May 31, 2022

Greetings! Build It Green has been convening a cross-sector group of leaders in California’s housing sector following our Building Our Future kick-off last year. Below is a list of immediate opportunities/actions a few Policy as an Accelerant and Infrastructure Opportunity Working Groups’ participants wish to share regarding the intersection of infrastructure and affordable, equitable, environmentally friendly homes and neighborhoods. 

Build It Green embraces the role of being a conduit of information for leaders, thinkers, and doers in the housing space, and with these share outs, it is our hope that we can further desilo information. If you also have something you’d like to share with others in the network, please let us know. We will attempt to convey information that aligns with environmental, equity, and affordability aims without being too much of a gatekeeper. 

State Budget

Many of the actions for consideration are related to the State budget, which will be finalized on June 15th, meaning these items are on a quick timeline.

  • Expansion of the State’s Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) program to support implementation of regional Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCSs) and the reduction of vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Sacramento Council of Governments (SACOG) drafted this budget request letter and members of the Alliance for Housing and Climate Solutions including California YIMBY and The Nature Conservancy are supporting it as well. Link to a tool that helps you send a pre-drafted letter to your representative here.
  • Increase proposed funding to achieve California’s 30×30 goal which is to protect 30 percent of California’s lands by 2030, including green infrastructure lands. The Nature Conservancy has summarized the most recent 30×30 report here.  Also, here is the link for 30×30 action alert content and original budget request letter
  • Two other programs that could be targeted for increased funding as the budget is finalized are the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program and the Adaptive Reuse for Housing program, both of which are addressed in the budget summary on housing and homelessness
  • Creation of the Bay Area Regional Black Housing Fund to establish a principally state funded, regional Black housing funding pool with contributions from each county. This $500M pool would create a virtuous cycle of development with three areas of focus: project development, capacity building, and community planning to help address the urgent needs of well-established Black development and community-based organizations. To learn more, check out this Op Ed piece in the California Health Report written by BARHII and SF Foundation.

Legislation Relating to Infrastructure and Communities

Here are also two pieces of legislation that relate to infrastructure and communities for your consideration.

  • AB 2419 would establish a Commission to evaluate federal infrastructure investments with the aim of directing 40 percent of funding to low-income, Indigenous, and rural communities and communities of color. This bill is being championed by the California Green New Deal Coalition.
  • SB 852 would authorize local governments to establish climate resilience districts to plan, fund, and implement climate mitigation and adaptation projects and programs. A summary of this bill can be found here. CivicWell is sponsoring this bill.

Thank you to Robyn Leslie at CA YIMBY, Roger Dickinson at CivicWell, Monet Boyd at BARHII, and Micah Weinberg at California Forward for helping generate this list. 

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Alex Coba

Communications Associate

As a proud California native from Stockton, Alex brings a wealth of experience and a versatile skill set. He has a solid communication background with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Chico. Alex is adept at strategic communications and media relations, with experience gathering and sharing stories from his local communities that uplift the unique spirit and values of those places. He is excited to join Build It Green, where he can apply his talents to further BIG’s mission to help communities across California thrive.