Congratulations to the recent Partnership for the Bay’s Future (PBF) fellowship graduates, who collectively contributed to the passage of 11 new affordable housing ordinances and policies in their jurisdictions. PBF brings together Bay Area local governments and community groups to catalyze equitable policy innovation across the three P's of affordable housing: production, preservation, and protection.

The Enterprise Northern California office provided housing policy technical assistance to the fellows. Our staff worked in partnership with Coro Northern California, which administered the program and provided leadership development training, and the San Francisco Foundation, which was the program's funding partner.  

The PBF Fellowship is a two-year, full-time cohort of affordable housing policy fellows, each of whom is placed within a “site team” comprised of a Bay Area housing agency and partners with community groups to develop an equitable, affordable housing policy proposal.  

The fellowship culminated on Thursday, May 30, with an inspiring graduation ceremony hosted at Preservation Park in Oakland. Speakers included individuals who designed and administered the fellowship, Informing Change, the program evaluator, and the graduates, who shared their leadership evolution and accomplishments over the last two years.  

Sharron Watts, a graduated fellow who had been placed at the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA), shared her experience, having entered the fellowship in the immediate wake of years working as a housing counselor during the traumatic and grueling days of the pandemic. She remarked, “I came into this fellowship thinking that this is a real opportunity to make some real change, do something different, get a breath of fresh air, and recover from the trauma of making sure people had what they needed.

“Coro preserved us in our hard times. We have watched people get married. We have endured some loss, but we have been connected and bound to each other because Coro invested in our wellness. So, when Cliff [Yee, PBF fellowship lead at Coro] asks how do we sustain the work, we have to sustain our people doing the work. So, I celebrate Coro and the [PBF] design team for taking that initiative to do that for all of us.” 

Kaitlyn Quackenbush, a graduated fellow who had been placed in the City of Richmond, shared the following about her experience in the fellowship at graduation: “Today, after two years, I am leaving the Partnership for the Bay’s Future fellowship deeply rooted in a vibrant housing justice ecosystem, actively fighting for a just and inclusive Bay Area. During this time, I have become deeply connected to grassroots organizing and transformative city leadership. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside community leaders who are dedicated to making real change, and I’ve learned so much from their unwavering commitment.”  

Informing Change, which provided both developmental and summative evaluation of the two years of the fellowship, spoke about the fellows’ accomplishments, which included 11 policies or ordinances approved and over $1 million in new funding committed for affordable housing. Achievements included:  

  • Development and approval of a policy to enable development on faith-owned lands in the City of Antioch 
  • Passage of a local tax measure for affordable housing preservation in the City of East Palo Alto 
  • Development and adoption of a local housing preference policy for the Las Delta redevelopment project for the Contra Costa Housing Authority 
  • Development, adoption, and partial implementation of an Equitable Public Land Policy in the City of Richmond 

Many of the speakers also pointed to the fellows’ contributions as bridge-builders between public sector staff and advocates, highlighting the meaningful incorporation of community feedback and priorities into local housing policies. The fellows also helped foster stronger relationships between the various stakeholders who are necessary for meaningful change in affordable housing.  

We are thrilled to announce that planning for the next round of the fellowship is currently in progress. The third PBF cohort will launch in early 2025, and new fellows and placement sites will be chosen in the summer and fall of this year. Jurisdictions and community partners who are interested in proposing new site teams should visit the request for proposals page. Additionally, those interested in becoming a fellow or in nominating a candidate for the fellowship should submit a nomination form.