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Implementation Steps for Two Strategies Promoting Jobs/Housing Balance: Local Preference Housing & Shared Work/Communications Centers

August 16, 2005

Introduction

The Ventura Council of Governments (VCOG) received a grant from the South California Association of Governments (SCAG) in the spring of 2005 to advance the programs identified by the Santa Barbara-Ventura Inter-Regional Partnership report entitled "Taking Action Regionally".

VCOG chose to study 3 policy recommendations from the report as well as possible immediate next steps that would lead to defining implementable initiatives. This would allow for implementation leading to action on at least one or two policies, and possibly become a catalyst for advancing the inter-regional dialogue which the Partnership had initiated.

Background

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments with the support of the counties of Santa Barbara and Ventura received a California Housing and Community Development Department grant in 2002 to create an "inter-regional partnership" comprised of the local governments, government agencies, and business and community leaders in the two-county area.

The purpose of the grant was to identify and address issues related to mobility and jobs/housing balance, create new analytical tools and develop strategies for promoting jobs-housing balance in the future.

A report on the process and its findings was completed in July, 2004 for the Inter-Regional Partnership specifically focusing on jobs, housing and mobility entitled Taking Action Regionally. The report was prepared by John Jostes, Interactive Planning and Management, LLC along with several sub-contractors.

One of the key components of the report is the section on policy recommendations. In it, there are 52 policies for either immediate or near term actions grouped into 7 broad categories as follows:

- Inter-Regional Communication and Collaboration 8 policies
- Advancing Housing Policy that Reflects Regional Priorities and Perspectives 12 policies
- Integrating Regional Thinking into Job Creation and Economic Development 4 policies
- Local Permit Processing and Streamlining Improvements 5 policies
- Support Ongoing Programs to Address Congestion 8 policies
- Public Education and Involvement Opportunities 5 policies
- Legislative Advocacy for Change 10 policies

Twenty-four, or almost half of the policies, were identified for immediate (within 6 months) implementation. Although the project identified a valuable set of policy options, there was no funding to develop steps necessary to implement its recommendations.

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