SGC has announced its timeline for applications for the 2015-16 Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program and has scheduled six statewide workshops. The schedule for the AHSC program is as follows: >>read more
The staff of the Strategic Growth Council has early Christmas presents in store for some projects that had applied for Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grants earlier this year. Staff have recommended that eight formerly rejected projects receive a total of $32.5 million in grants.
The fall funding round was open to eligible projects that had scored at least 60 in the initial round but were shut out in part because of jurisdictional caps when the program announced its grants in June. That round included $120 million in total funding, awarded to 28 projects.
Projects were evaluated according to their original applications. Some criteria were re-scored according to revised guidelines, focusing on projected greenhouse gas reductions and leverage of other funds. The re-scoring make some projects more attractive than they originally may have been.
On an unusually hot February afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, I conducted a field walk assessment to help a client identify potential sites for a bikeshare "mobility hub." Standing on a corner near the Convention Center, I noted that we were at the border between two Census tracts. Ordinarily, this border wouldn't matter much—the neighborhood isn't discernibly different on one side or the other—but in this case, I was helping the client apply for a state grant program that gives special consideration to projects located in "disadvantaged communities."
If located on the south side of the street, the project would be located in a "disadvantaged" census tract, but not on the north side. "Well, let's clearly locate the hub on the south side," the client advised, with some incredulous laughter. Humorous as it may sound, this decision speaks to the serious policy weight—and dollars—the State of California has put behind the concept of "benefitting disadvantaged communities."
LOS ANGELES — The Strategic Growth Council and partner agencies went from 0 to $120 million in the span of a few short months this year. Spurred by the passage of a budget bill last year, guidelines for the new Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant program came out in January, initial applications were accepted March, and just last month 28 grant awardees were announced.
Following the recommendations of its staff, the Strategic Growth Council formally approved $122 million in grants for 28 projects designed to provide affordable housing and reduce carbon emissions throughout the state.
For the moment, equilibrium has been more or less restored in rivalry between Northern California and Southern California - at least as far as urban planning goes.
Recommended awards have been announced in the competition for $120 million in planning assistance monies from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant program, the state's largest funding program for planning. Of the 28 projects selected, 11 are from the Bay Area and 10 are from Southern California. That's a big shift from the semifinal count, when the 54 finalistsincluded twice as many from the Bay Area as from Southern California. >>read more
LOS ANGELES--State-level policymakers have engaged in more than their share of debates over the future of smart grown in California this year. They've debated level of service vs. vehicle miles traveled. They've debated the neediness and definition of disadvantaged communities. They've clamored for cap-and-trade funds. They've tried to reform CEQA and get rid of CEQA (well, not quite).