SCAG Warns Cuts to Housing Program Will Have Devastating Impact on Efforts To Address Affordability Crisis


Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Kome Ajise released the following statement regarding Gov. Gavin Newsom’s May Budget revision, announced today, which cuts funding for the Regional Early Action Planning Grants (REAP 2.0) program:

“We are deeply concerned that Gov. Newsom’s decision to reduce REAP 2.0 funding will have a devastating impact on local and regional efforts to address the housing crisis and urge him–in the strongest terms–to find a solution to restore funding. This past year, SCAG awarded more than $192 million in REAP 2.0 funds to 100 transformative projects to support creation of 66,000 housing units across all income levels throughout the six-county region. These projects are designed to accelerate housing production in a thoughtful, strategic and sustainable manner.

“These 100 projects, most of which have now been put on hold, are spread across Southern California, from the development of 10,000 new housing units on surplus LA Metro transit lands to more than 1,150 affordable housing units in the Coachella Valley. Also jeopardized by the budget cuts are projects that would add 240 accessory dwelling units in Orange County, create infrastructure improvements to allow for nearly 5,000 newly-zoned housing units in Rialto, bring 1,500 new housing units to an expanding North Hollywood Transit Center, facilitate street infrastructure improvements in the City of Calipatria’s Eastside Specific Plan to accommodate up to 736 units and promote hundreds of infill homes in Ventura County through a long-term loan program – among others.

“The region faces compounding challenges related to our housing shortage, including the alarmingly high number of unhoused people. After decades of not producing enough housing to meet our population needs, this problem will take years to address—and will require both long-term planning and short-term projects. SCAG has made REAP part of a much-needed strategy in its work to align activity across the region toward shared housing and climate goals.

“These innovative local initiatives funded by REAP are real and ready to go. They also represent the kind of creative thinking, collaboration and resourcefulness necessary to address one of California’s most pressing challenges: increasing housing supply to improve affordability and help ensure that future generations can afford to live here.

“Again, we encourage the Governor to find a way to restore REAP 2.0 funding and give cities and counties the resources they need to meet our housing needs.”