Strategic Growth Council Nearly Doubles Funding to $780 Million for Affordable Housing and Sustainable Community Projects
Sacramento – After receiving over $1.1 billion in funding requests from applicants of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC), the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) took action at its September Council Meeting to nearly double available funding for the current award round from $405 million to $780 million.
“This funding for innovative and equitable community-driven solutions will help address climate change and increase access to jobs, schools, and services for Californians,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Supporting more affordable housing and sustainable transportation options is an integral part of our efforts to create a California for All.”
In February 2021, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which implements the AHSC Program on behalf of SGC, received over $1.1 billion in requests from applicants. To help streamline project development, SGC has decided to add an additional $380 million in funding to the current round. The additional funding increase was made possible due to revenues from recent Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund auctions. By increasing the available funding, the State will award more projects expeditiously and with more certainty for communities.
“Building climate-friendly housing is an important component of the state’s strategy to increase affordable housing, improve air quality and create better access to transportation and jobs,” said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency, and member of the SGC Council. “By making more dollars available we will be able to move faster to produce more location-efficient and transit-accessible housing developments and strengthen community resiliency.”
“Expediting this funding is a great way to invest in low-income communities across California and contribute to California’s inclusive economic recovery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and its harshest impacts,” said SGC Executive Director Lynn von Koch-Liebert. “We’re excited to see this additional funding made available for applicants developing innovative, competitive proposals.”
Various members of the public lauded SGC’s action during the September Council meeting. One technical assistance provider noted that the expended and increased funding will generate high-quality projects throughout the state, save project costs for applicants, and make it much easier to build affordable homes, and increase access to viable transit options for Californians.
“The message from the state is clear: We must do everything in our power to accelerate affordable housing production. SGC’s decision to invest more to meet the needs of our communities, especially during this pandemic, is right on target,” said Gustavo Velasquez, director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. “When everyone has a safe, stable, affordable home with access to good transit and jobs, all Californians will reap the benefits of a stronger economy, improved air quality, and better public health.”
Personal vehicle use is, by far, the most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, by integrating affordable homes with walking, biking, and transit use, the AHSC program makes it easier for Californians to drive less and increase the state’s stock of affordable housing. Projects funded by the AHSC Program foster healthier communities and protect the environment by increasing California’s supply of affordable places to live near jobs, schools, stores, transit, healthcare facilities, and other daily needs.
California Strategic Growth Council:
Emily Breslin, SGC.email@example.com
About the California Strategic Growth Council
With a guiding vision—healthy, thriving, and resilient communities for all—the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC), a cabinet level body, coordinates and works collaboratively with public agencies, communities, and stakeholders to achieve sustainability, equity, economic prosperity, and quality of life for all Californians with a focus on the state’s most disadvantaged communities. SGC implements its mission through four key activities: making investments in infrastructure and conservation programs; conducting outreach and providing technical assistance to support of communities seeking to access these investments and leading and supporting integrated policy initiatives that align with SGC’s mission. Learn more at sgc.ca.gov.
Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program
The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC) builds healthier communities and protects the environment by increasing the supply of affordable places to live near jobs, stores, transit, and other daily needs. Personal vehicle use is, by far, the most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions in California. AHSC reduces these emissions by funding projects that make it easier for residents to get out of their cars and walk, bike, or take public transit. Funded by auction proceeds from California’s Cap-and-Trade emissions reduction program, AHSC is administered by the Strategic Growth Council and implemented by the California Department of Housing and Community Development Visit www.sgc.ca.gov/programs/ahsc to find out more.