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City of Riverside Will Use $31.2 Million Grant for Neighborhood Revitalization

Published: 06/29/200




 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 29, 2020

           

Contact:

Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer

951-826-5975

ppitchford@riversideca.gov

 

 

City of Riverside Will Use $31.2 Million Grant for Neighborhood Revitalization

Transformative Climate Communities and Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grants will help improve quality of life in city’s Eastside neighborhood

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A total of $31.2 million in grants from the State of California’s Strategic Growth Council (SGC) will provide a major boost to Riverside’s plans for integrated transit, urban greening and affordable housing in the Eastside neighborhood.

The City of Riverside, community stakeholders and regional partners who collectively make up the Eastside Climate Collaborative, are celebrating the recent approval of the grant package. The Transformative Climate Communities grant and Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant awards follow a decade of planning and community engagement, facilitated by the City.

The grants are the result of a broad community-based effort to empower the Eastside area, create new economic opportunities and improve the health and well-being of neighborhood residents through efforts that include the Chicago-Linden Plan and Eastside HEAL Zone.

“These grants show what can happen when the city works collaboratively with the community to make projects happen.” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “These awards are about the power of partnerships to implement great community planning.  I couldn’t be prouder about what has happened, and what will happen, for the Eastside and its residents.”

A grant project area will center around the Entrada Housing Project located at the corner of Seventh Street and Chicago Avenue and include most of the Eastside from the City’s Downtown Metrolink station to University of California, Riverside.

“What has happened here is about a decade of strong community vision and community voice, said City Councilmember Andy Melendrez, who represents the area. “Through these awards, the City of Riverside will able to leverage years of community engagement and planning to revitalize the Eastside in a way that has a profound impact on environmental, economic, and health outcomes for residents.   I am proud to be part of this truly game changing endeavor for the Eastside.”

The TCC and AHSC programs, now in their third year, are designed to encourage transformative, neighborhood-level projects that reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions and create healthier, more resilient communities through concentrated community investments.

Riverside’s grants will fund high-quality multimodal transportation, affordable housing, urban greening, solar energy, and workforce development training.  Some projects will break ground next year, with others being implemented in phases over the next five years.

Rick Bishop, Executive Director of the Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG), said approval of the $31.2 million grant is a major step forward for the region as a whole.

“WRCOG is optimistic that this grant will enhance the City of Riverside’s Eastside neighborhood and will help elevate the quality of life for the residents of that community,” Bishop said. “In light of the grant awards, it is WRCOG’s hope that this success will set the pace for jurisdictions, agencies and the private sector to pursue Public-Private Partnerships and multi-agency/jurisdictional collaborations in grant program efforts.”

The grants will provide funding for bus stop improvements and bus passes for Eastside residents, with a large share going toward the construction of the new Vine Street Mobility Hub.

RTA Chair Bridgette Moore said the mobility hub will fuel ongoing efforts to promote public transit, capture new riders, and reduce traffic and harmful vehicle emissions.

“The project is still being designed but customers have a lot to look forward to,” Moore said. “There are so many ways to make public transit more attractive. One of those ways is to make it convenient. And that’s exactly what the Vine Street Mobility Hub offers -- convenience and a great location that will allow people to connect like never before with buses and trains to destinations near and far.”

Partners in the TCC and AHSC grant applications include the County of Riverside Economic Development Agency, University of California, Riverside Center for Environmental Research and Technology, Riverside Community Health Foundation, Riverside Unified School District, GRID Alternatives, Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation, Riverside Transit Agency, Community Settlement Association, Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority (SAWPA), WRCOG, Tree People, and Eastside community groups and community members.

The TCC and AHSC Grant applications had significant community input from the Residents of Eastside Active in Leadership (REAL) Group, Healthy Living Project, Eastside Faith Collaborative, Eastside Think Tank, and Lincoln Park Community Group.

Major projects included in the Eastside Community Collaborative TCC and AHSC Grant awards are:

  • Entrada, a 65-unit affordable housing development located at Seventh Street and Chicago Avenue, in partnership with Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation.
  • Smart transit and walkable neighborhood projects, including enhanced crosswalks, bike lanes, bus stop improvements, and an additional bus lane expansion of the future Vine Street Mobility Hub – in partnership with the Riverside Transit Agency.
  • The planting of 2,000 trees in the project area, in partnership with Tree People.
  • Provision of over 100,000 square feet of xeriscape lawn replacement, in partnership with SAWPA.
  • The installation of rooftop solar on 100 single and multifamily homes. In addition to the energy and environmental benefits, the weatherization program will provide training and job benefits for residents, in partnership with GRID Alternatives.
  • The provision of more than 6,000 bus passes for the Entrada project and Eastside target area residents over five years.

The additional housing of the Entrada Project addresses a critical need in the Eastside area as the region struggles with housing affordability. 

“It is particularly gratifying for Wakeland to receive this funding for Entrada because of the broader benefits it will bring to people who live in Riverside,” said Ken Sauder, President and CEO of Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation. “Beyond the 65 new affordable homes that Wakeland will build, residents will see their neighborhood transformed with better walking, biking and transit access, new trees and drought-tolerant landscaping at homes, and many other improvements that our community and municipal partners will implement.”

A budget breakdown of the Riverside grant award follows:

 

Capital Project/Program:

Award

Amount

Housing (Construction)

$13,003,254

Housing (Soft Costs)

$3,235,000

Housing Subtotal

$16,238,254

Transportation (Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure

$2,626,495

Transportation (Transit Rail Access – Bus Stops and Solar Walkway)

$1,003,857

Vine St. Mobility Hub

$1,500,000

Tran. Prog. (Bus Passes and Education)

$752,600

ASHC Subtotal

$22,121,206

TCC Grant Only

 

Solar Installations

$1,988,000

WECAN Xeriscape

$592,417

Tree Planting

$1,139,049

Grant Admin

$1,794,107

Data Collection

$1,110,000

Community Engagement

$1,215,441

Displacement Avoidance

$156,500

Workforce Development

$1,085,380

TCC Subtotal

$9,080,894

TOTAL (All Sources)

$31,202,100

 

For more information on the TCC and AHSC grant programs, visit https://sgc.ca.gov/programs/tcc/ or https://sgc.ca.gov/programs/ahsc/ or visit the City’s Grant homepage at www.riversideca.gov/eastside