The End of Round 1 of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program

The furor over the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, one of several funded with Cap & Trade dollars -- the most significant new source of funding for good projects in our lifetimes -- has abated. And organizations, advocates, local governments and developers from around the state are sending off a mountain of letters providing input on the lessons learned from Round 1. Posted here is the letter Move LA is sending to the Strategic Growth Council, which administers the program. In sum, we recommend:

  • Removing the jurisdictional cap on funding -- since larger cities offer some of the most cost-effective opportunities for VMT and GHG reductions -- in favor of an allocation scheme that's more sensitive to GHG reduction opportunities, population, and the presence of disadvantaged communities.
  • Reducing the role of resource leveraging in the scoring of projects, which created a "them-that-gots-continue-to-get" dynamic. The best projects may not have ready access to capital.
  • Enhancing the program's commitment to active transportation and first-last-mile infrastructure development.
  • Enhancing the role of metropolitan planning organizations in making transportation infrastructure -- but not affordable housing -- investments. This is especially important in the SCAG region, where county transportation commissions have the money and authority to build transportation projects, but no obligation to demonstrate the GHG reduction potential of the projects they program and fund, while SCAG has that obligation but very little funding to incentivize the CTCs to build the projects that reduce GHG emissions (i.e. transit, first-last-mile connections to transit, bike lanes and paths and infrastructure for people who walk).

Read the letter here.

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