CSAC Bulletin Article

Time Running Out for Highly-Flexible Housing Planning Grants

January 7, 2021

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has extended the deadline for Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) grant applications to January 31, 2021. While the majority of counties have already applied for this highly-flexible funding, we encourage all counties to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. This non-competitive funding is available to counties through a streamlined application process and CSAC’s affiliate, the Institute for Local Government (ILG), is available to help counties prepare and submit applications.

In the 2019-20 Budget Act, Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislature allocated $250 million for all regions, cities, and counties to prioritize planning activities that accelerate housing production. With this allocation, HCD established the LEAP grant program and allocated $119 million for cities and counties. LEAP provides over-the-counter grants to cities and counties to update their planning documents and implement process improvements that will facilitate the acceleration of housing production and help local governments prepare for their 6th cycle regional housing needs assessment.

These flexible funds can be used for housing element updates, permit processing improvements, developing or improving ADU ordinances, rezoning efforts, or any project that accelerates housing production in the county. 

ILG is part of the technical assistance team available to help with your LEAP application. If you would like help identifying projects or reviewing your application, or if you have questions, reach out to Karalee Browne or Melissa Kuehne. The ILG and the technical assistance team will be working with counties to ensure that technical assistance tools meet regional needs, provide resources and training to planning commissioners and make sure county needs are understood during the allocation of Regional Early Action Planning funds.

Additional information on the LEAP grants is available here. Please contact ILG or CSAC staff if you are unsure whether your county has already applied.

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