After doling out $120 million in essentially free money in 2015, the program staff behind the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grants discovered almost as many opinions as there were dollars in the program. Public and private stakeholders alike expressed concerns about both the fairness and efficacy of the selection process. Large urban areas lobbied for population-based preferences, rural areas lamented their lack of qualifying transit, and fierce discussions took place over jurisdictional caps and underserved communities. >>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.