Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC)


(916) 263-2771


Administered by the Strategic Growth Council and implemented by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), the AHSC Program funds land-use, housing, transportation, and land preservation projects to support infill and compact development that reduce greenhouse gas ("GHG") emissions. 

Funding for the AHSC Program is provided from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), an account established to receive Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds.

Statutory Funding Set-Asides

Fifty (50) percent of the available funds are set aside for Affordable Housing Developments, and 50 percent of the available funds are set aside for projects benefitting Disadvantaged Communities.

Note:  A single project can address both set-asides above, and are not mutually exclusive.

Assistance Type

The AHSC Program will assist project areas by providing grants and/or loans, or any combination thereof, that will achieve GHG emissions reductions and benefit Disadvantaged Communities through increasing accessibility of affordable housing, employment centers, and key destinations via low-carbon transportation resulting in fewer vehicle miles traveled (VMT) through shortened or reduced trip length or mode shift from Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) use to transit, bicycling, or walking.  Three Project Area types have been identified to implement this strategy:

  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Project Areas,
  • Integrated Connectivity Project (ICP) Project Areas, or
  • Rural Innovation Project Areas (RIPA).


The assistance terms and limits include, but are not limited to, the following requirements:

  • The maximum AHSC Program loan or grant award or combination thereof is $20 million with a minimum award of at least $1 million in TOD Project Areas and $500,000 in ICP and RIPA Project Areas.
  • A single developer may receive no more than $40 million per NOFA funding cycle.*

*These limitations may be waived if necessary to meet statutorily required Affordable Housing and Disadvantaged Community set-asides.

Eligible Activities

  • Affordable Housing Developments**
  • Housing-Related Infrastructure
  • Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure
  • Transportation-Related Amenities
  • Program Costs (including active transportation, transit ridership, or criteria air pollutant reduction programs)

**includes new construction, acquisition, and substantial rehabilitation, including preservation of affordable housing at risk, or conversion of one or more nonresidential structures to residential dwelling units.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicant entities include any of the following:

  • A locality, public housing authority, redevelopment successor agency, transit agency or transit operator, Regional Transportation Planning Agency (RTPA), local Transportation Commissions, Congestion Management Agencies, Joint Powers Authority (JPA), school district, facilities district, university or community college district.
  • A developer or program operator.

If a public agency has a financial or real property interest in the proposed project, the application must either include the public agency as a co-applicant or otherwise include a commitment to enter into a contractual agreement to develop the project, if it is awarded.

Application Procedure

Applications are invited through the issuance of a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).  Applicants must submit a concept proposal for review and evaluation.  HCD will notify and invite selected applicants to submit a full application based on the ranking of concept proposals and available funds. 

Check previous NOFAs for additional helpful information.

Loan Closing Documents

AHSC Specific Documents

Documents Applicable to all NOFAs


Plans & Reports

  • 2015-2025 Statewide Housing Plan
  • California Inter-Regional Partnership (IRP) Program Final Report (2005)
  • The Future of Infill Housing: Opportunities, Potential, Feasibility and Demand (2005)
  • Recommendations of the Interagency Task Force on Homelessness (2003)
  • Raising the Roof - California Housing Development Projections and Constraints (2001)
  • Housing: California's Foundation for Economic Growth (PDF)
  • Draft Substantial Amendment to 2015-16 Annual Action Plan and Public Notice (PDF)
  • 2010-2015 California Consolidated Plan
  • Annual Plan, CAPER (updated annually)