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Catalyst Projects for California Sustainable Strategies Pilot Program


Approximately 6 development projects will be selected as Catalyst Projects in communities throughout California to incentivize sustainable communities and test innovative strategies designed to increase housing supply and affordability; improve jobs and housing relationships; stimulate job creation and retention; enhance transportation modal choices that reflect community values, preserve open space and agricultural resources; promote public health; eliminate toxic threats; address blighted properties; reduce green house gas emissions and increase energy conservation and independence.

The Catalyst Projects for California Sustainable Strategies Pilot Program (Program) will maximize California's ability to leverage public and private financial resources including local, State and federal funds. Catalyst Projects will position California to effectively participate and compete for any new federal initiatives resulting from the federal Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Environmental Protection Agency's Partnership for Sustainable Communities.


Pilot Program Incentives and Reward Package:

Successful applicants to become a Catalyst Project will be eligible for a variety of resources and technical assistance, including but not limited to:

The major focus of this Program is to support innovation and test sustainable strategies on the ground with actual development projects. Projects that demonstrate cooperative and scale-appropriate methods and strategies that reflect the interdependence of environmental, economic and community health will be most competitive.


See the RFP. In addition, the Catalyst Project will be required to collect data and measure the effectiveness of their sustainable communities' strategies. A team of State, regional, and local officials will evaluate progress on at least a yearly basis and compile a report at the end of a one-year, three-year and five-year period. Timely evaluations will enable effective dissemination of information about any identified effective strategies.


Any California county, city, or city and county are eligible applicants.


  1. To qualify for the Catalyst Project, a local government applicant must meet all of the threshold requirements below and achieve at least four of the California Sustainable Strategies Policy Objectives identified from the list (see page 6 of RFP):
    1. Scale of the Catalyst Project Pilot. Eligible projects must meet one of either:
      1. Livable Communities: must include at least 1,000 planned housing units and demonstrate an effective jobs and housing relationship, including housing affordability relative to wages.
      2. Revitalization Communities: must include development, preservation, or rehabilitation of at least 250 planned housing units, including housing affordable to lower-income households.
    2. Housing Element Compliance (demonstrated by a finding of compliance by the California Department of Housing and Community Development prior to draw down of Funds);
    3. Demonstrate how the project is consistent with the State's Planning Priorities pursuant to Government Code Section 65041.1.
    4. Describe how the project supports the general goals of a Sustainable Community Strategy pursuant to SB 375 including Government Code Section 65080(b)(2)(B) in terms of the project's design and access to a variety of transportation modes.
    5. The Catalyst Project must demonstrate the commitment of a private sector partner as demonstrated by a letter of support from the private sector partner.
    6. The local government applicant must demonstrate commitment to identify and address regulatory barriers to transformative projects including any regulatory relief to facilitate housing and job development.


State of California
Department of Housing and Community Development
Division of Housing Policy Development, Room 430
P. O. Box 952053
Sacramento, CA 94252-2053

Program Representative Contact Information — (Adobe PDF)


Cash Request Form — (Adobe PDF)

California Catalyst Community Designees - Catalyst Project Summaries — (Adobe PDF)

California Catalyst Program Guidelines — (Adobe PDF)

Request for Proposals (RFP) — (Microsoft Word)

RFP Application/Attachments — (Microsoft Word)

Innovative Homeownership Program (IHP) - Catalyst Community Grant (CRG) Program