Los Angeles – The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) announced grant awards totaling $1.25 million to 15 nonprofits and community-based organizations to promote equitable growth strategies.
The grant awards ranged from $50,000 to $100,000 and will cover a range of activities related to housing policy and land use.
SCAG is dedicating $1 million of Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grant funds toward the program, with additional funding from the California Community Foundation (CCF), the Chan Zuckerberg Institute and the Irvine Foundation.
The Call for Collaboration program is part of SCAG’s ongoing commitment to combat racism, social injustice and an equity gap that has reached historic levels. Last July, SCAG declared racism a public health crisis and in the months since has led regionwide discussions on ways to eliminate barriers that reduce opportunity for millions of Southern Californians. SCAG staff is working with a newly formed Special Committee on Equity and Social Justice to create an action plan to promote racial and social equity and an inclusive recovery strategy.
“The grant program is a significant step toward ensuring that as we promote accelerated housing production, we have the framework in place to close the growing racial equity gap and maximize the opportunities that are in front of us as a region. For Southern California to fully recover from the economic devastation of the pandemic, we need to make sure we’re promoting equitable growth strategies and create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” said Rex Richardson, President of SCAG and Vice Mayor of Long Beach.
The grant recipients are, by subregion:
Los Angeles County
LA Forward. Project scope: Engage communities to increase housing capacity in areas near new Metro lines — specifically within the San Gabriel Valley and Southeast LA County — while preventing displacement of long-time and marginalized residents.
Long Beach Forward. Scope: Support the Long Beach Housing Justice Coalition and Cambodia Town Thrives in shaping and influencing land-use planning, policymaking and decision-making with regard to affordable housing, tenant stabilization, zoning and community ownership.
Social Justice Learning Institute. Scope: Advance housing and economic justice in Inglewood , Lennox and South Los Angeles through coalition building.
LA Voice . Scope: Bolster the efforts of the Faith in Housing Initiative by working to change zoning regulations that restrict the building housing on church-owned land.
LA Más Inc. Scope: Engages communities of color in Northeast LA in education, outreach and advocacy around the Housing Element update in the City of Los Angeles.
Thrive Santa Ana. Scope: Build community-driven support for affordable housing that promotes racial equity, protects against displacement, and meets the needs of current residents.
The Kennedy Commission. Scope: Support a low-income community education and engagement collaborative known as Expanding Affordable Housing Opportunities for Orange County’s Lower Income Families; build dialogue between under-represented community members, city staff and elected officials to develop programs and policies that increase housing opportunities for Orange County’s lowest income households.
People for Housing Orange County. Scope: Empower grassroots activists to advocate for fair and feasible Housing Elements in the five OC cities with the highest potential for economic integration (Brea, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra and Placentia).
Inland Empire (San Bernardino and Riverside Counties)
Lift to Rise. Scope: Fund planning activities to advance the production of affordable housing units in the Coachella Valley.
Inland Equity Community Land Trust. Scope: Collaboration with the City of Jurupa Valley
to champion affordable housing and elevate the voices of coalition partners in housing policy development.
Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire Inc. Scope: Expand upon current work with the Pueblo Unido Community Development Corp. to create an accessory dwelling unit initiative.
Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services/Inland SoCal Housing Collective. Scope: Create solutions to improve housing outcomes for renters, homebuyers, homeowners and those experiencing homelessness through education, advocacy and access to resources.
Just San Bernardino Collaborative. Scope:The collaboration of nine community-based organizations working together in the City of San Bernardino to engage residents and draft the People’s Plan for Economic Inclusion.
CAUSE. Scope: Launch a countywide housing coalition comprised of community-based organizations, local housing authorities and local government representatives in Oxnard, Ventura and Simi Valley with a focus on identifying a new regional source of funding for affordable housing.
House Farm Workers. Scope: Proactively and comprehensively address farmworker housing in at least seven Ventura County housing elements.
“Each of these projects provides an incredible opportunity to address economic and social disparity at the community level, and bring new voices to policy discussions while also promoting the power of collaboration,” said Kome Ajise, SCAG Executive Director. “We look forward to monitoring their progress, and encouraging similar efforts across the region.”
SCAG is the nation’s largest metropolitan planning organization, representing six counties, 191 cities and nearly 19 million residents. SCAG undertakes a variety of planning and policy initiatives to plan for a livable and sustainable Southern California now and in the future. For more information about SCAG, please visit: www.scag.ca.gov.