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City of Coachella awarded $22 million funding to improve affordable housing, transit, workforce development, green spaces, and more

COACHELLA, CA – The City of Coachella will receive over $22 million in state funding to improve green spaces, provide affordable housing, and create workforce development opportunities centered around addressing climate change at a local level.

The City of Coachella is one of the four California cities, and the first city in the Coachella Valley, that was awarded this year's set of Transformative Climate Communities grants. The competitive grant program is funded by the state's cap-and-trade program which focuses on helping and establishing local projects that address issues of climate change and the health, economic, and quality of life of communities most impacted by pollution.

The $22,125,000 grant is already planned to go towards the multiple projects under the Coachella Prospera plan. According to the Coachella Prospera website launched by the city, the plan aims to "create a resilient and equitable community through neighborhood planning, promoting healthy child development, and enabling older adults to age in place."

The projects scheduled under the Coachella Prospera plan range from spanning transportation, housing, parks, energy, workforce development, and other areas. The Coachella Prospera initiative was a collaborative effort developed by the city and eleven community partners: Chelsea Investment Corporation, Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation (Pacific Southwest CDC), GRID Alternatives Inland Empire, Southern California Mountains Foundation (Urban Conservation Corps), Bound Corporation, The LEAP Institute, Alianza Coachella Valley, Desert Recreation District, Regents of the University of California at Riverside (UC Riverside Campus), Kounkuey Design Initiative, and the Center for Employment Training.

Of the $22 million grant, $7,168,176 is allocated for affordable housing development and related infrastructure. The City of Coachella, Chelsea Investment Corporation, and Pacific Southwest CDC will use these funds to develop a significant project in the Coachella Prospera plan, the Sixth Street Senior Apartment Community. Sixth Street Senior Apartments will build 53 affordable housing units for seniors, with all electric appliances. In addition, $31,824 from the grant will be used to fund free or reduced-price transit passes for residents.

Along with assisting in development, Pacific Southwest CDC will also provide free, on-site services and resources for the community that fall within the Coachella Prospera agenda of climate change and the health, economic, and quality of life of the community. Services tailored for senior residents, such as health and wellness seminars, senior companionship and well-being check-ins, food security, transportation accessibility, and more will be available for residents.

About $1.4 million of the funding will be for workforce development programs that focus on career pathways in environmental and climate-related industries such as green building construction, solar installations, HVAC technicians, electricians, and urban forestry.

City parks and community centers will also receive a portion of the funding in order to significantly renovate and add new amenities to vastly improve the city's green initiative. The Bagdouma Community Center will transform into a Wellness Hub that will offer a botanical garden, demonstration kitchens, fitness classes, and sauna and steam rooms. City parks and their Tot Lots will be able to include more shade structures, water bottle refill stations, outdoor fitness courts, and playground equipment.

"This is going to bring mobility, it's going to bring access to green spaces, it's going to bring access to housing, it's going to bring employment, it's going to bring training, things that are critical to workforce development," said Councilmember Denise Delgado. "And all of those things are components of what a good quality of life is, and what every city should be providing, and the future of how cities will be building, with wellness and well-being at the center of how we build."


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