Article by:
Nikki Chi
June 8, 2023
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Grants Available with the CA Department of Housing & Community Development

The state of California continues to prioritize the development of affordable housing and more sustainable communities. What many people don’t realize is that there are several grants and incentives to help real estate developers, investors, and owners make these improvements. This post will cover everything you need to know about the grants available with the California Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program.

What is the AHSC Program?

The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program is an important initiative that aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, promote affordable housing, and improve transportation options. Their funding is provided by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), which allows the program to fund:

  • Land-use Projects
  • Housing Projects
  • Transportation Projects
  • Land Preservation Projects

They offer grants and loans for projects that will ultimately reduce GHG emissions. However, the program also focuses on benefits to Disadvantaged Communities with goals to:

  • Increase Affordable Housing Accessibility
  • Improve Low-Carbon Transportation to Employment Centers and Key Destinations
  • Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT)
  • Decrease Average Vehicle Trip Length
  • Transition Residents from Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) Use to More Sustainable Options (biking, walking, and transit).

Who is Eligible for AHSC Grants?

Eligible Applicants

Many different entities are considered eligible for the AHSC grants, including:

  • Developers
  • Program Operators
  • Transit Agency or Operator
  • Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA)
  • Local Transportation Commissions
  • Locality
  • Federally Recognized Indian Tribe
  • Public Housing Authority
  • Redevelopment Successor Agency
  • Congestion Management Agencies
  • School District
  • Community College or University District
  • Joint Powers Authority (JPA)
  • Facilities District

Additionally, it is important to note that 50% of the AHSC funds are reserved for affordable housing and the remaining 50% for disadvantaged communities. A single applicant can qualify for one or both set-asides.

Eligible Projects

If your project falls in any of the below categories, it’s worth exploring the application and next steps to qualify for an AHSC grant. Projects that can apply for funding include:

  • Housing-Related Infrastructure
  • Transportation-Related Amenities
  • Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure
  • Program Costs, such as transit ridership, workforce development, or active transportation programs.
  • Affordable Housing Developments, including:
  • New Construction
  • Acquisition
  • Substantial Rehabilitation
  • Preservation of At-Risk Affordable Housing
  • Conversion of Nonresidential Property to Residential Dwelling Units

What is the Maximum AHSC Grant Available?

Regardless of the project type, the minimum AHSC program grant, loan, or combination of the two is $10 million. The maximum available funding is $50 million, with an additional limitation that a single developer can receive only up to $100 million per funding cycle. However, the AHSC states that they can waive those limitations if they need to meet Affordable Housing and Disadvantaged Community set-aside requirements.

Offset the Cost of Sustainability Improvements

The California Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program is a critical initiative that aims to improve the quality of life for residents in the state. With grants and loans available for projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote affordable housing, and improve transportation options, this program offers a unique opportunity for developers to make a positive impact on their communities.

Even if you aren’t eligible or aren’t selected to receive an AHSC grant, the key takeaway is that funding and support are available for sustainability improvements. If you’re looking for more ways to offset your cost, explore our other blog posts covering incentive programs:

While we provide many resources on these programs, we understand how overwhelming all the information can be. The Ivy Energy team is always here to answer your questions or show you how sustainability improvements can increase your revenue as a property owner.