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Deadline Extended to Apply for a LEAP Grant

July 29, 2020
Cities now have more time to apply for Local Early Action Planning Grants (LEAP)
The deadline to apply or modify an application has been extended from July 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021. The 2019-20 Budget Act established the LEAP Grant program, which provides over-the-counter grants and technical assistance to all cities and counties to prepare and adopt planning documents and process improvements that accelerate housing production and facilitate compliance to implement the sixth-cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announced its LEAP grant Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), formerly known as the Local Government Planning Support Grants Program, approximately $119 million to help cities and counties with the preparation, planning, and streamlining activities that fast-track housing production.
Jurisdictions who did not apply: For cities and counties that were not able to meet the July 1, 2020 deadline, it’s not too late! You now have until Jan. 31, 2021 to apply for LEAP funding. Remember, LEAP funding is non-competitive, flexible funding to help cities and counties plan for housing in their communities.
Jurisdictions who did apply: If you have already applied for the LEAP program, you can still make modifications and adjustments to your application. HCD can make adjustments to the application during the review process or even after awards.

Webinar Recording
Learn how your city can receive these one-time planning grant funds and technical assistance by viewing the LEAP webinar. The LEAP webinar slide presentation can be found here.
Eligible Applicants
Eligible applicants are limited to cities and counties. However, local governments may collaborate with other local agencies or entities where the proposal will have a direct effect on land-use or development within the participating localities. This includes partnerships with other localities, regional governments, housing authorities, school districts, special districts, community-based organizations, or any duly constituted governing body of an Indian Reservation or Rancheria.
Award Amounts
The maximum award amounts are based on population estimates as of Jan. 1, 2019. The minimum award amount is $25,000. The Maximum Grant Amounts jurisdictions may receive is as follows:
Jurisdiction Size (in population) Maximum Award Amount
750,000 or greater $1,500,000
300,000 to 749,999 $750,000
100,000 to 299,999 $500,000
60,000 to 99,999 $300,000
20,000 to 59,999 $150,000
Less than 20,000 $65,000
Eligible Activities
Eligible activities must be related to housing planning, facilitate the streamlining and acceleration of housing production, may be part of a larger planning effort (e.g., a comprehensive zoning code update) if proposed activities have not been completed prior to the NOFA date, are distinct, and demonstrate a nexus to accelerating housing production. Eligible activities are not necessarily jurisdiction-wide and may include a smaller geography with a significant impact on housing production.
Sample eligible projects include but are not limited to:
  • Rezoning and encouraging development through updating ordinances and plans
  • Establishing Prohousing policies
  • CEQA
  • Updating housing elements
  • Updating ordinances to comply with state housing laws (e.g. ADU ordinances)
  • Developing specific plans and other plans focused on housing
  • Implementing processes that streamline the application process for housing developments 
A comprehensive list of eligible activities can be found in the NOFA.
LEAP Technical Assistance Available
For technical assistance such as help with brainstorming eligible activities, reviewing draft applications, adjusting existing applications and answering questions, please contact your HCD regional liaison or earlyactionplanning@hcd.ca.gov.
For more information on the application process, please refer to the NOFA or email HCD at EarlyActionPlanning@hcd.ca.gov.

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