Provide Input on the Guidelines of California's Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program
The California Urban Streams Partnership has been following the discussions about how to allocate California's cap and trade funds. In our comment letters and meetings with legislative staff, we have specifically been advocating for a $20 million allocation to the Urban Greening Program as part of the $130 million allocated to the Strategic Growth Council through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program in the 2014-2015 cap and trade expenditures plan.
The Strategic Growth Council is holding three public workshops this month to solicit input on the guidelines of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program. If you are able to attend, feel free to use the following talking points to advocate for a specific allocation of funding for the Urban Greening program:
The California Urban Streams Partnership (CUSP) represents local governments, watershed councils, stream protection organizations, neighborhood associations and citizen groups which help improve communities through urban greening projects such as turning vacant lots into valued green spaces and parks. Many of our partner organizations rely on programs such as Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities to fund their projects.
We respectfully request that $20 million of these funds be designated for the Urban Greening for Sustainable Communities Program. The Urban Greening Program funds projects in urban areas that provide multiple benefits, such as a decrease in air and water pollution, a reduction in the consumption of natural resources and energy, an increase in the reliability of local water supplies, or an increased adaptability to climate change.
The Urban Greening Program is specifically mentioned in the cap and trade auction proceeds investment plan adopted last year as a recommended investment for consideration. The projects funded through the Urban Greening program meet the criteria for priority investments outlined in the investment plan: these projects create jobs, improve air quality, invest in programs that benefit disadvantaged communities, provide opportunities for businesses, public agencies, nonprofits and others to participate in efforts to reduce GHG emissions, and lessen the impacts and effects of climate change.
The California Strategic Growth Council announces three workshops to receive public input to inform SGC’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program Guidelines
July 29, 2014
Fresno – Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Oakland – Thursday, August 14, 2014
Los Angeles – Friday, August 15, 2014
Space is limited. Please register through the link on the announcement. SGC will webcast and post a recording of one of the workshops on its website shortly after the meeting. Agenda and all meeting materials will be posted prior to the meetings.
2014 State Watershed and Restoration Funding Opportunities
Governor Brown’s proposed 2014 Budget- California Water Action Plan
A budget item of interest to the watershed community is the California Water Action Plan. The 2014-5 budget proposes $619 million to help expand water storage capacity, improve drinking water in communities where supplies are substandard, increase flood protection and increase regional self-reliance. This includes:
Safe Drinking Water: $7 million for Wastewater Projects in small disadvantaged communities – grants to small and severely disadvantaged communities to comply with water quality regulations, protect surface and groundwater quality and reduce threats to public health and safety.
Regional Self Reliance: $472.5 million for Integrated Regional Water Management
- Prop 84 funds to Department of Water Resources for grants to support local projects that result in integrated, multi-benefit solutions for supporting sustainable water resources
- IRWMP will provide incentives for both regional integration and to leverage local financial investment for water conservation efforts, habitat protection for local species, water recycling, stormwater capture, and desalination projects.
- No less than 10% of the funds will be used to address critical water needs of disadvantaged communities.
California Water Bond Bills
Assembly Bill 1331
As bond is currently drafted (as amended January 7, 2014). Funding is distributed as follows:
- Projects receiving bond funds should use the CA Conservation Corps or community conservation corps whenever feasible [§79716(c) & 79732].
- Funding available (no specific amount designated) to restore river parkways through the California River Parkways, and Urban Streams Restoration Program . [§79731(c)].
- Funding available (no specific amount designated) to promote urban forestry through the Urban Forest Act [§79731(o)].
- $250 million for multibenefit stormwater projects, including green infrastructure, rainwater and stormwater capture projects, and stormwater treatment facilities. [§79747(a-b)].
Senate Bill 848
As bond is currently drafted (as amended February 12, 2014), funding is distributed as follows:
- $1.5 billion for projects that implement an adopted IRWRMP and improve water quality or supply of drinking water and increase regional self-reliance [§79731(a)].
- $100 million for projects that significantly advance the application and effectiveness of innovative integrated regional water management strategies (§79736).
- $500 million for projects that implement stormwater capture and reuse projects to the State Water Board (§79738).
- $50 million to State Coastal Conservancy for projects that restore coastal salmonid populations [§79750 (b1)].
- $75 million to State Coastal Conservancy for flood control projects on public lands that provide critical flood, water quality, and wetland ecosystem benefits to the San Francisco Bay region [§79750 (b2)].
- $250 million to Natural Resources Agency for projects that enhance watersheds and urban rivers (§79752).
- Projects receiving bond funds should use the CA Conservation Corps or community conservation corps whenever feasible [§79778(h)].
The two major water bond bills are moving targets, as they will be amended numerous times in the coming months. The water bonds have political momentum this year due to the drought.
Two key people to communicate with regarding the water bond bills are Jim Metropulous, staffer for Senator Lois Wolk who represents the Delta:
The Honorable Lois Wolk
State Capitol, Room 5114
Sacramento, CA 95814
And Alf Brandt (Alf.Brandt@asm.ca.gov), Legislative Director for Assemblyman Anthony Rendon:
The Honorable Anthony Rendon
State Capitol, Room 2136
Sacramento, CA 95814
CUSP will track how funding is dispersed through the state budget and water bond bills and provide updates on what programs will be funded.