California has just introduced an program that awards cities for building affordable housing with grants for parks. More:
This money will reward communities by enhancing the quality of life in these neighborhoods. We hope that all of our communities can benefit from more parks and more affordable housing,” said Lynn L. Jacobs, Director of HCD. The funds come from Proposition 1C, the $2.85 billion housing bond passed by the voters in November 2006, a part of the Governor’s Strategic Growth Plan. $200 million will be available in total program funds which will be awarded in six annual rounds beginning in 2009.
Funds will be awarded for both park creation and rehabilitation. California had a similar program under its Workforce Housing Rewards program, in which cities could use reward grants for a number of public works projects. But now parks are getting singled out. This joining together of parks and affordable housing is particularly encouraging — and shows great promise for building new housing that is accompanied by new or renewed parks for the housed.