This technical assistance program supports under-resourced cities and towns in building capacity, optimizing existing resources, strengthening community partnerships, and transforming their approach to address and fund climate activities. The 2021 BOOST Program is based on the BOOST Pilot Program which helped 10 cities and two regions build capacity to advance their climate and equity goals. The 18-month pilot was designed to provide flexible and responsive technical assistance to address the varying and evolving capacity challenges of local governments, while also sharing best practices and lessons learned to help inform state programs.
The BOOST Pilot Program proved to be a success in some of California’s under-resourced communities. In the Town of Mammoth Lakes, the BOOST Pilot Program enabled the town to secure a $20 million Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) as well as SB 2 and Local Early Action Plant (LEAP) grant funding to support the development of “The Parcel,” the town’s largest workforce housing project. The development will provide 400 affordable housing units on a 25-acre plot of land in the middle of town. In the City of Arcata, the BOOST Team helped secure more than $14.9 million dollars through five different grant programs to help bring infill affordable housing and critical infrastructure to the Arcata community. This includes one of the first Affordable Housing Sustainable Community (AHSC) grants awarded to a Native American tribe.
The Pilot connected the BOOST Program participants to 59 grant opportunities and provided direct application assistance on 23 grants, leading to over $50 million in new funding. This funding included $43 million in California Climate Investments (CCI) and $6.6 million in SB2/LEAP grants to support planning, affordable housing, equitable transportation, and climate mitigation and resilience projects.
For the upcoming round of the BOOST Program, SGC will select 5-7 disadvantaged and/or low-income communities to receive capacity building support in the form of trainings, partnership development, community engagement planning and implementation support, grant application assistance, and communications support. The application is open to all California cities and towns that are designated as low income and/or disadvantaged communities (as defined by CalEnviroScreen 3.0; Low Income Communities as defined by AB 1550), with priority given to both rural and non-rural communities with demonstrated staff capacity challenges.
“The BOOST Pilot Program strengthened the ability of local governments to achieve climate and equity goals while providing access to new funding, developing innovative partnerships, and improving community engagement,” said Jessica Buendia, Acting Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council. “We are eager to work with the Institute for Local Government and their project partners to build on the Pilot’s success and witness how more of California’s communities benefit from BOOST’s refined programming.”
“The Institute for Local Government is excited to partner with SGC to continue the BOOST Program,” said Erica L. Manuel, CEO and Executive Director of the Institute for Local Government. “Through the initial BOOST Pilot Program, we helped under-resourced communities access nearly $50 million in state grant funding, create and update climate action and resilience plans, and authentically engage their communities on climate and equity initiatives. We are looking forward to building on what we learned to help even more communities reach their goals and build capacity.”
The application for the BOOST Program will be open until September 10, 2021. Finalists will be contacted for an interview before September 22, 2021. SGC aims to announce the selected communities on or before October 6, 2021. Access the application here. SGC will host an informational webinar for this opportunity on August 17, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. PDT. The webinar will be recorded and posted to SGC’s YouTube page for those interested, but unable to attend. Register here.
Find out more about the successes and lessons learned from the first round of the BOOST Program here.
About the California Strategic Growth Council
The California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is a cabinet-level body chaired by the Director of the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research tasked with coordinating and working collaboratively with public agencies, communities, and stakeholders to achieve sustainability, equity, economic prosperity, and quality of life for all Californians with a focus on the state’s most disadvantaged communities. SGC implements its mission through four key activities: making investments in infrastructure and conservation programs; conducting outreach and providing technical assistance to support of communities seeking to access these investments; and leading and supporting integrated policy initiatives that align with SGC’s mission. www.sgc.ca.gov.
About the Institute for Local Government
The Institute for Local Government (ILG) is the non-profit training and education affiliate of the League of California Cities, California State Association of Counties, and the California Special Districts Association, which represent 1000s of local agencies across the state. ILG helps local officials and staff navigate the constantly changing landscape of their jobs by offering training, technical assistance, written resources, and facilitation services specifically designed for local agencies. From leadership to public engagement to housing and workforce, ILG helps local leaders with a wide range of issues. Visit www.ca-ilg.org to find out more.
About the California Coalition for Rural Housing
Formed in 1976, California Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH) is a 501c3 non-profit and is the oldest statewide low-income housing coalition in the country. The CCRH brings 40 years of affordable housing and community development technical assistance, research, and program and policy development, in addition to a rich network of partners throughout the state and across the nation. www.calruralhousing.org/
About Climate Resolve
Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based 501c3 tax-deductible non-profit organization founded in 2010 that focuses on local solutions to global climate change and works to achieve outcomes that bestow multiple benefits. Climate Resolve works to make California more equitable, just, livable, prosperous, and sustainable today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate impacts. www.climateresolve.org/
About Farallon Strategies
Farallon Strategies (FS) is a catalytic partner to communities and organizations that take bold actions to address climate change and resilience. FS collaborates with stakeholders across the United States to pilot, test, and/or scale initiatives. Our expertise is rooted in our diversity of experiences and passion for creating a better world. www.farallonstrategies.com