Mayor Eric Garcetti Joins HACLA and Partners to Celebrate $35 MM State Grant for Watts

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Joe Buscaino joined HACLA and the Watts Rising partners to celebrate the $35 million state Cap-and-Trade funding for affordable housing and environmental initiatives in Watts. 

Los Angeles was able to secure the $35 million Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) grant through the efforts of the Watts Rising Collaborative, which consists of the Watts Community Leadership Council (WCLC), an advisory body convened by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and the City of Los Angeles. WCLA members include: Michaels Development Company, Green Commuter, Restore Neighborhoods Los Angeles, Grant Housing and Economic Development Corporation, From Lot to Spot, Los Angeles Unified School District, TreePeople, LA Cleantech Incubator, Bridge Housing Corporation, Watts Labor Community Action Committee, North East Trees, the Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Street Services, and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

“Watts has a special place in L.A. history, and this investment sets our eyes on what tomorrow should look like in a community of hardworking Angelenos with big dreams for the future,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This grant funding is a big step toward making those dreams come true — with improved quality of life, a renewed focus on public health, and better access to affordable housing.”

The Watts Rising event took place at Community Healing Gardens, Markham Middle School Watts Healing Tech Garden. Community Healing Gardens is one of the grant recipients. 

“This is a huge win for Watts. We have 25 projects planned that will impact the lives of the 40,000 residents in Watts,” said Douglas Guthrie, President and CEO of HACLA. “We want to thank the California Strategic Growth Council who saw the potential of Watts and believed that it can be a model 21st century urban community that focuses on greenhouse gas reduction strategies to impact quality of life. The future of this 2.12 mile historic neighborhood is now forever changed as a result of the decision to invest in Watts.”

“I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen anything like this. You are second to none,” said SGC Council member Michael Flad. “You absolutely deserve this long overdue opportunity to make a difference in this community.”

The public health and environmental health benefits will be realized through five goals: Reduce local sources of air pollution, improve public health outcomes and address health disparities, prevent displacement and its impact on physical and mental health, address and mitigate non-GHG sources and exposure to pollution, and create safe and secure public spaces.

US Representative Nanette Barragan, Assembly member Mike Gipson, and Senator Steven Bradford provided their support to the community throughout this effort.

Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Overview:

The TCC Program was established by Assembly Bill (AB) 2722, administered by the Strategic Growth Council (SGC), to “…fund the development and implementation of neighborhood-level transformative climate community plans that include multiple, coordinated greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects that provide local economic, environmental, and health benefits to disadvantaged communities as described in Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.” 

The TCC Program funds development and infrastructure projects that achieve major environmental, health, and economic benefits in CA’s most disadvantaged communities.

Funded by CA’s Cap-and-Trade Program, TCC empowers the communities most impacted by pollution to choose their own goals, strategies, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution- all with data-driven milestones and measurable outcomes.

In its first year, SGC will award grants to 3 recipients in 3 locations: Fresno ($70 million), Los Angeles ($35 million), and a third location ($35 million).

The cities of Los Angeles and Fresno were selected as they experience substantially higher pollution burdens than other parts of the state. According to the results of CalEnviroScreen 2.0—the most updated version of CalEnviroScreen at the time of the SGC rulemaking—Los Angeles had the highest number of census tracts ranked in the top 5 percent of CalEnviroScreen. While Fresno had the largest per capita population of top 5 percent disadvantaged community residents in the state, at nearly 40% of the population.

TCC Program Objectives:

  1.       Achieve Significant Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  2.       Improve Public Health and Environmental Benefits
  3.       Expand Economic Opportunity and Shared Prosperity
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