Rural Housing Solutions

Host: County of Calaveras, Housing Programs
Openings: 2
Project Focus: Affordable Housing
Skills Needed: Community Engagement, Public Speaking, Community Outreach, Marketing,

Remote or On-Site Placement

Hybrid – Onsite vs telecommuting will be negotiated week to week depending on work activities.


Service Needs & Plans

Calaveras County has an inadequate supply of affordable housing for low-income and workforce households. As a result, key employers are not able to fill critical positions and low-income persons are frequently at risk of homelessness. On the other hand, Calaveras has a high incidence of homeownership (75%) and buildable land.

Prior Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) funding allowed us to create a user-friendly, online Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) guidebook to incentivize homeowners to build housing units. Our Housing division working collaboratively with our Planning and Building departments, water and sewer districts and private contractors are ready to move forward. Community outreach is needed as the final step to engage homeowners to develop Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

Project Description

In order to create affordable housing units for low-income and workforce households, Calaveras County needs to develop and implement a Community Engagement Plan. The Plan will engage a majority of the county’s population: landowners and homeowners. Local assessments demonstrate our county’s greatest need is providing more affordable housing units, which can be done through increased ADU production.

Funding from California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) and Regional Early Action Planning (REAP), allowed Calaveras to partner with neighboring counties and launch the award-winning Motherlode Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) guidebook.  Calaveras County’s ADU guidebook is a complete guide with step-by step guidance through the entire process of building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). ADU’s are also known as granny flats, tiny houses, backyard cottages, in-law units, or basement/garage apartments. Homeowners may be intimated by the building process. The ADU guidebook has been effective at overcoming barriers to building ADU in other counties. This has been demonstrated by an increase of ADU permits where homeowners have received support and guidance through the guidebook.

CivicSparks Fellows will work with our Housing team to create a Housing Engagement Plan, create a Housing event, create and distribute Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) materials and provide support to homeowners interested in ADU production. Our Engagement Plan includes creating valuable marketing tools and outreach materials for events, we also plan on using these materials for our website and social media content. Without CivicSparks to provide support with planning and community engagement, our homeowners will likely remain status quo and Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) production will remain at a standstill. Calaveras County can easily address our housing shortage through increased Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) production. CivicSpark will make the next step possible.

Desired Skills
  • Traits- Creative, Innovative, Self-Motivated, Engaging, Team Player
  • Skills- Although not required these skills will benefit our program: Experience with graphic design, PowerPoint, Writing skills, marketing, webpage development and social media outreach.
Organization & Workplace Highlights

As a County, we are a government entity. Our department heads are appointed by elected officials, the County Board of Supervisors. Our Housing Programs division is a collaboration between our Planning Department and our Health and Human Services Agency. Our Housing team is small but mighty. We are fearless in innovation towards our goals. We are a strength-based team structure, with respect and room for our unique skill sets. Staff at Calaveras Health and Human Services (HHSA) specifically voted for transforming county resident’s lives through dedication, collaboration, and innovation. Our county values include connection, wellbeing, equity, integrity, and purpose. Calaveras County envisions providing the Fellows professional mentorship during the program and an equal place on our team. Their unique skills will complete us in achieving our goals.

Community Highlights

Calaveras County is nestled along California’s historic Gold Country Motherlode Highway 49 corridor located a few hours from the Bay Area, Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe. Calaveras County is a small rural county with a population of about 47,000. The residents here have a strong sense of community with small town living. There are many outdoors activities to do year-round, including hiking, fishing, kayaking and wine-tasting in world-class vineyards. Our unofficial start to summer is the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, originating in Mark Twain’s book, The Celebrated Jumping Frog. During the summer months, the Farmer’s Market is the place to go to enjoy good food, drinks, and fresh sourdough bread.

Please visit the Calaveras Visitors Center website for more info.

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