Executive Director’s Monthly Report, July 2023


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SCAG Awarded $237 Million for REAP 2.0  

The Department of Housing and Community Development has officially approved SCAG’s full funding application, awarding SCAG with more than $237 million in REAP 2.0 funds

The REAP 2.0 program is a flexible program to accelerate progress toward state housing goals and climate commitments through partnership between the state, its regions and local entities. SCAG will sub-allocate a large portion of the REAP 2.0 funds to eligible jurisdictions in the SCAG region through calls for applications. For more information, visit scag.ca.gov/reap2021

Regional Council Approves County Transportation Commission Partnership Program Award List  

The Regional Council today approved funding recommendations for the County Transportation Commission (CTC) Partnership Program, an $80 million competitive program developed in close partnership with the CTCs. The program is made possible by the recently approved REAP 2.0 funding. Through this program, SCAG will fund 33 transformative planning and implementation projects that expand access, increase mobility, and bring jobs and housing closer together to achieve a more sustainable growth pattern across the region.   

Project awards are split across three eligible project categories:  

  • $35 million invested in projects that increase transit ridership  
  • $36 million invested in multimodal communities projects  
  • $9 million invested in projects to shift travel behavior  

Multiple Calls for Applications Open for Programs to Accelerate Transformative Housing 

The Call for Applications is now open for two of three funding areas in the recently approved REAP 2.0 Programs to Accelerate Transformative Housing (PATH):  

The Housing Infill on Public and Private Lands (HIPP) Pilot Program is focused on the development of affordable housing at scale on available public and private land as well as development and implementation of corridor-wide or area-wide regulatory infill housing actions. The HIPP program applications are due by July 10. 

The Notice of Funding Available (NOFA) for Lasting Affordability provides support for innovative housing finance, trust funds, catalyst funds and new permanent funding sources. The NOFA for Lasting Affordability applications are due by July 31.   

The Call for Applications for the third PATH funding area, Regional Utilities Supporting Housing, is expected to be released in late summer 2023. Click here for more information on all PATH funding areas

Next Steps on the Subregional Partnership Program 2.0   

The Subregional Partnership Program (SRP) 2.0 Call for Applications closed on May 31, with extensions granted to several subregional partners through June 30. The SRP 2.0 Program is noncompetitive and makes $23 million available to subregional councils of governments for eligible activities supporting member jurisdictions in implementing housing element work plans. Projects must accelerate infill development that facilitates housing supply, choice and affordability; affirmatively further fair housing; and reduce vehicle miles traveled. SCAG is evaluating applications and will work with subregional partners on next steps. Awards are anticipated in summer 2023.   

REAP 1.0 Biannual Update 

The REAP 1.0 grant is a one-time $47 million award from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to increase housing supply and accelerate production in the region. 

More than 100 projects are funded under this program, focusing on planning to help jurisdictions meet 6th cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment allocation. 

SCAG has completed several projects under REAP 1.0 since the last update in January 2023, including Palmdale Digital Utility Data Inventory Tool, County of Los Angeles Parking Strategies to Increase Housing Production, Coachella Valley Association of Governments’ Affordable Housing Catalyst Fund Investment Plan and more. All REAP 1.0 projects must be completed by early 2024 per grant requirements. 

SCAG looks forward to the tools, programs and best practices being produced under REAP 1.0 and will continue to showcase highlights. 

SCAG Receives Federal Approval of Conformity Determination   

The Regional Council in June adopted Connect SoCal Amendment No. 3 and the 2023 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) Consistency Amendment, including the associated conformity analysis. SCAG has since received accelerated federal final approval of the conformity determination.  

With this approval, $26 billion worth of important transportation projects in the Connect SoCal and FTIP Amendments can now move forward. Thank you to Caltrans, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for expedited review and approval of the conformity determination.   

SCAG Awarded Local Agency Technical Assistance Grant to Expand Broadband 

The California Public Utilities Commission approved SCAG’s $1 million Local Agency Technical Assistance Grant (LATA) on June 29. LATA grants support local agencies and tribes in their efforts to expand broadband service to unserved and underserved Californians. 

The funding enables SCAG to advance up to three broadband projects in unserved or underserved areas. SCAG will collaborate with local jurisdictions that were unable to apply for funding or lacked the resources to engage a consultant or manage the project themselves. Thanks to the CPUC for their continued investment in advancing broadband access in our region. 

Active Transportation Projects Receive $361 million in Funding  

The California Transportation Commission adopted the 2023 Active Transportation Program (ATP) Metropolitan Planning Organization Component on June 28, including SCAG’s component, which totaled $361 million and included 77 projects distributed across the region. When combined with the previously approved statewide ATP Cycle 6 component, the region will receive $706 million in funding for active transportation projects.   

