SCP Call for Applications

Civic Engagement, Equity & Environmental Justice Q&A Summary



1. What is the Sustainable Communities Program (SCP) for Civic Engagement, Equity, and Environmental Justice?  

The Sustainable Communities Program (SCP) provides direct technical assistance and resources to local agencies and jurisdictions to support local planning efforts and enable implementation of the Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS), which today is called Connect SoCal.   

This SCP Call for Applications is focused on Civic Engagement, Equity, and Environmental Justice (SCP CEEEJ) and is funded through Regional Early Action Planning Grant Program for 2021 (REAP 2.0) and Senate Bill 1 (SB 1).  

2. What is REAP 2.0 and how does SCP CEEEJ fit into SCAG’s larger REAP 2.0 program?  

Regional Early Action Planning Grant Program for 2021 (REAP 2.0) was established through AB 140 (July 2021) as part of the mid-year budget revise for the State’s FY 21-22 budget. Approximately $600 million is available statewide to support transformative and innovative projects that implement each region’s Sustainable Communities Strategy and support three primary objectives: 

  • Accelerate infill development that facilitates housing supply, choice, and affordability; 
  • Affirmatively Further Fair Housing (AFFH); and 
  • Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). 

The Southern California region anticipates receiving approximately $246 million in grant funds through REAP 2.0. All REAP 2.0 funds must be obligated by June 2024 and expended by June 2026, with a final closeout report due June 2026.  

The California Housing and Community Development Department (HCD) is the lead for the program and works collaboratively with the Strategic Growth Council (SGC), Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), and State Air Resources Board (CARB).  

SCP CEEEJ Call for Applications serves as one of multiple strategies that SCAG has proposed as part of its REAP 2.0 allocation. The State released Final Guidelines for REAP 2.0, available here. SCP CEEEJ program guidelines for the Housing and Land Use Strategies category, which is funded exclusively through REAP 2.0, are based on the State’s REAP 2.0 Guidelines. 

3. Can I suggest other organizations for SCAG to involve and share this process?

Yes. SCP CEEEJ information and SCAG staff contact information are available to the public to involve, share, and include organizations and other interested parties in the process. Please contact Hannah Brunelle at

4. Will the application materials be made available in Spanish?

To request materials in Spanish, please contact Hannah Brunelle at

5. Who do I contact if I have more questions about the program?

Please direct any questions about the program to Hannah Brunelle at

Award Amounts

6. What is the total available funding? What is the expected grant size? What is the range for awards?

SCAG anticipates $5 million to be available for SCP CEEEJ, pending approval from State Partners. $3 million dollars will be available for Housing and Land Use projects, funded by REAP 2.0 and $2 million will be made available for Multimodal Communities projects, funded by SB 1. The funding range per project is determined by project size and scope. Proposed project budgets are anticipated to range between $200,000 and $500,000. Award amounts will vary based on the scope of the proposed project.  

Budgets and project lists for the previous 2020 SCP grants approved by SCAG’s Regional Council are publicly available on SCAG’s Website:

7. How many projects will be awarded in each county? Is there a limit to the number of projects awarded per county?

There is no pre-determined allocation or number of projects per county. The project award list will be determined through the evaluation process and approval by the Regional Council. Overall, SCP CEEEJ will prioritize funding in areas that have been traditionally disadvantaged, underserved, underrepresented, and under resourced, as aligned with the funding guidelines.  

8. How will community-based organizations (CBOs) receive a “bigger piece of the pie” considering the small amounts historically allocated to them?

This Call for Applications includes a co-applicant partnership structure, inclusive of a primary applicant and a co-applicant. Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and non-profits are eligible and highly encouraged to apply as co-applicants in partnership with an eligible primary applicant. Proposals shall include scope and budgets that identify appropriate compensation for CBOs to lead key elements of the project. In addition, the application and evaluation criteria emphasize equitable, respectful, and reciprocal partnerships.   

9. Is it possible to pursue a multi-year funding model? Can these funds be used to cover operating costs?

SCP CEEEJ funds planning projects and does not currently provide multi-year funding for general operations. SCP CEEEJ project award recommendations and approval are anticipated in Summer 2023. Final work and invoices shall be submitted by December 31, 2025.  

Applicant Eligibility

10. Who is eligible to apply as a Primary Applicant?  

The following entities can apply as Primary or Co-Applicants for all funding under SCP CEEEJ: 

  • Local or Regional Agencies – Examples include cities, counties, councils of government, Regional Transportation Planning Agencies, and County Public Health Departments.    
  • Transit Agencies or Districts – Any agency responsible for public transportation that is eligible for funds under the Federal Transit Administration.    
  • Tribal Governments – Federally-recognized Native American Tribes.   

