The City of Santa Cruz is pleased to announce a significant milestone in its commitment to affordable housing and sustainability. The California Strategic Growth Council has awarded $33.5 million from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC) for the Downtown Library and Affordable Housing Project.
The AHSC Program supports projects that align with the objectives of land-use, housing, transportation, and land preservation. Its primary focus is on promoting infill and compact development strategies that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, fostering healthier communities, and ensuring housing affordability.
“The Downtown Library and Affordable Housing Project is a testament to Santa Cruz’s dedication to creating a thriving, inclusive community that addresses housing needs and promotes sustainable living,” said Economic Development Director Bonnie Lipscomb. “This generous grant from the AHSC Program is a significant step forward in making affordable housing and sustainable development a reality in our downtown area.”
The $33.5 million, a substantial investment in Santa Cruz’s future, will play a pivotal role in the realization of the Downtown Library and Affordable Housing Project’s vision. This project aligns with AHSC Program’s goals by incorporating sustainable building practices, efficient transportation solutions, and community-focused design.
Funding for the AHSC Program stems from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), established to receive proceeds from the Cap-and-Trade auctions. By channeling these funds towards projects that create a positive environmental impact while addressing housing challenges, the AHSC Program creates a synergy that benefits both the community and the planet.
“Santa Cruz is setting an example for how cities can proactively address housing affordability and climate resilience,” explained City Manager Matt Huffaker. “This grant represents an opportunity to create more housing options, reduce our carbon footprint, and enhance the overall quality of life for our residents.”
“The Downtown Library and Affordable Housing Project is a collaborative effort that embodies the City of Santa Cruz’s commitment to a vibrant, sustainable future. With the AHSC Program grant as a foundation, the project is well-positioned to shape a more inclusive and environmentally conscious downtown landscape,” stated Mayor Fred Keeley.