Yesterday the Strategic Growth Council adopted guidelines for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program and scheduled workshops for early February to provide technical assistance to potential applicants.
California’s Strategic Growth Council is a state committee that coordinates a variety of activities by multiple state agencies, including efforts to improve air and water quality, increase affordable housing, improve transportation, and other issues related to quality of life in California. The Council was given the task of overseeing the AHSC program, created last year during negotiations on how to spend cap-and-trade revenue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The AHSC is tasked with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the development of affordable housing near transit and by creating walkable, bikeable communities that encourage few car trips.
There is $130 million in AHSC’s first round, and staff estimate it will be able to provide partial support for between 15 and 25 projects. The second round of funding is slated to receive $200 million, pending how much revenue cap-and-trade raises this year as well as final budget decisions in June.
The AHSC is a new program, and the process of creating the guidelines has been on a fast pace. After a series of intensive public workshops held throughout the state, proposed guidelines were released in October. At yesterday’s hearing, speaker after speaker remarked that SGC staff succeeded in creating a remarkable, important program in an extremely short time.
And almost everyone agreed it still needs work. Read more…