For Housing & Land Use Projects, the following agencies are also eligible to apply as Primary Applicants: 

  • Housing Authorities  
  • Natural Resources or Public Land Agencies  
  • Public Academic Institutions  
  • Local or Regional Housing Trust Funds  
  • School Districts  
  • Special Districts  

Please review the “Applicant Eligibility” section in the Program Guidelines for more detailed definitions. 

11. How is a Co-Applicant defined? What are the minimum requirements for a Co-Applicant? Are organizations with a fiscal sponsor eligible?

Co-Applicants are optional but strongly recommended for SCP CEEEJ and support a more competitive application. The following organizations are eligible to apply as Co-Applicants: 

  • Community-based organizations, non-profits, and social enterprises that fulfill a social or public service mission are eligible to apply as Co-Applicants.  
  • Organizations that utilize a fiscal sponsor are eligible to apply as a Co-Applicant.  
  • All Primary Applicants listed in Question 10 are also eligible to apply as a Co-Applicant. 
  • Up to two (2) Co-Applicants may apply alongside the agency applicant.   

All awarded CBO Co-Applicants, non-profit Co-Applicants, and/or any Co-Applicants that utilize a fiscal sponsor are expected to undergo SCAG’s risk assessment process by filling out the Self-Certification Checklist, which helps SCAG identify areas where Co-Applicants need additional support to meet eligibility requirements.  

Primary and Co-Applicants are required to maintain an accounting system that properly records and segregates incurred project costs by line item. The accounting system of the awardee, including its co-applicants and subcontractors, must conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles that enable the determination of incurred costs at interim points of completion and provides support for reimbursement payment vouchers or invoices sent to or paid by SCAG. Allowable project costs must comply with applicable cost principles and regulations. 

12. The limit of two (2) Co-Applicants may be a barrier for interdisciplinary projects that require multiple types of expertise. Can more Co-Applicants be included? 

The limit is intended to facilitate streamlined contract and MOU management. The Co-Applicant partnership structure reflects a new SCAG strategy therefore the number of Co-Applicants will remain limited to two as SCAG works to structure administrative processes for innovative partnerships. However, the number of Co-Applicants does not limit the number of partners involved. Applications should include multiple letters of support from partners representing relevant disciplines and communities with respect to the proposed project. Finally, a consultant team will be secured by SCAG on behalf of the Primary Applicant to support the work. 

13. Can community-based organizations (CBOs) lead an application for this Call and serve as a Primary Applicant?  

No, CBOs and nonprofits must apply as Co-Applicants in partnership with a Primary Applicant. All Primary Applicants must be agencies as defined in Question 10.  

14. Have community-based organizations (CBOs) received Sustainable Community Program resources in the past?  

No. The Sustainable Communities Program has not directly awarded resources to CBOs in previous Calls. SCP CEEEJ has adopted a new approach to strategically invest in local community-led planning efforts with the direct involvement of CBOs as Co-Applicants.   

15. Could community members bring project ideas to SCAG for SCP CEEEJ?  

Yes. Community members are encouraged to share thoughts and ideas on how SCAG can improve the lives of Southern Californians, including through project ideas. 

16. Which regions can apply?  

Applicants from the SCAG region are eligible to apply. The SCAG region is comprised of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties.  

Project Design

17. Can applicants apply for resources to support existing projects?  

Yes. Applicants may submit proposals for new or on-going (or existing) projects, provided that SCP CEEEJ funding will be utilized to expand or continue those projects, rather than supplanting existing public funds. Projects will be evaluated based on the scoring criteria identified in the Program Guidelines. 

18. Should applicants build the scope based on one project category? Can applicants submit a project that is not on the list of example project types?  

Yes, each application should focus on one project category while responding to local need. Applicants can submit a project that is not listed as an example in the Project Category section of the Program Guidelines, so long as the project meets the appropriate funding objectives. SCP CEEEJ includes two project categories:  

  1. Housing and Land Use Strategies 
  2. Multimodal Communities 

Housing & Land Use projects funded through SCP CEEEJ will be funded with REAP 2.0 funding. All Housing & Land Use projects must: 

  • Be located in an infill area, as defined the Program Guidelines, Appendix 3 
  • Accelerate infill housing production 
  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) 
  • Affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH) 
  • Implement Connect SoCal 
  • Be a “Transformative Planning and Implementation Activity,” as defined in Program Guidelines, Appendix 3 

Multimodal Communities projects funded through SCP CEEEJ will be funded with SB 1 and must achieve the following funding objectives:  

  • Have a direct transportation nexus that directly benefits the multi-modal transportation system.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Reduce VMT.
  • Support the implementation of Connect SoCal.  

