CA Taking Applications for Cap-and-Trade Transit-Oriented Housing Funds

[Update 2/11/15: the Oakland workshop is overbooked, but participants are invited to listen in via audiocast. At the time of the meeting (9:30 a.m. February 12), go to http://www.mtc.ca.gov/meetings/schedule/index.htm]

[Update 2/4/15: the date of the workshop in Oakland was changed to Thursday, February 12; change is reflected below.]

The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program has issued its call for projects [PDF], and a series of technical assistance workshops begin today in San Diego.

The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program will support projects that transform neglected, auto-dependent streets into vibrant mixed-use transit corridors. Image: Strategic Growth Council

The AHSC, which receives 20 percent of its funding through CA cap-and-trade, is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting affordable, compact housing, active transportation and transit, and land preservation projects. It has ambitious goals, ranging from reducing air pollution to improving public health and conditions in disadvantaged communities. Eligible projects must fulfill a wide spectrum of criteria, and must incorporate several separate project components. For example, an eligible project might include affordable housing as well as a bike path connecting that housing to services.

These projects will require coordination between separate entities with differing mandates such as housing developers and transportation planners. Active transportation projects, including infrastructure and programming, can be eligible for funding from the AHSC.

The first round will allocate $120 million. This will build homes, but is dwarfed by housing needs statewide. Future years should receive more funding, as cap-and-trade proceeds are expected to increase over the next few years.

Staff at the Strategic Growth Council, the state agency charged with administering the AHSC, expect to be able to fund between 15 and 25 projects in the first round. Seeking to target funding efficiently, the Council created a two-step application process, wherein prospective applicants will first submit a short concept proposal. Then those projects most likely to fulfill program requirements will be invited to complete the longer, more arduous application process.

Concept proposals are due February 19. Application instructions are available here [PDF]. Those projects then invited to apply have until April 15 to complete the application process.

The Council has released detailed program guidelines [PDF]. Information about the application process, including requirements, scoring process, and submitting instructions, is available in the call for projects [PDF].

In order to help applicants navigate the complicated process, the Strategic Growth Council will host a series of technical workshops, which start today in San Diego. Future workshops are listed below. Registration information can be found here [PDF].

Today in San Diego
Tomorrow, February 5, in San Bernardino
Friday, February 6, in Los Angeles
Monday, February 9, in Bakersfield
Tuesday, February 10, in Stockton
Thursday, February 12, in Oakland

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