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The AHSC has always been asked to do a lot with a little, and Round 4 is no exception. As always, all projects must include some transit component. They must also bring together at least two different areas of planning to work together; for example, affordable housing projects must include some kind of sustainable transportation infrastructure or program.
Staff have already begun holding workshops for potential applicants around the state. The workshops are full-day affairs that include presentations about the guidelines and details on how to quantify the greenhouse gas emission reductions required for eligible projects, followed by appointments to give applicants one-on-one guidance.
Workshops have been held in Sacramento and San Jose, and there will be one tomorrow, November 9, in Fresno. Future workshops will take place
Deadline for AHSC applications is February 11, 2019. Although staff has worked to simplify the application process, the program itself is still trying to solve many problems at once.
New guidelines for Round 4 maintain the program's intent to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, help disadvantaged communities, improve connectivity and access to jobs, housing, and services, increase mobility options and increase transit ridership, all while preserving and developing affordable while protecting agricultural land and encouraging infill.
The program awards grants in three categories: transit-oriented development, “integrated connectivity,” and rural innovation. Past projects have included an affordable housing project in downtown Redding that incorporated bike lanes and was served by a bus line; the conversion of a commercial building in Santa Ana to 58 units of affordable housing, with a nearby street converted to a bike and pedestrian zone; affordable housing in Turlock with money to improve bus frequency serving it, and others.
Streetsblog California editor Melanie Curry has been thinking about transportation, and how to improve conditions for bicyclists, since her early days commuting by bike to UCLA long ago. She was Managing Editor at the East Bay Express, and edited Access Magazine for the University of California Transportation Center. She also earned her Masters in City Planning from UC Berkeley.