Sustainable Communities Strategies Integration

Overview

SCAG was awarded $47 million in Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) funding from Assembly Bill (AB) 101 to provide housing planning and process improvement services to cities and counties. As part of these efforts, SCAG has created a Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS) Integration Program. 

The Sustainable Communities Program (SCP) – Housing and Sustainable Development (HSD) 

The Sustainable Communities Program (SCP) – Housing and Sustainable Development (HSD) will provide resources and direct technical assistance to approximately 25 jurisdictions to complete local planning efforts that both accelerate housing production as well as enable implementation of the Sustainable Communities Strategy of Connect SoCal. Eligible categories for this program include implementing ADU programs, Housing Sustainability Districts, Workforce Housing Opportunity Zones, and Housing Supportive Tax Increment Financing Districts, and Streamlining housing permitting, parking reduction strategies, housing-related specific plans and other pro-housing policies. 

More details about each project type, program area goals, and the SCP overall can be found in the Sustainable Communities Program Housing and Sustainable Development Guidelines.

The SCP – HSD Call for Applications was released in November 2020 and applications were due January 29, 2021, with awards and procurement estimated April 2021, projects underway fall 2021, and implementation occurring through June 2023. 

Read more about the Sustainable Communities Program

Housing Production Study 

In order to assist cities in the SCAG region in meeting state transportation, Regional Housing Needs Allocation  (RHNA), housing, and climate goals, as well as implementing Senate Bill 375 (SB 375) through Connect SoCal, this study will identify potential strategies and tools to expedite the production of housing by investigating opportunities and barriers.

SCAG initiated the Regional Housing Production study to support regional priorities to support infill development, housing production goals, and aligned regional policies (e.g., Priority Growth Areas, High Quality Transit Areas, Livable Corridors, etc.). As part of the overall study, SCAG is organizing virtual roundtable discussions of a wide range of stakeholders to share best practices, provide input on upcoming funding opportunities, and help inform the region’s legislative priorities for a just recovery. The study will look at innovative housing production strategies to produce units of all types for households of all ages, sizes, and income levels. The project will include preparation of a housing strategy “white paper,” and an opportunities and barriers checklist. The final study is scheduled to be completed in Summer 2021.  

Transit Oriented Development Work Program 

LA Metro Partnership: SCAG and Metro will enter into a Transit Oriented Development/Transit Oriented Communities (TOD/TOC) partnership via a MOU to fund a variety of programs and studies that promote housing production near transit stations. 

SCRRA (Metrolink): SCAG and SCRRA will enter into a partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify and encourage transit-oriented housing production opportunities throughout Metrolink’s network and around its stations. Particular emphasis will be made to support and add value to the Metrolink Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion (SCORE) capital improvement and service enhancement program. Local cities and CTCs will also be included as needed to maximize coordination on issues such as alignment of land development policies and regulations, land ownership and site control opportunities of transit station areas and supporting facilities. 

Priority Growth Area (PGA) Analysis and Data Tools   

Partnerships

SCAG will pursue partnerships to further next steps on housing supportive land use analysis and strategy development in PGAs. All programs and studies will include deliverables that provide inventories/counts of potential for housing production at sites that are under study.  

Planning and Policy Research

SCAG will partner with academic institutions as well as other stakeholder groups and industry associations to identify best practices to either unlock new housing development potential, remove barriers to housing development, reduce the cost of development and decrease development timelines. These efforts will focus on various community typologies and housing types, consistent with the SCS and will also build on SCAG’s CEQA streamlining efforts.