The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) has awarded more than $402 million from an innovative state program to 25 new community development projects around the state. Each project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help more Californians live closer to the things they need every day, such as jobs, grocery stores, health care facilities, and more.
By integrating affordable homes with walking, biking, and transit use, the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program makes it easier for Californians to drive less.
This round of awards marks an important milestone for the AHSC program, which will surpass $1 billion of investment to support more than 100 projects in communities across the state.
To date, awards made through this competitive Cap-and-Trade funded grant program will avoid more than 2 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 15,000 cars off the road each year. Over four rounds, the program has awarded funding for the construction of nearly 9,500 homes, more than 8,500 of which are affordable for Californians who struggle to make ends meet.
“The AHSC program is a great model for sustainable, inclusive growth that benefits all Californians,” said Kate Gordon, Chair of the Strategic Growth Council and Director of the Office of Planning and Research. “At a time when the state is struggling with spiraling housing costs, these projects will provide much-needed affordable homes that are also near transit and jobs, helping to improve the overall quality of life for residents. These projects truly are a win-win for the future of our state.”
“This effort promotes public health by removing barriers to active transportation and improving air quality, while also supporting residents by providing them with the economic stability they need to live healthy lives,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, SGC Councilmember and Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. “The 700 units of supportive housing made possible by these awards will help those who are struggling with mental health and chronic homelessness to get the services they need.”
“We’re thrilled to see the AHSC program support another set of exceptional projects,” said Louise Bedsworth, SGC’s Executive Director. “These projects will provide more housing and transportation options for Californians, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With this set of awards, the AHSC program will have invested over $1 billion in communities around the state. We are especially encouraged to see more communities benefit from AHSC investments, especially those that have not yet benefited from AHSC. This is a testament to their hard work and the value of our technical assistance program, which helps communities to apply to the program.”
"Imagine living close to where you work because the rents are affordable, and suddenly you can reduce your commute from an hour or two down to fifteen or twenty minutes,” said Ben Metcalf, Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). “Immediately, you not only have an affordable home, you also have more time for your family and friends; more time to help your children with their homework; more time to connect with others in your community; more time to relax and recharge before the next day’s work. These are true, life-changing impacts, and — at the same time — we’re improving the air quality for all Californians.”
The list of staff recommended projects that were approved by the Council today is available on the Strategic Growth Council's website. When completed, the developments will provide more than 2,500 new homes affordable to Californians with modest incomes.
The AHSC program is administered by the SGC in coordination with HCD and the California Air Resources Board. The program is a key part of the California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.