California Climate Investment funds will support the Twin Rivers/River District-Railyards neighborhoods revitalization project to connect residents to opportunities throughout the Sacramento downtown area.
Sacramento, Calif. - Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (www.shra.org) has been awarded a $23 million Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) grant by the California Strategic Growth Council to lead the Sacramento Integrated Multimodal Place-Based Living (SIMPL) project. California Climate Investment funds will be used to redevelop and revitalize the Twin Rivers public housing community and surrounding River District-Railyards neighborhood and to better connect project area residents to programs, services, and job opportunities throughout the Sacramento downtown area. The funding will support SHRA and co-applicants McCormack Baron Salazar (www.mccormackbaron.com), Sacramento Regional Transit (www.sacrt.com) and the Sacramento Tree Foundation (www.sactree.com) to implement five grant funded climate investment projects which include a new transit station, 500 new trees, solar energy installation, 104 affordable housing units and a community garden available for residents throughout the project area.
“This award represents the integration of everything that matters in our community-- economic growth, inclusion, affordable housing, clean energy, public transportation and mobility options for people who otherwise have limited options," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
“Twin Rivers is not a rebuild of a housing project. It will be a new mixed income community with advanced mobility options. It incorporates social equity and climate change adaptation. Twin Rivers will elevate an underserved community and become a new “front door” to the City of Sacramento,” said Councilmember Jeff Harris.
“The TCC grant award recognizes the intersection of so many initiatives at the local, state and even global levels” said First District County Supervisor Phil Serna who also serves on the California Air Resources Board and Regional Transit District Board of Directors. “The Strategic Growth Council’s decision to award the project $23 million in assistance will help us revitalize a long-neglected part of our community, provide affordable housing opportunities, and expand transit alternatives, all while responding to the very real threat of climate change. This effort showcases the concept of ‘thoughtful planning’ on so many fronts” he concluded. "We didn't give up pursuing this grant because as we were engaging residents in the process of deciding what the Twin Rivers redevelopment project should look like, we found that the most significant barrier for them was access and how do they get from point A to point B because the community is so isolated," said SHRA Executive Director La Shelle Dozier. The climate investment projects were community driven in response to the needs of primarily low-income area residents who are reliant on public transit and other alternate modes of transportation including bicycling and walking. Together with co-applicants and stakeholders, residents identified sustainable development strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to address their transportation and housing needs.
The SIMPL vision builds upon and integrates the previous work products of the River District Specific Plan, Railyards Specific Plan, North 12th Complete Streets, Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI), Place-based Art, CPID and Transit visioning. To achieve the SIMPL vision, the project will:
Connect an economically isolated community to opportunity by building a new light rail station, setting the stage for reshaping a public housing project into a flourishing mixed income transit-oriented development;
Reduce GHGs by addressing both fixed-point and mobile source emissions through the new light rail station, and the addition of multiple electric vehicle and non-car options, which will connect the community to the rest of the region;
Improve public health outcomes through an integrated tree planting and community garden strategy which will increase shade, promote outdoor activity, and healthy nutrition; and
Support economic development and vitality through the creation of new jobs and the attraction of new businesses, catalyzed by the new light rail station.
Collaborative stakeholders and special leverage partners include the City of Sacramento, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps, Urban Strategies, Inc., Alchemist CDC, WALKSacramento, the River District, Grid Alternatives, Greater Sacramento Urban League, Wide Open Walls, California State University’s Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development.
SHRA was one of two recipients of the $46 million Round II Implementation Grant Awards for the five-year grant period. Funding for the FY 2018-2019 TCC Program is provided by Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), an account established to receive Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds. The TCC Program funds development and infrastructure projects that achieve major environmental, health, and economic benefits in California’s most disadvantaged communities. Funded by California’s Cap-and-Trade Program, TCC empowers the communities most impacted by pollution to choose their own goals, strategies, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution – all with data-driven milestones and measurable outcomes.
SHRA is well-prepared to lead this multi-faceted transformation of the SIMPL target area. As the lead agency for the Sacramento Promise Zone (www.sacramentopromisezone.org), SHRA has leveraged over $118 million in resources to support 22 square miles of Sacramento's most underprivileged neighborhoods. One of only 22 Promise Zones in the country, SHRA was awarded this designation by HUD in 2015 and works with over 150 key partners. The Promise Zone initiative is a long-term commitment spanning 10 years.
SHRA has also received two Choice Neighborhoods Initiatives (CNI) planning grants and one CNI implementation grant from HUD for neighborhoods in the Promise Zone: Each has involved a broad cross-section of partners, significant community engagement, and expert grant administration.
The Twin Rivers CNI public housing community transformation entails one-for-one replacement of all public housing units within a newly constructed, mixed income community. When complete, the project will include approximately 487 mixed income rental housing units with supporting amenities and a new public park.
News release courtesy of Angela Jones, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency Public Information Officer, (916) 440-1355 or (916) 919-3090.