Regional Early Action Planning Grants of 2021 (REAP 2.0)

Program Background and Purpose

Introduction

California is committed to a future where we all have the option to live closer to our jobs, services, and daily destinations. More housing options and affordability in nearby neighborhoods. More transportation options so we can walk our kids to school, ride our bikes to work, or take transit. The Regional Early Action Planning Grants of 2021 (REAP 2.0) are a key part of strategic investments toward this more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive future for people in all areas of the state. REAP 2.0 builds on the success of 2019’s REAP program but expands the focus by integrating housing and climate goals and allowing for broader planning and implementation investments, including infrastructure. REAP 2.0 is explicitly intended to meet multiple objectives – infill development, housing for all incomes, Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) reduction, and affirmatively furthering fair housing in ways that accelerate the implementation of adopted regional and local plans to achieve these goals.

Background

REAP 2.0 seeks to accelerate progress towards our state housing goals and climate commitments through a strengthened partnership between the state, its regions, and local entities to collectively accelerate infill development, housing, and VMT reductions in ways that advance equity.

REAP 2.0 is a $600 million state and federal investment to advance implementation of adopted regional plans by funding planning and implementation activities that accelerate infill housing and reductions in per capita VMT. This investment builds on the success of the 2019 Regional Early Action Planning Grant program (REAP 1.0) which provided an initial round of $125 million in flexible planning funds to regional governments to accelerate housing production and facilitate compliance with the 6th cycle of the housing element, including regional housing need allocations.

REAP 2.0 is also specifically designed to provide Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) and other eligible applicants with tools and resources to help implement and advance plans, primarily including sustainable communities strategies (SCS) as part of Regional Transportation Plans (RTP). AN SCS identifies strategies a region intends to pursue towards achieving and maintaining greenhouse gas (GHG) per capita reduction targets through changes to land use and transportation.

REAP 2.0 is also intended to help the state meet its climate commitments and housing production and affordability goals. REAP 2.0 responds to the recognition that California is not currently on track to meet the state’s climate and housing commitments, for example, evident by continued dependence on vehicular travel and forecasted VMT growth. Statewide VMT reduction combined with affordable infill development provides many co-benefits and is essential to helping achieve public health, equity, land conservation, and economic goals.

The REAP 2.0 program is funded through $500 million from the Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund of 2021 and $100 million from the State General Fund. The Regional Early Action Planning Grants of 2021 will be administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the Strategic Growth Council (SGC), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). A majority of the funds (85 percent) will flow directly to the state’s 18 Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), with an expectation the MPOs will subgrant a portion of the funds to eligible entities (cities, counties, transit/transportation agencies) in their metropolitan region. The remaining funds are split into a set aside for non-MPO regions for smaller counties and tribal entities, as well as for a special innovation set aside for all eligible entities.

Purpose

The purpose of REAP 2.0 is supporting transformative planning and implementation activities that include, but are not limited to, accelerating infill and affordable development; supporting residents through realizing multimodal communities; shifting travel behavior through reducing driving; and increasing transit ridership, walking, and biking as primary modes of transportation.

Framework Paper

Through collaboration between CARB, HCD, OPR and SGC, the REAP 2.0 framework paper has been created to initiate key concepts and survey interested agencies, departments, stakeholders, and other interested organizations about how to best implement the REAP 2.0 program.

The intent of the framework paper is to gather early feedback on broad concepts and approaches as well as key areas of the program to inform several subsequent processes, including the development of draft guidelines. The paper will also represent the initial thinking by the administration on the broader goals of REAP 2.0 and therefore should also be reviewed by anyone interested in the implementation of regional plans and the acceleration of infill development in ways that preserves, protects, and produces affordable housing, reduces VMT, and affirmatively furthers fair housing (AFFH).

The purpose of the framework paper is to gather input on broad concepts and approaches to implement REAP 2.0 rather than technical or grammatical edits. Please request additional clarification if anything is unclear. Generally, the state collaborative partners (CARB, HCD, OPR and SGC) are seeking input in the following areas:

  • Program Principles
  • Outreach and Priority Setting
  • Eligible Uses (and Ineligible Uses)
  • Eligible Applicants
  • How to demonstrate a Nexus to Program Goals and Objectives
  • Thresholds, Scoring Criteria and Geographic Equity Considerations for Competitive Allocations
  • Expenditure and Program Administration Efficiencies
  • Reporting
  • Technical Assistance, Best Practices and Long-term Coordination
  • Timing

The framework paper presents each of the above areas to set initial concepts for input and is accompanied by a survey to gather additional feedback.

The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DC6H8GM . This document, along with the survey, can also be emailed back to HCD at REAP2021@hcd.ca.gov. Stakeholders can also submit written comments or reach HCD to set up a meeting or other method for input.

Timeline

Activity Description Timing
Collaboration Design and Kick Off Convening of state agency collaborative, early discussion of program parameters and staffing. Summer 2021
Framework Paper Initial concepts and survey for broad stakeholder input. November 2021
Advance Application Available (“Formula Allocations for MPOs and COGs”) Up to 10% of program funds can be requested by eligible entities under the “Formula Allocations for MPOs and COGs”. December 2021
Final Guidelines and Program Launch Opening of the application period with program guidelines. February 2022
Technical Assistance, Marketing, Direct Assistance to Applicants State will conduct a variety of outreach events including statewide webinar, regional events, and will provide direct assistance and consultations to eligible entities. December 2021 through June 2024
Over-the-Counter Application Period Initial application window closes on December 31, 2022. Depending on availability of remaining funds there may be a second competitive Innovative and Integrated Set Aside funding round if there are excess funds at the end of 2022. February 2022 - December 31, 2022
Encumbrance Deadline All funds must be awarded and encumbered. June 2024
Annual Reports Recipients submit and post annual reports and state posts annual report and other applicant information April to June of every year*
Expenditure and Close-out Report June 30, 2026
* Recipients shall submit a report by April 1 of the year following the receipt of those funds, and annually thereafter until those funds are expended. In turn, the state will post annual reports with supplemental information.

Please visit our Regional Early Action Planning Grant of 2019 (REAP 1.0) webpage to learn more about the REAP 1.0 program.