2023 Workshop Proposal Guidelines

2023 Housing California Annual Conference Proposal Guidelines

The 2023 Annual Conference will embrace the vision, values, and goals of California’s Roadmap Home 2030 and reflect Housing California’s focus on creating systems changes and structural reforms essential to realize the California Dream with homes, health, and wealth for all in thriving, sustainable communities.

The Roadmap Home 2030, co-led by Housing California and California Housing Partnership, proposes four big goals, reflected in the first four tracks below: 1) Create 1.2 million affordable homes, 2) Protect 1 million low-income renter households from losing their homes, 3) End homelessness for more than 160,000 who are unhoused every night, and 4) Close racial equity gaps in housing and homelessness. Together, we advance the Roadmap’s vision and goals by shaping a new housing justice narrative and by building and shifting power, reflected in the last two tracks.

The Roadmap also includes a five-pillar equity-centered framework for structural change: 1) Invest in our values, 2) Promote fairness in the tax and finance systems, 3) Reimagine growth, 4) Protect people, and 5) Create accountability and efficiency in housing and homelessness systems.

Help advance this shared vision by creating innovative, interactive workshops and learning labs that push the field. Please follow the guidelines below as you develop your proposal.

  • Workshop sessions will be 75 minutes (one hour and fifteen minutes) in length to allow for more networking time during the conference. Learning Labs will be 4 hours in length.
  • Four (4) people maximum may present during a workshop. This may be one (1) moderator and three (3) co-presenters or a combination of four (4) people of your choosing. Learning Labs may include more speakers.
  • Proposals need to be complete and clearly articulate the session’s proposed purpose and goals. Housing CA reserves the right to work with you to modify the title, track, and description.
  • Sessions should meaningfully address justice, equity, diversity, inclusion (JEDI), and anti-racism within the topic presented and the speakers included. Proposals that incorporate JEDI and anti-racism principles, as outlined below, will receive additional point(s) to its overall score.
    • Individual
      • Deepen awareness, integrate personal commitments, strengthen skills into practice, practice self-reflection
      • Build individual resilience
    • Organizational
      • Build just and equitable organizational systems, structures, processes, and policies that are actively anti-racist and fully embrace racial/disability justice, equity, diversity and inclusion
      • Create psychologically safe and healing workplaces (e.g., addressing burnout, navigating conflict, practicing mutuality)
      • Restructure organizational systems to promote power sharing, community, and collectivism
    • Sector/Field-Wide
      • Create an intentional, diverse pipeline of equity-oriented people of color in leadership positions and among the field at large
      • Create wide-scale shifts through shared commitments, expectations, and systems of accountability around JEDI
      • Evaluate the long-term success of integrating equity and anti-racism within our organizational systems and structures and among the sector/field at large
  • We encourage you to push the field. Be innovative and/or controversial and strive for originality in the approach of your topic. If there are two proposals with the same subject matter, the proposal with the most innovative approach will prevail.
  • Sessions with interactive formats are encouraged. A workshop that engages the audience will be selected over the standard panel presentation on the same topic.
  • Consider statewide approaches when creating your workshop. Proposals with a local or regional focus, or those that spotlight one example only, may not be as competitive.
  • Identifying panelists at the time of the proposal is strongly encouraged. If you do not have a specific person confirmed, writing “someone from X organization” is the second-best strategy.
  • Proposals that highlight one agency, product, or business, may be interpreted as an “infomercial” and will be disqualified.

Track Descriptions and Topic Examples

(Your workshops should cross-reference tracks):

Track 1: Create Affordable Homes

Proposals that address:

