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SCAG and Utilities Collaborate to Meet Housing Goals

September 18, 2023

Southern California is facing a significant housing shortfall and the state of California has allocated $600 million, of which $243 million is designated for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), to meet several goals including housing production.

SCAG’s Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) program includes the Programs to Accelerate Transformative Housing (PATH) which includes a RUSH Pilot Program focusing on non-transportation utilities planning and investments essential for housing production.

To coordinate SCAG housing targets with regional utility expansions, developers may seek capacity in utilities through due diligence process before executing purchase and sale contracts.

California law currently requires utilities to build “just in time” infrastructure systems, but may be mitigated by impact fees imposed by municipalities.

Recently, Southern California Water Coalition Executive Director Charley Wilson participated in a RUSH Urban Land Institute Advisory Services Panel to discuss utility access and capabilities. The panel concluded that SCAG should close gaps by coordinating maps of targeted housing sites with dry electric and wet utility maps; instituting a scoring template for further refinement; and improving overall systems. The state should allocate funds to convert GIS/paper utility, housing, and other needed maps into advanced electronic maps and SCAG can lead the way for regional utilities supporting housing.

You can read the full article about the panel’s discussion and findings in the article “Mapping Solution for SoCal Housing Shortage” written by Charles Schilke and published in the Fall issue of Urban Land Magazine.


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