Guide to Local Recovery Update: August 9

Aug 9, 2023

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is accepting applications for a technical assistance program and an affordable housing program. Applications for key transportation and clean bus grant programs are due later this month. Federal agencies are also hosting a series of webinars on funding opportunities and resources. 

Affordable housing grants and technical assistance available

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is accepting applications for the Thriving Communities Technical Assistance program on a rolling basis. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program helps cities support, coordinate, and integrate transportation and housing goals in infrastructure planning.

HUD is prioritizing applications from cities with less than 250,000 residents. Cities should apply if they:

  • Will be receiving transportation funding, either directly or through a state pass-through, with priority given to those receiving competitive funds. 
  • Want to address housing needs in disadvantaged communities.
  • Are committed to ensuring residents and businesses in disadvantaged communities benefit from the transportation investment.
  • Are interested in land utilization, preservation, coordination, or regulatory reform.

HUD is also accepting applications for the Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing program. The competitive program is open to cities with significant housing needs that have taken steps to identify, address, or remove barriers to affordable housing production. A total of $85 million is available, with a maximum award amount of $10 million.

HUD has identified a range of issues as potential barriers to affordable housing and types of eligible expenditures for addressing them. Potential barriers include:

  • Barriers caused by outdated zoning, land use policies, or regulations.
  • Inefficient procedures.
  • Gaps in available resources for development.
  • Deteriorating or inadequate infrastructure.
  • Lack of neighborhood amenities.
  • Challenges to preserving existing housing stock, such as increasing threats from natural hazards, redevelopment, or expiration of affordability requirements.

Funding can be used further develop, evaluate, and implement housing policy plans, improve housing strategies, and facilitate affordable housing production and preservation. The deadline to apply is Oct. 30.

Multimodal grant program streamlines three grant opportunities into one

Applications for the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant program are due Aug. 21. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the combined grant program offers support for a range of regional transportation projects, such as bridges, public transportation, and railway-highway grade crossings. It also funds regional surface transportation projects and rural surface transportation infrastructure projects.  

Although the programs are separate for the purposes of funding, only a single application is required.  Extensive resources are available, including a series of webinars.

Clean School Bus program applications due Aug. 22

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting applications for its Clean School Bus program. The program is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Cities can use the funding to replace existing school buses with clean and zero-emission school buses.

Even if cities do not have direct control over their bus system, they are encouraged to work with other local officials on this program. The federal government has made it clear that it will favor projects that include a wide range of stakeholders with an interest in reducing the impact of climate change and prioritizing historically underserved areas.

Applicants should review the EPA’s past Clean School Bus webinars. The EPA also created an interactive map of the program’s past winners. Applications are due Aug. 22.

Federal funding webinars

Federal agencies are hosting a series of webinars on funding opportunities and resources.

Now through November, the U.S. Department of Transportation is holding a series on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Experts will provide insights on best practices for project delivery and how to create safer, cleaner, sustainable, and equitable transportation systems that benefit workers and manufacturing. The first webinar is on Aug. 10.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the middle of a week-long Climate Action Funding Fair. The virtual series of events will help cities and other stakeholders identify, navigate, and prepare to leverage federal funding as they develop climate action plans as required under EPA’s Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program. Registration for the remaining sessions is still available.

City officials looking for additional information about the American Rescue Plan Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, or additional recovery tools can visit the Cal Cities Guide to Local Recovery portal.