  • Equity-centered policy strategy and solutions to produce and preserve affordable homes, including:
    • Legislative, electoral, administrative, and budgetary policy at the local, regional, state or federal level
    • Investments in affordable housing production and preservation
    • Land use reforms and enforcement to promote affordable housing development and inclusive communities
  • Development, entitlement, and construction practices and innovations, preservation, and sustainable design, including:
    • Innovative and/or equitable rental and ownership structures, such as community land trusts, cooperatives, and sweat equity
    • Zero net energy, solar, energy efficiency, and weatherization
    • Prefab, modular, and other construction types
    • Develop for different neighborhood and geography types (e.g., urban, rural, suburban) and population types (e.g., seniors, youth, tribal, individuals with disabilities)
  • Finance for rental and ownership housing, including:
    • The latest changes, innovations, and competitive best practices for local, state, federal, and other financing programs
    • Asset management
  • Providing resources, opportunities, and protections to potential and current residents of affordable housing, including:
    • Lease-up and compliance
    • Funding for resident services
    • Build and maintain innovative partner and community relationships
    • Trauma-informed management
    • Proactive approaches to help residents stay housed
    • COVID safety measures

Track 2: End Homelessness

Proposals that address:

  • Equity-centered policy strategy and solutions to end homelessness, including:
    • Legislative, electoral, administrative, and budgetary policy at the local, regional, state or federal levels
    • Investments in homelessness solutions
  • Implementing the Housing First model
  • Leveraging best practices and building partnerships to end homelessness, including:
    • Supportive housing, rapid re-housing, emergency responses, bridge housing, service provision, diversion, and prevention
    • Strategies to close racial equity gaps in who experiences homelessness and who gets positive outcomes in the homeless response system
    • Solutions to address inequitable barriers faced by populations uniquely impacted by homelessness, including youth, students, formerly incarcerated people, older adults, veterans, LGBTQIA people, people with disabilities, survivors of human trafficking, survivors of gender-based violence, and immigrants and refugees
    • Strategies to push back against the criminalization of homelessness Building strong cross-system collaboration (Cities/Counties, Continuums of Care (CoC), Coordinated Entry Systems, and multi-sector collaborations (mental and behavioral health, health, court system, etc.)
    • Strategies to support equity and capacity building for the frontline workforce of the homeless response system.

Track 3: Protect Low-Income Renters

Proposals that address:

  • Equity-centered policy strategy and solutions to protect people from discrimination and displacement, including:
    • Legislative, electoral, administrative, and budgetary policy at the local, regional, state or federal levels
    • Investment without displacement, rent control, just cause eviction protections, right to counsel, source of income discrimination, fair chance, credit history, condo conversions, accessibility
    • Gentrification and displacement mapping
  • Tenants’ rights organizing and campaigns
  • Making COVID-19 solutions permanent
    • Evictions moratoriums for tenants who fall behind on rent and apply for relief
    • Programs to pay off back rent for those who are unemployed, have reduced work hours, fall ill, have to provide care for someone who is ill, whose children are unable to attend in-person school or receive childcare outside the home

