Joshua Shipper has joined Generation Housing as our new Director of Special Initiatives. Joshua’s first charge will be to lead the Prohousing Initiative — an effort to assist local jurisdictions in adopting and implementing the policies needed to earn California’s “Prohousing Designation.” Achieving this state designation signifies a region’s deeper commitment to building housing for its entire workforce, fostering climate resiliency, and strengthening our regional economy. It also unlocks state funding that will significantly support housing development for years to come.
Joshua comes to Generation Housing with community-based, academic, and policy experience working to understand how each generation defines what equity looks like for them. After helping to identify solutions to the growing racial wealth gap and home financialization trends shaping communities like West Oakland prior to 2010, Joshua completed his PhD in Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2018. There he focused on American politics, race, and equity policy, contributing to survey and quantitative research on American attitudes shaping policies on wealth, taxation, and education. Applying those insights to politics and policy, Joshua taught political science courses in the Midwest while working to reform state funding for affordable housing with Wisconsin State Assemblywoman Francesca Hong. Now having returned to the Bay Area, he has most recently served as the Director of Data & Grants at the Committee on the Shelterless where he helped support evidence-based, housing-first solutions to homelessness in Sonoma County including through Project Homekey and CalAIM.
Joshua is excited to bring his background in both policy and teaching to educate policymakers and the public on this new, statewide incentive. The first phase of our initiative will entail assessing each jurisdiction’s current status and prohousing score, followed by defining the “roadmap” each can use to meet this standard of housing affordability. Learning together with our partners and taking proactive steps to win this designation, Joshua will help cities identify the policy changes needed to empower local leaders to build housing where they now face deficits. Our initiative will also help each jurisdiction build a cohort of diverse participants to help every neighborhood contribute a share of new housing. Through this strategic engagement, we will foster community feedback where it is most needed, such as on the identification of suitable parcels for development and amenities that are most attractive to new households.