potrero and Alice Griffith) into vibrant, thriving communities through holistic revitalization. HOPE SF is lead by the Office of the Mayor in partnership with the San Francisco Housing Authority.  

San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund

The San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund is a public-private partnership with the city of San Francisco, local foundations, private lending institutions, and corporations.  SFHAF’s mission is to preserve and expand quality affordable housing.

SV @ Home

SV@Home is a membership organization acting as a voice for affordable housing in the Silicon Valley. SV@Home advocates for policies, programs, land use, and funding that lead to an increased supply of affordable housing. Additionally, SV@Home educates elected officials and the community about the need for housing, and the link between housing and other quality of life outcomes, including education, health, transportation, and the environment.

Industry Organizations

SPUR (the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association)  

SPUR endeavors to bring people together from across the political spectrum to develop solutions to the big problems cities face. SPUR offers a variety of membership types, a monthly publication breaking down local planning challenges and ample programming from lunchtime forums to evening walking tours (many events are open to non-members).  They are helpful resource during election time too offering helpful proposition summaries.

 ULI (the Urban Land Institute) 

ULI has chapters across the America, Europe and Asia Pacific with many local city chapters running local programming and events. ULI is a great way for those in the real estate industry to learn about development projects, track industry trends and network at the many conferences and events.  Those keen to get involved can volunteer with local chapter committees.  Membership fees vary by chapter.

Featured Posts