Published January 27, 2020
The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program (AHSC) seeks to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by financing new affordable homes and improvements to greener transportation infrastructure. AHSC funds are prioritized in disadvantaged and low-income communities, investing in the health and quality of life of residents who benefit most from investments in affordable homes and the reduction of GHG emissions.
Unfortunately, San Diego has underperformed compared to other large and urban regions in California in its ability to bring in AHSC funds for disadvantaged and low-income communities. Local jurisdictions have an important role to support applicants and bring this funding to San Diego. Cities, counties, and other agencies have the ability to provide technical assistance and pro-actively support potential AHSC applicants to increase their chance of qualifying for these multi-million dollar grants.
This report reviews best practices from various agencies across the state and outlines steps that local jurisdictions, transit agencies, Local Housing Finance Agencies, and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) can take to attract statewide investment into the San Diego region. Recommendations for local agencies include:
- Identify lead departments and prioritize inter-agency coordination to seek AHSC dollars
- Provide technical assistance and websites to efficiently support AHSC applicants
- Prioritize AHSC-eligible projects with available local funds for affordable homes
- Prepare a pipeline of transportation projects that can be paired with AHSC-eligible affordable housing projects
Local jurisdictions and transportation agencies have an important role in securing more AHSC funding for our region. San Diego can look to other successful regions and adopt their best practices. By acting strategically, the region can secure its fair share of benefits from the AHSC program.
"Housing Advocates Release Report Detailing Funding Shortage In San Diego," KPBS, January 27, 2020
"Report: San Diego missed out on $14M for affordable housing because of miscommunication," Fox 5 San Diego, January 27, 2020
"San Diego not cashing in on affordable housing dollars, report says," ABC 10 News San Diego, January 27, 2020
"San Diego region missing out on millions in state housing and transportation funding, report finds," San Diego Union Tribune, January 27, 2020