The CDC, as the County of Sonoma’s housing and homeless services lead agency, in collaboration with the Cities of Santa Rosa and Petaluma, is creating an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) that examines barriers to housing that may exist for protected classes. The purpose of the AFH is to ensure that all publicly and privately funded housing and housing-related activities in Sonoma County affirmatively further fair housing. In particular, that they inform housing and community development policies and practices of the Cities of Santa Rosa and Petaluma and the County of Sonoma to ensure that they promote fair housing choice for all persons.
The purpose of this RFP is to solicit a Consultant to assist the CDC and the Cities of Petaluma and Santa Rosa build trust with, and gain feedback from, populations in Sonoma County and its incorporated cities that have historically or currently experience exclusion experience exclusion, including racial and ethnic minorities, limited English proficient (LEP) persons, persons with disabilities, seniors, families with children, and members of other protected classes.
Through a set of defined tasks listed below, the Consultant will conduct public outreach to these groups in Sonoma County, using meaningful and effective techniques – ones that differ from the standard public-hearing method typically employed by government, in an effort to identify existing inequities in housing and better methods to support populations that are disparately impacted by the lack of affordable housing. The feedback collected will be incorporated into the Assessment of Fair Housing, which will inform future outreach activities, programs and services.
All services will be conducted in alignment with a Diversity Community Engagement Specialist who was hired to outreach specifically to the Latinx community, under a separate scope of work. The CDC’s Policy & Communications Manager Janelle Wetzstein will act as a liaison between both consultants to ensure work is completed efficiently.
Possibility of Extension and Expansion
It is possible that the contract could be extended and expanded to assist in the community engagement work associated with preparation of the Sonoma County 2020-2025 Consolidated Plan and the 2020-2025 Public Housing Authority Plan. This work would commence in early 2020 and end by mid-May 2020.
Collaborative Proposals Encouraged
Given the breadth and nature of the scope of services, collaborative responses by more than one firm, or in which more than one firm has subcontractors, are encouraged.
Integration with the Assessment of Fair Housing Work Plan
Proposers should review the 2019 Countywide Assessment of Fair Housing Work Plan, Attachment A to this Request for Proposals, to understand how this Scope of Services integrates into the full Assessment.
Scope of Services
October 10 - December 31, 2019
The consultant will report to the following CDC Staff during the term of the contract:
Geoffrey Ross, Executive Director
Felicity Gasser, Federal Funding Administrator
Janelle Wetzstein, Policy & Communication Manager
All titles and terms listed below will be referred to in acronym form going forward in the Scope of Work.
- CDC: Sonoma County Community Development Commission
- Consultant: Community Engagement Consultant for the Assessment of Fair Housing
- CDC ED: Community Development Commission Executive Director
- FFA: Community Development Commission Federal Funding Administrator
- P&C Manager: Policy & Communication Manager
- AFH: Assessment of Fair Housing
- HUD: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Task 1: Project Administration
Consultant will be required to conduct weekly meetings, via phone, email or in person depending on the CDC’s availability, with the P&C Manager and Federal Funding Administrator. Meetings may overlap with the Diversity Community Engagement Specialist. During these meetings, Consultant will update CDC staff on status of each of the contract tasks, including deliverables. Consultant and P&C Manager will agree on a weekly time at the start of the contract, with ability to fluctuate based on CDC staff’s schedules. A mid-project and Final Report meeting will be conducted with P&C Manager and CDC ED if needed.
Task 2: Canvassing
Manage Neighborhood Canvassing Project by surveying 5-10 vulnerable neighborhoods identified by the CDC.Canvassing will occur for 6 weeks likely in October and November 2019, though this timeframe is subject to change at the direction of P&C Liaison. Canvassers will use a survey crafted by Consultant, with direction from P&C Liaison and approved by the CDC ED. The selection of neighborhoods will be done in coordination with CDC staff and the Diversity Community Engagement Consultant to ensure geographic coverage. Consultant will be responsible for ensuring that language interpretation is available as needed to reach respondents.
1. Consultant will synthesize the information gathered and create a Canvassing section within a Final Report due to the CDC by December 15, 2019, which provides a concise summary of the canvassing activities undertaken and the comments, views, and recommendations received.
Task 3: Website Survey
In partnership with the CDC, prepare a web-based survey that will provide an online forum for community members who are members of historically excluded communities or protected classes to document barriers to housing and opportunity.
- A web-based survey that can be made available on social media and on the websites for the Cities and Counties who are part of the AFH by October 30, 2019.
Task 4: Stakeholder Outreach
Organize 5-10 stakeholder meetings with community leaders and service providers that have strong inroads to members of protected classes within Sonoma County. The purpose of these meetings will be to hear from groups that may face unique barriers to housing, amenities and financial services as indicated by population profiles created by the CDC and partner organizations. These groups include:
- Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, and other Asian populations
- Native American
- Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
- Black/African American
- Individuals with disabilities
- Families with children
These meetings should be targeted at these groups and/or organizations which represent or serve these populations and have the ability to partner with the CDC on public outreach, as well as collect feedback from community members. CDC staff will be present at these meetings to listen and, if necessary, explain the purpose of the AFH and the deficiencies in housing access for particular segments of the population using the neighborhood and population profiles. Meetings hosted by the CDC or organized by the consultant should have arrangements made for food, childcare and language interpretation where needed. Stakeholder meetings will be held mid-October through end of November, though this timeframe is subject to change at the direction of P&C Manager.
1. Consultant will take notes and synthesize comments and information from these meetings.
2. Consultant will help CDC staff identify new community groups and partners that can help with public outreach, locate appropriate venues if needed for stakeholder meetings and work with CDC staff to schedule these meetings.
3. Consultant will synthesize the information gathered and create a Stakeholder Outreach section within a Final Report due to the CDC by December 15, 2019, which provides a concise summary of the stakeholder outreach undertaken and the comments, views, and recommendations received.
Task 5: Focus Groups
Organize up to seven focus groups or community listening sessions with a selection of the aforementioned populations in different regions of the county. The purpose of these groups is to hear from groups targeted in the Assessment of Fair Housing, specifically people with disabilities, seniors, communities of color and other underserved populations in Sonoma County. Consultant may pay stipends to participants and should work with CDC staff to arrange food, childcare and interpreters if necessary for each session. Focus Groups will be held October - November 2019, though this timeframe is subject to change at the direction of P&C Manager.
1. In consultation with CDC, Consultant will be responsible for preparing agendas, handouts and any relevant presentation materials as appropriate, as well as maintaining notes and synthesizing information from each session.
2. Consultant will use existing stakeholder groups and community events, as well as print and electronic advertisements, to encourage participation in dedicated focus group, listening sessions and surveys.
3. Consultant will synthesize the information gathered and create a Focus Group section within a Final Report due to the CDC by December 15, 2019, which provides a concise summary of the focus groups undertaken and the comments, views, and recommendations received.
Task 5: Final Report
Collect and synthesize all information and assemble a Final Report of qualitative findings, highlighting how particular protected classes experience barriers to opportunity and fair housing choice.
1. Create a Final Report that includes results from canvassing, stakeholder meetings and focus groups, as well as an executive summary and recommendations chapter, due to the CDC by December 15, 2019.