The California Housing Partnership has released a new policy brief co-authored with Enterprise Community Partners documenting the substantial community and economic benefits made possible by the first five rounds of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program.
Since its inception in 2014, AHSC has exemplified how land use, affordable housing, and high-quality transportation can be married together in a single program successfully to address California’s housing affordability crisis while mitigating climate change, improving air quality, and better connecting communities to resources and opportunity. To date, AHSC has invested more than $1.6 billion in 127 catalytic developments across California that integrate housing and transportation with community infrastructure and amenities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and support sustainable, connected, vibrant neighborhoods.
Some of the most significant benefits from AHSC’s first five rounds of funding include:
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions: AHSC investments are projected to eliminate 3 million metric tons of CO2, primarily by reducing the need for driving by residents of location-efficient affordable homes and investments in new transit, biking, and walking infrastructure.
- New Affordable Homes: AHSC has provided critical funding for more than 11,300 affordable homes for Californians with low incomes. By alleviating the housing cost burdens residents would otherwise face in the private rental market, AHSC-funded developments save residents an average of $9,540 per household, per year.
- Jobs and Economic Activity: These AHSC-funded developments have and will generate more than 26,000 jobs, $3.4 billion in wages and business income and $1.27 billion in revenue for state and local governments during construction.
The past year has underscored the urgency of many of the goals that guide AHSC. The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, a devastating wildfire season in 2020, and persistent racial inequities embedded in our country’s systems and institutions have exacerbated Californians’ housing insecurity while making it clearer than ever how foundational it is for everyone to have a safe, stable home. Supporting and expanding the holistic, data-informed, and cross-sector solutions that define the AHSC program will help California recover faster and more equitably from the complex challenges it faces today.