Track 4: Shape the Housing Justice Narrative

Proposals that address:
  • Innovations in narrative research
    • Narrative 101: Create, Translate, Deploy, Observe Together
      • Create: articulate both the new narrative and the existing dominant one
      • Translate: identify and map audiences to connect with and find ways to express the narrative
      • Deploy: new narratives only become dominant when they are put into practice and adopted widely
      • Observe Together: Measure and interpret impact and learning, seeking to understand hot to grow and sustain the new narrative over time
    • Latest polling results and research findings from the field
      • Understanding the complex relationship between values, narratives, and stories
      • Seeing different folks experiencing homelessness in different ways on the basis of their individual stories versus seeing all persons experiencing homelessness as persons who suffer unnecessarily because we have broken systems
    • Understanding worldview and the contest/battle of big ideas
      • Narrative power analysis: Understanding the existing narrative landscape and the tools and processes that define that landscape
      • Refract the narrative: Understand how the new narrative is shaped by different identities and experiences and identify blindspots/voids
      • Waves and currents: Currents make waves. Deep currents are powerful and enduring. They are the bedrock of worldview and ideology. (For example, white supremacy drives racist narratives. Racist narratives drive dog whistles). We need to understand the values and worldviews beneath narratives, not just the messages and stories that narratives support.
    • Working with cultural influencers and developing cultural strategies
    • Success stories of how opportunities to integrate research into ongoing work have been seized and capitalized upon
      • How are you interweaving narrative work throughout programmatic, policy, organizing, and other work?
    • Identify gaps and opportunities for expanding narrative research
      • What narratives work best on what platforms? Is what is true on YouTube true on Twitter? Is what moves quickly on TikTok what gets shared on IG?
  • Changing the narrative about narrative
    • Defining narrative as a set of skills, strategies, tools, and the infrastructure required to win campaigns and win public will
    • Tools, platforms, and marketing techniques that can help seize the moment, expand progressive wins, and drive a housing justice narrative (e.g., social media, digital action toolkits)
  • Using narrative as a strategy to build power and capacity
    • Connect various disciplinary approaches, issue areas, and constituencies to advance the housing justice narrative (e.g., environmental, climate change, public health, healthcare, criminal justice reform)
    • Develop and managing narrative infrastructure for cross-organization, cross-discipline narrative strategy formation and execution
    • Engage affordable housing residents in narrative building work
    • Uplifting storytelling from directly impacted and underserved communities in fiction writers rooms and news rooms, in influencer magnified TikTok trends and presidential campaign talking points
      • Organize voices that already have big microphones
      • Support emerging influencers
      • Honored presence and participation of elders
      • Recognition of the relationship to the land and Indigenous peoples
      • Destigmatized visibility of disability and mental health diagnoses in children and adults, and of addiction as a health diagnosis and ongoing condition
  • How to use narrative to drive impact
    • Testing and measuring the impact of supporting narrative as a skill, campaign, and powerbuilding strategy
    • How cross-issue coalitions can work together to create a hopeful vision for California and beyond
    • Interconnected strategic practices that shift narratives and win campaigns
      • Storybanking with cross tabs!
      • Rapid response application of new narratives to crisis moments
      • Sets of shared images and media (art, graphics, charts, audio, video, fonts, etc)
      • Sets of discrete images and media that speak to unique organizational, coalition, or individual identities
      • Media maps and listening tools that measure against a baseline
      • Audits of target audiences and sectors
      • Tools and practices for iteration and adjustment
    • Blueprints for aligning narratives across coalitions and networks guided by the systematic emphasis on differentiation being the driver of new funding, instead of integration and coordination

Track 5: Build and Shift Power

Proposals that address:
  • Community organizing, voter mobilization, and leadership development with residents, staff, and community members
  • Resident voices and stories
  • Civic engagement and popular education
  • Multi-sector collaboration and coalitions to advance a shared agenda, including partners in public health, healthcare, education, transportation, disability rights, climate change, natural disasters, criminal justice reform, labor, ending poverty, and environmental justice
  • Running individuals with lived experience for elected office
  • Making affordable housing and homelessness priority issues in the 2024 presidential campaign
  • Going beyond the advocacy limits of 501(c)(3) organizations by embracing 501(c)(4)s, 527s, and other structures that determine what ballot measures and candidates will make it across the finish line, and which ones one
  • Introducing a “housing scorecard” to hold California’s elected officials accountable year after year

Track 6: Health and Housing Intersection

Proposals that address the health (mental/emotional/physical well-being) and housing stability of individuals, families and communities:

  • Addressing housing needs among people with behavioral health disabilities (Implications of CARE Court implementation, best practices)
  • Innovative housing solutions that address the special needs of high-risk populations such as older adults, persons with disabilities, chronic diseases, mental illness, formerly incarcerated, etc.
  • Programs/resources addressing social/emotional needs of current residents (i.e. pets, social circle, family)
  • Housing First programs that have demonstrated success in addressing health needs
  • Opportunities that have emerged during the last few years of the pandemic (access, advocacy opportunities, understanding connections between health and economic prosperity or lack of)
  • Policy solutions at local, state, and/or federal levels that address the health needs of people experiencing homelessness (lessons learned)
  • New narrative approaches to amplifying the connection between health and housing
  • Best practices for affordable housing providers protecting residents from newly emerging public health crises and future pandemics
  • New partnerships or programs that address the challenges faced by an underserved population such as LGBTQIA, tribal groups, farm workers, youth etc.
  • How state and federal agencies have collaborated to address health needs of those experiencing homelessness (existing programs)
  • How are affordable housing providers planning for future climate change relative to new or existing developments?