$413 Million in Funding Now Available for Freight Corridor Projects  

The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) provides funding to enhance infrastructure along important freight corridors. On June 8, the California Transportation Commission approved the 2022 program cycle, which includes approximately $413 million for SCAG’s Los Angeles/Inland region and will fund a variety of projects at the ports, freeway corridor and interchange improvements and two zero-emission facility projects across multiple counties in the SCAG region. 

State Announces $1.3 Billion for Supply Chain-Related Projects  

SCAG Executive Director Kome Ajise and Regional Council Second Vice President Cindy Allen joined California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin; Senator Lena Gonzalez, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee; and Assemblymembers Josh Lowenthal and Steve Bennett; and Southern California Ports leaders on July 5 at the Port of Long Beach to announce the one-time Port and Freight Infrastructure Program award of more than $1.3 billion. This program funds to projects across the state for long-term supply chain upgrades that improve global trade gateways and reduce environmental impacts on neighboring communities, as well as inland projects to improve safety at intersections, and reduce emissions and traffic congestion.

$360,000 Awarded to 11 Community-Based Organizations for Community Hubs  

Go Human awarded funding to 11 community organizations for local projects that leverage community gathering and resource sites to implement equity-centered traffic safety and community engagement. Go Human received 37 applications from across the SCAG region and awarded $360,000 in Community Hubs Grant Program funds. Congratulations to awardees and community partners! Click here to learn more about the Go Human Community Hubs Grant Program awardees.     

Multiple Toolbox Tuesday Sessions Held in June Available Online  

SCAG hosted the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Modeling and Analytics in Regional Planning Toolbox Tuesday session on May 16. Speakers shared best practices for using ArcGIS and GIS programming to streamline SCAG’s geospatial data development, spatial analysis and visualization process. This session provided demos on leveraging Python and other programming tools to streamline GIS workflows. A recording of the GIS Modeling and Analytics Toolbox Tuesday session is also available

SCAG staff and external speakers led the Youth Empowerment Programs Toolbox Tuesday on June 27 as part of the ongoing Equity Series. In this session, researchers, leaders and participants of youth empowerment programs demonstrated ways to integrate and institutionalize systems to improve racial equity. This session focused on the strategies outlined in SCAG’s Racial Equity Early Action Plan and Equity Resource Guide. A recording of the Youth Empowerment Programs Toolbox is also available.   

Greenprint Technical Advisory Committee Convenes this Month   

The Regional Council approved the Regional Advanced Mitigation Planning (RAMP) Policy Framework in February 2023, which directed SCAG to convene the SoCal Greenprint Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)to advise staff on development of the Greenprint tool and ensure its alignment with the approved policy framework.    

Membership for the TAC has been finalized and the first meeting will take place on July 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. The meeting is open to the public, virtually and in-person at SCAG’s Los Angeles office. 

The TAC will meet three times before presenting recommendations to the Energy and Environment Committee in October and Regional Council in November. Upon Regional Council’s approval, SCAG will move forward completing the SoCal Greenprint tool. 

Regional Housing Needs Assessment Reform Comments Underway  

The California Department of Housing and Community Development is required by state law to submit a final report on RHNA reform to the State Legislature by December 31, 2023. SCAG has been active in conducting outreach and collecting input from various stakeholders for our draft RHNA reform recommendations, consistent with the statewide effort, to address the region’s needs in this process with a collective voice. Staff will present draft recommendations at a special meeting of the Community, Economic & Human Development Committee on August 16. The committee will be asked to review and recommend this report to the Regional Council for action in September before it is shared with HCD. 

Outreach Concludes for Connect SoCal 2024   

SCAG recently wrapped up outreach for Connect SoCal 2024, the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy. SCAG engaged Southern California residents on topics related to the future of the region and collected 3,600 surveys with input. Surveys were fielded via online and traditional advertising, as well as 20 in-person workshops, seven virtual workshops, pop-ups at 20 community events and partnerships with 15 community-based organizations. Themes in the feedback related to housing affordability, transportation safety, climate change and economic opportunities. SCAG is now incorporating this feedback collected during outreach into the draft plan due for release in Fall 2023. 

Executive Administration Committee Convenes for 2023-24 Strategic Planning Session 

SCAG President Art Brown convened the Executive Administration Committee on June 29 for a two-day work planning session in Buena Park. During the session, EAC members reflected on the past year and discussed strategic planning for the year ahead. It was a productive and engaging discussion on priority areas for this year’s work plan, which will be presented to the regional council at a future meeting.  

SCAG Attends Mobility 21 Annual Delegation Trip in Washington, D.C.  

SCAG’s Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer Javiera Cartagena participated in the Mobility 21 Annual Delegation Trip in Washington, D.C. on June 19-21. Representatives from transportation agencies from all six counties in the SCAG region, as well as Mobility 21 private partners, were in attendance for meetings with members of our region’s congressional delegation, including Congressmembers Ken Calvert, Norma Torres, Mark Takano, Young Kim, Tony Cárdenas, Grace Napolitano, Brad Sherman and Lou Correa. The delegation discussed the region’s infrastructure funding needs ahead of the 2028 Olympic Games, implementation of the Build America Buy America Act, and needed support for Southern California’s goods and freight movement corridors, projects and facilities. 

