Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program
Purpose & Interagency Collaboration
The Strategic Growth Council's Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program provides grants and affordable housing loans for compact transit-oriented development and related infrastructure and programs that reduce greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions. These projects increase the accessibility of housing, employment centers, and key destinations via low-carbon transportation options (walking, biking, transit) resulting in fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and mode shift.
SB 862, Statutes of 2014 established the AHSC Program, to be administered by the Council, "to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through projects that implement land use, housing, transportation, and agricultural land preservation practices to support infill and compact development..." The AHSC Program is funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), which is an important part of the State’s overall climate investment efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Ultimately, these investments and other transformative drivers lay the foundation for the system-wide changes the State will need to achieve the long-term goals of Assembly Bill 32, as reflected in the Governor’s Executive Order B-30-15 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Pursuant to SB 862, the Council is required to develop and administer the AHSC Program and to leverage the programmatic and administrative expertise of relevant state agencies and departments in implementing the program. The Council is responsible for the overall administration of the AHSC Program and retains the central authority for the governance of this program. The Council and its members acting together have joint responsibility for the development of program design, program guidelines, selection criteria, and selection of projects and other administrative duties as defined by the Council. The Council will use the breadth of expertise in its multi-agency and member constituency to collaboratively discharge these responsibilities.
The Department of Housing and Community Development within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency implements the housing, transportation and infrastructure components of this program. The Strategic Growth Council staff will coordinate collaborative efforts with agency and department staff, working with the Council to develop program guidelines including grants and loans, evaluating applications, preparing agreements, monitoring agreement implementation, reporting and amendments.
To fund projects that:
- Result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles travelled (VMT)
- Increase accessibility of housing, employment centers and key destinations through low-carbon transportation options such as walking, biking and transit.
Provide affordable housing loans and other capital grants for the creation of affordable housing, housing related infrastructure, sustainable transportation infrastructure, transit related amenities, and related programs.
Projects will support public policy objectives through coordination including:
- Reducing air pollution
- Improving conditions in disadvantaged communities
- Supporting or improving public health
- Improving connectivity and accessibility to jobs, housing and services
- Increasing options for mobility, including active transportation
- Protecting agricultural lands to support infill development