A long-time fair housing advocate joined the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) this week for a 12-month fellowship working on housing equity and affordability in San Joaquin County in a program funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI).
Julia Young, coming most recently from the Kings-Tulare Homeless Alliance, will be SJCOG’s first-ever FUSE Executive Fellow, which was made possible by CZI. Young brings more than 15 years of professional experience in housing working directly with landlords, vulnerable residents, property management companies, and real estate agents.
“Julia’s experience in managing low-income housing and working collaboratively with a broad range of people and agencies will be a great asset to us as we take on several projects to make housing more affordable for San Joaquin County residents,” said SJCOG Executive Director Diane Nguyen. “We very much appreciate FUSE Corps and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative for making this possible.”
Young has also facilitated housing availability tracking and worked to ensure transparency among partners on housing issues. She has also been the property manager for various agencies providing housing for low-income and at-risk families and seniors.
Her focus during her 12 months at SJCOG will be the project Ensuring Equity in Affordable Housing Investments in San Joaquin County. Young will apply her experience in housing by spearheading SJCOG’s work on its Regional Housing Trust Fund Feasibility Study and establishing a new $10.6 million program to support housing production and preservation in San Joaquin County funded by the Regional Early Action Planning Program (REAP 2.0). She will also work with local jurisdictions to develop tools and data to help streamline housing production and update housing elements in general plans.
“One of our main focuses since the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 has been to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges, including ensuring that everyone has access to a safe, affordable, place to call home,” said Xiomara Cisneros, a housing manager with CZI. “We partnered with FUSE Corps and the San Joaquin Council of Governments because we see a real need in the Central Valley and the projects Julia will be working on will have a significant positive impact for addressing that need.”
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, co-founded by Chan and Zuckerberg, is a FUSE Corps supporter and works to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges, including eradicating disease, improving education, and addressing the needs of local communities. CZI strives to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone by focusing on science, education, and community and working alongside justice and opportunity partners to pair technology with grantmaking, impactful investing, and collaboration to drive the pace of progress.
Within the community focus, CZI supports work to create greater opportunity for communities in the Bay Area and across California, including capacity building for local organizations and partnerships on key issues such housing affordability and homelessness.
FUSE Corps works to increase the ability of local governments to engage communities, increase racial equity, and more effectively address pressing challenges. It does that by placing experienced professionals in local government agencies to lead strategic projects designed to accelerate progress and advance racial equity. FUSE has worked on more than 250 projects in 42 cities and counties across 18 states serving a combined population of 25 million people.