S. E. Williams | Voice Executive Editor
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) announced $425,000 in grants to five nonprofits and community-based organizations in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties to promote equitable growth strategies.
The awards range from $75,000 to $100,000 and will cover a variety of initiatives related to housing policy and land use. In all, SCAG announced $1.25 million in grants to eligible organizations throughout Southern California under its “Call for Collaboration” program. SCAG is dedicating $1 million of Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grant funds toward the program, with additional funding from the California Community Foundation (CCF), the Chan Zuckerberg Institute and the Irvine Foundation.
Call for Collaboration is part of SCAG’s ongoing commitment to combat racism, social injustice and to help close an equity gap that has reached historic levels. Last July, SCAG declared racism a public health crisis and since has led region wide discussions on ways to eliminate barriers that impede opportunity for millions of Southern California residents.
SCAG staff is working with a newly formed Special Committee on Equity and Social Justice to create an action plan to promote racial and social equity and an inclusive recovery strategy.
“The grant program is a significant step toward ensuring that as we promote accelerated housing production, we have the framework in place to close the growing racial equity gap and maximize the opportunities that are in front of us as a region,” said Rex Richardson, President of SCAG and Vice Mayor of Long Beach.
“ For Southern California to fully recover from the economic devastation of the pandemic, we need to make sure we’re promoting equitable growth strategies and create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” he concluded.
Clint Lorimore, First Vice President of SCAG and Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Eastvale, praised the San Bernardino and Riverside County organizations that received funding for bringing positive change to the communities they serve.
“Addressing the ongoing housing crisis in the Inland Empire and all throughout California is critically important. Providing tools and collaborating with community partners is vital to this effort and would not be possible without coalition building at the grassroots level,” stressed Lorimore.
Inland Empire Grant Recipients
Lift to Rise
This organization funds planning activities to advance the production of affordable housing units in the Coachella Valley.
Inland Equity Community Land Trust
Works in collaboration with the City of Jurupa Valley to champion affordable housing and elevate the voices of coalition partners in housing policy development.
Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire Inc.Expands upon current work with the Pueblo Unido Community Development Corp. to create an accessory dwelling unit initiative.
Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services/Inland SoCal Housing Collective
Works to create solutions to improve housing outcomes for renters, homebuyers, homeowners and those experiencing homelessness through education, advocacy and access to resources.
Just San Bernardino Collaborative
Nine community-based organizations working together in the City of San Bernardino to engage residents and draft the People’s Plan for Economic Inclusion.
SCAG Executive Director Kome Ajise declared, “Each of these projects provides an incredible opportunity to address economic and social disparity at the community level and bring new voices to policy discussions while also promoting the power of collaboration. We look forward to monitoring their progress and encouraging similar efforts across the region.”