SCAG Participates in National Association of Regional Council Annual Conference 

SCAG was represented at the National Association of Regional Councils annual conference again this year, which took place June 4-6 in Detroit. As part of the conference, Regional Council member Alan Wapner moderated a panel on street safety and SCAG Planning Director Sarah Jepson spoke on a panel about equity in planning. This event is important because it allows SCAG to exchange ideas and best practices with other metropolitan planning organizations across the nation. 

Go Human Engages at 626 Golden Streets    

Go Human participated in 626 Golden Streets – Heart of the Foothills on April 23. Hosted by ActiveSGV, this event temporarily opened streets San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont for people to walk, jog, skate, bike and more. The event promoted sustainable and active communities, encouraging participants to interact with local businesses, organizations and community groups along the route. Go Human distributed 130 helmets and gathered responses to the Connect SoCal survey.  

Go Human Demonstrates Safe Streets in Buena Park  

The City of Buena Park, in partnership with Go Human, hosted a Kit of Parts demonstration, showcasing a pop-up parklet, bike lane, artistic crosswalk and curb extension at the Buena Park Food Truck Festival on June 23. The demonstration showed how infrastructure can improve bicyclist and pedestrian safety. SCAG’s Executive Director Kome Ajise, and Regional Council President and Buena Park Mayor Art Brown attended the event. 

SCAG Attends Event Celebrating Regional Connector Opening 

SCAG staff attended the Los Angeles Metro Regional Connector event on June 16. Mayor of Los Angeles and SCAG Regional Councilmember Karen Bass attended, as well as Los Angeles County Supervisor and SCAG Regional Councilmember Hilda Solis, Senator Alex Padilla, White House Senior Advisor Mitch Landrieu, Congressman Jimmy Gomez and others. The Metro Regional Connector adds three new subway stations in downtown Los Angeles, creating more transit access to major job centers, local businesses and cultural destinations to support increased transit ridership in the region. 

SCAG Meets with the City of Bell  

SCAG Executive Director Kome Ajise and Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer Javiera Cartagena visited the City of Bell on June 12 to meet with SCAG District 27 Regional Councilmember and City of Bell Councilmember Ali Saleh and City Manager Michael Antwine. During the visit, SCAG learn about challenges and opportunities for cities in District 27 to inform its continued support for these cities in planning a more sustainable future. 

SCAG Meets with City of La Palma  

SCAG Executive Director Kome Ajise visited the City of La Palma to meet with SCAG District 18 Regional Councilmember and City of La Palma Mayor Pro Tem Marshall Goodman on June 22. The discussion focused on Goodman’s interest and ideas for his new role as a SCAG Executive/Administration Committee member. SCAG will continue supporting District 18 cities in their effort to improve resiliency and sustainability in their communities.  

SCAG Meets with Multiple Los Angeles City Councilmembers  

SCAG Executive Director Kome Ajise and Government Affairs Manager Sarah Patterson met with SCAG Regional Councilmember and Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price on June 9. The conversation included the councilman’s interest in a partnership with SCAG to develop a safer streets pilot program in his district.   

Director Ajise and SCAG staff met with Los Angeles City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez and Planning Director Emma Howard on June 26. The conversation focused on Soto-Martinez’s vision and support for the Hollywood Plan Update, detailing the need to develop Hollywood and East Hollywood as an area for job growth and more transit.   

Go Human Partners Recognized with Awards Across the Region     

SCAG’s Go Human program is a collaborative regional effort aimed at reducing traffic collisions in Southern California and encouraging people to walk and bike more. The American Planning Association (APA) chapter and state awards celebrate each region’s most outstanding planning work, its hard-won victories, best practices and thought leaders dedicated to place-making. SCAG’s Go Human program is thrilled that its partners projects have been recognized with multiple APA awards across the region:  

  • APA Orange County – 2023 Grassroots Initiative, Award of Excellence, Santa Ana Active Streets: Willard Safe Streets   
  • APA Orange County – 2023 Implementation Category, Award of Excellence, the City of Laguna Niguel: Niguel Hills Middle School Safety Program   
  • APA Inland Empire Section – 2023 Grassroots Initiative, Award of Excellence, the Artlands Creative & OmniTrans: Revitalizing Public Transportation Through Bus Bench Art   
  • APA Los Angeles – 2023 Grassroots Initiative Award of Excellence, Public Matters: How East Los Moves: Creatives, Custom People-Powered Transit in City Terrace   
  • APA Los Angeles – 2023 Public Outreach Award, Award of Merit, Los Angeles Walks: Promoters for Safe Streets: A Model for Public Outreach Investments   

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