19. Can applicants submit multiple applications?  

Yes. Applicants may submit multiple applications and shall indicate project priority on their submitted applications.  

20. What types of projects are eligible for SCP CEEEJ? Are planning and implementation projects eligible? And are there any limitations on how funding can be spent?  

Planning projects, engagement activities, pilot projects, and studies done alongside planning activities are eligible. All planning efforts and studies are eligible if they lead to and can demonstrate feasible implementation and align with program objectives. SCP CEEEJ seeks to provide immediate benefit to the region through support for transformative planning activities that can be implemented quickly to advance strategies in Connect SoCal 2020 and inform the 2024 Plan.  

SCP CEEEJ does not fund capital improvement construction projects; rather, it prioritizes planning or analysis of feasibility, planning, and upfront activities.  

21. May funds be used for housing trust funds? Is seed funding eligible?  

Housing trust funds can be funded with REAP 2.0 funding through the Programs to Accelerate Transformative Housing (PATH) at SCAG. For more information, please visit the REAP 2.0 website, or contact Jacob Noonan at    

22. Are broadband assessments or planning activities eligible?  

Broadband activities are generally ineligible for SCP CEEEJ due to the availability of other funding sources throughout the state for these types of projects. Broadband assessments and planning activities can be funded with REAP 2.0 funding through the Programs to Accelerate Transformative Housing (PATH) and Regional Utilities Supporting Housing (RUSH) at SCAG. For more information, please visit the REAP 2.0 website, or contact Jacob Noonan at    

23. Are Electric Vehicle (EV) plans or assessments an eligible cost?  

Proposed projects must address the core funding objectives, as outlined in the SCP CEEEJ Program Guidelines. EV planning must be part of a larger project plan to be eligible. Standalone EV infrastructure purchases or plans are ineligible.   

24. Can an organization receive funding for advocacy-motivated community engagement?  

Community engagement strategies are a required component of all projects funded through SCP CEEEJ and should be integrated into the proposed project scope. An organization cannot receive funding specifically for a project that is advocacy-motivated community engagement. Lobbying efforts and/or political campaigning are not allowable expenses.  

25. When should projects start? When do projects need to be completed by?  

SCAG anticipates projects to start in Winter 2023, subject to change. Final work and invoices must be submitted by December 31, 2025. 

Local Partnership Structure  

26. How do potential applicants identify partnerships? Can SCAG facilitate partnerships between co-applicants and local agencies?  

Agencies and organizations interested in identifying partners are encouraged to explore the SCP CEEEJ Jamboard for potential partners and add their contact information.  

27. Does an agency have to apply with a Co-Applicant to be eligible?  

No. However, the Co-Applicant structure is strongly recommended. This Call for Applications allows Primary Applicants (see question 10) to apply in partnership with up to two Co-Applicants. Including Co-Applicants in the partnership supports a more competitive application. 

Under a Co-Applicant partnership structure, Co-Applicants will be compensated to lead key elements of the project. In addition, a consultant team may be procured to perform identified work on behalf of the agency and co-applicant partnership.  

28. Within the Co-Applicant partnership structure, what is the expectation around shared decision-making? 

SCAG is looking for applicants to describe how the Co-Applicant partnership will function. Applications that incorporate Co-Applicants should include a description of a process to develop a reciprocal and equitable partnership that considers expectations around communication and decision-making.  


29. Will SCAG offer technical assistance to help applicants develop a proposal?  

To facilitate application development, two virtual application workshops will be held:  

  • Session 1 | Tuesday, April 18, 2 – 3:30 p.m.   
  • Session 2 | Wednesday, April 26, 10 – 11:30 a.m.  

After participating in an application workshop, applicants may sign up for office hours with SCAG staff to discuss additional questions or potential projects as they prepare their application. A recording of the application workshop will be available for review online. 

30. Will SCAG offer technical assistance to awardees during the project?  

SCAG staff will work with awardees to complete procurement and contracting. SCAG may serve as the administrative project manager, managing the contract and approving progress reports and invoices.   

31. What reporting process can an awardee anticipate?  

Awarded applicants can anticipate submitting quarterly reports to align with SCAG’s Overall Work Plan reporting requirements.   

32. Do applicants need to use evidence-based tools to substantiate what they want to do?  

No. SCAG expects the projects to serve local needs; the methods used to measure or describe those needs do not need to be strictly quantitative, nor predetermined by SCAG. SCAG will work with and learn from applicants to understand the information available, especially where qualitative data and narrative is provided.  

33. Do potential applicants need to pay a fee to receive advice?  

No. There are no fees to seek technical assistance from SCAG.