FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2016
Evan Gerberding, HCD Deputy Director of Communications
(916) 263-7408; email@example.com
Mackenzie Wieser, SGC External Communications
(916) 327-4737; firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategic Growth Council Approves $289.4 Million Investment in Housing Affordable to Hardworking Californians and Transit Infrastructure Designed to Help People Drive Less
Second Round of Climate Investment Projects Centered on Combating Climate Change
SACRAMENTO—The California Strategic Growth Council today unanimously approved $289.4 million in competitive grants and loans to 25 housing developments and transit-friendly infrastructure projects that will help Californians drive less and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change.
Today’s awards are part of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program, administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development in coordination with the Strategic Growth Council and California Air Resources Board. This is one of the California Climate Investment programs financed by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund using proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions.
“The Strategic Growth Council is using cap-and-trade proceeds to fund over a quarter of a billion dollars in housing and transportation projects throughout California, primarily in disadvantaged communities, that are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving lives, and benefiting the economy, reflecting California’s commitment to fight climate change and build for the future,” said Ken Alex, Strategic Growth Council Chairman.
The program funds statewide affordable-home development that is close to transit in dense urban areas, suburban transit centers, and compact rural communities. When completed, the developments will provide nearly 2,500 new homes affordable to Californians with modest incomes.
“These investments demonstrate the multiple benefits of California’s ambitious programs to fight climate change,” said Matt Rodriquez, California Secretary for Environmental Protection. “Not only will they reduce our global warming emissions, but they will improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable Californians by helping to build communities that are cleaner, healthier and more affordable.”
“These investments in affordable-housing clearly demonstrate the State’s full commitment to direct cap-and-trade auction proceeds into the California communities that need them the most,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “These sustainability projects improve the quality of life in Disadvantaged Communities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a broader range of transportation choices throughout the State.”
These grants and loans help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by supporting more compact development in urban areas and encouraging people to walk, bike, and use public transit, while also protecting agricultural land from suburban sprawl. This year’s 25 recommended developments will reduce Californians’ driving by approximately 770 million miles – the equivalent of removing every single car going both directions on the Golden Gate Bridge for a full week.
The Council continues its commitment to investments that benefit communities with the highest pollution burden, with more than $246 million in funding, or 85 percent, committed to these communities. This year the Council piloted a technical assistance program to support applications from disadvantaged communities, and five of these applicants were awarded funds in today’s Council action.
“The healthy share of funding going to over-exposed and socially vulnerable communities – and the investment in providing technical assistance to maximize success in the application process—represents a continued state commitment to equity as a guiding principle and key criterion in addressing California’s climate challenge. The upcoming Transformative Climate Communities and other programs will offer more opportunities to make progress together,” said Manuel Pastor, Strategic Growth Council Public Member and Director, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity.
The awards adopted by the Council today represent a wide geographic distribution throughout the state, reflecting regional priorities for affordable housing development plus transportation and transit investments. Each development must include transit, bike, and pedestrian improvements, requiring well-coordinated housing and transportation infrastructure that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The AHSC program also funds annual transit passes, ridership programs, active transportation education, and other outreach programs necessary to help people move away from automobiles to other, healthier transportation options.
“These cap-and-trade investments will improve access to housing, transit, jobs and other opportunities in communities throughout the state, while advancing climate and health equity and creating more livable, vibrant communities” said Strategic Growth Council Executive Director Randall Winston.
“The selected AHSC developments throughout California represent a true ‘win-win’ for residents and our environment,” said Ben Metcalf, Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. “When people are able to choose walking, biking, and transit options over hopping in their cars, we’re all healthier.”
A complete list of projects that received funding can be found at: http://sgc.ca.gov/resource%20files/10112016AHSC1516AppendixA1&2.pdf
For more information on California’s Climate Investments visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/auctionproceeds/ggrfprogrampage.htm.
The Strategic Growth Council (the Council, or SGC) was created in 2008 by Senate Bill 732 (Steinberg). The SGC brings together agencies and departments within the Business, Consumer Services and Housing; Transportation; Natural Resources; Health and Human Services; Food and Agriculture; and Environmental Protection Agencies, with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and three public members to coordinate activities that support sustainable communities emphasizing strong economies, social equity and environmental stewardship. More information on the SGC can be found at www.sgc.ca.gov. More information on the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program can be found here. http://www.sgc.ca.gov/s_ahscprogram.php