Determining Regional SCS Project Consistency for the AHSC Grant Program

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The 2015-2016 funding round for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Grant Program includes a role for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in the application review process. MPOs have the option of participating in the review of respective AHSC applications in order to identify and rank regional priority projects, as well as evaluate each project’s consistency with the adopted Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS), including “(i) how the proposed projects implement the region’s SCS or equivalent regional plan; and (ii) the extent to which the candidate projects align with regional priorities, including but not limited to: transit priority areas, high priority development areas, or other areas which are key to the SCS’s strategies and priorities; and which support achieving the region’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”

As part of this process, the concept application includes question #34 which directs applicants to “Please describe how the Project supports the implementation of the applicable Sustainable Communities Strategy or other qualifying regional plan.”  We have provided the following materials to assist applicants in determining their project’s consistency with the SCS:

  • 2016 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) — The MTP/SCS includes a variety of information that applicants can utilize when answering the questions about SCS consistency and State Planning Priorities in the concept application. AHSC applicants may find Chapter 3 and Appendix E-3 particularly useful in identifying which Community Type their project is within and the land use characteristics and amount of growth forecasted by the MTP/SCS for that Community Type.  Appendix A-1 may also be useful for identifying and demonstrating consistency with transportation projects.
  • SACOG’s AHSC Round 1 Project Consistency Evaluation Example Letter — For projects that were invited to submit a full project application in AHSC round 1, SACOG provided project applicants a project consistency evaluation, if requested.  AHSC applicants may use this letter as a reference for the type of information SACOG reviewed for project consistency in AHSC Round 1. 
  • Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP)— The federally-required MTIP is a short-term listing of surface transportation projects that receive federal funds, are subject to a federally required action, or are regionally significant. The MTIP derives all its projects either directly from the MTP or indirectly from the policies and lump sums within it. The MTP is the long range policy and planning document while the MTIP is the short range implementing document that enables those planned project to begin work. AHSC applicants may use the MTIP as a resource for identifying transportation projects and as a reference for demonstrating consistency.