The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) grant is a State program that was initiated in 2014. AHSC is administered by the Strategic Growth Council, implemented by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and funded by the State’s Cap and Trade program. There have been four rounds of AHSC:

  • 2014/2015 (Round 1): $121.9 million awarded to 28 projects
  • 2015/2016 (Round 2): $298.4 million awarded to 25 projects
  • 2017/2018 (Round 3): $257 million awarded to 19 projects
  • 2018/2019 (Round 4): $395 million available

In the third round, $40 million (15.5% of the total funding) was awarded to projects in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

The County of Los Angeles is offering technical assistance and partnership on AHSC applications for the unincorporated areas because:

  • AHSC eligibility thresholds are strict, and developers benefit from guidance on whether their project is eligible
  • The AHSC application includes complex calculations
  • AHSC’s infrastructure funding requires developers to partner with public departments and offices

There are three buckets of funding within AHSC: Transit Oriented Development (TOD), Integrated Connectivity Projects (ICP), and Rural Innovation Projects (RIPA). Regardless of which category a project qualifies as, each project must include a transportation-related component, which can be sustainable transportation infrastructure, transportation-related amenities, and/or programs. At least 50% of AHSC funding must benefit disadvantaged communities. These are defined by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s CalEnviroscreen tool, which combines environmental, health and socioeconomic data by census tract to indicate the degree to which communities are impacted by pollution. The Office of Environmental Hazard Assessment’s website has a map of the disadvantaged communities.

Table depicting scoring breakdown for AHSC applications in Round 4

The guidelines for AHSC change every round. To view the guidelines for Round 4, click here

Calculating the GHG total is complex. The AHSC GHG Emission Reduction Calculator can be downloaded from the California Air Resources Boards’ website, under Strategic Growth Council. If your project is in an unincorporated area, please contact us for assistance.

In general, the attributes or components below will maximize a project’s GHG score. Most of these require partnering with a local jurisdiction.

  • Large projects (higher density)
  • Proximity to transit, jobs and services
  • Expanded transit service (such as extended bus service or a new bus line)
  • Limit on parking spaces
  • Design for walkability
  • Transit improvements (such as bus rapid transit lane, expansion of transit network, increase in transit frequency)