Community Change Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance

Posted by: CAKE Team
Post Date: 3/18/2024
Opportunity Type: Funding
Organization/Grantor: Environmental Protection Agency
Position/Title/Fund: Community Change Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance

The Community Change Grant Equitable Resilience technical assistance will provide free design and project development assistance, community engagement, and partnership development workshops that support climate resilience and environmental justice activities in disaster-prone areas.

This program will help eligible entities develop applications to be submitted for grants under the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights (OEJECR) Community Change Grants Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The Community Change Grants will invest approximately $2 billion dollars in Inflation Reduction Act funds for environmental and climate justice activities to benefit disadvantaged communities through projects that reduce pollution, increase community climate resilience, and build community capacity to respond to environmental and climate justice challenges.

Eligible sites for this technical assistance must be located in a disaster-prone area and benefit a disadvantaged community. Please see the IRA Disadvantaged Communities Map to determine if your project site is located in a disadvantaged community. The assistance will consist of free site or project design, project development assistance, community engagement, and partnership development workshops. 

The technical assistance will be for climate resilience projects that could include a focus on new or expanded green infrastructure, open spaces, and/or retrofits of existing community buildings to address climate change impacts such as extreme heat and more intense heat islands, wildfire and smoke, floods, storms, or other climate impacts that pose a greater risk to disadvantaged communities. These climate resilience projects can also achieve multiple benefits for the environment, economy, and public health. Depending on the project type, the contractor team will consist of architects, engineers, landscape architects/designers, planners, and/or other technical experts to support the conceptual design of the project. Please see the Project Types below for a list of example types of eligible projects.

EPA intends to offer this technical assistance to up to 50 recipients nationwide in conjunction with the Community Change Grants NOFO. EPA will accept requests for this technical assistance once the NOFO has been issued and until 50 recipients have been identified. Please note that receiving technical assistance does not guarantee that you will receive funding under any EPA or other program.

Once notified and engaged, recipients will participate in the technical assistance process, outlined below. It is expected that this process will take approximately 4 to 5 months:

  1. An initial call to identify community assets, challenges, interests, and engagement strategies that will support the on-site portions of this technical assistance;
  2. A 1-day site visit to conduct a site assessment and confirm 1-3 sites for design work;
  3. Six weeks of design and community engagement work to develop initial design concepts and supportive partnerships for the design workshop;
  4. A 1-day on-site design workshop to confirm and select final designs for 1-3 sites;
  5. A final set of design options, preliminary budget, and project summary that the applicant can use in developing and writing their own grant proposal for a Community Change Grant; and
  6. Additional support as needed to troubleshoot grant submission.

The requestor can propose up to three sites for design assistance. Potential projects include:

  • Community-Serving Buildings
    • Example project types: physical upgrades to buildings that could include HVAC and energy efficiency improvements or retrofitting of buildings to be community resilience hubs. Community-serving buildings could include schools, community recreation centers, childcare facilities, and libraries.
  • Public Parks and/or Open Space
    • Example project types: Design or redesign of public parks, open space, waterways, or agricultural lands to include green infrastructure, shade structures, trees, rain gardens, pollinator gardens, or onsite renewable energy; community gardens; daylighting rivers and streams in urban areas; watershed protection; applicable coastal green infrastructure.
  • Transportation and/or Mobility
    • Example project types: green and complete streets, de-paving parking lots or installation of permeable paving in conjunction with new green infrastructure, solar/shade structures at public transit stations.
  • Other project types outlined in the NOFO are eligible, and requesters are invited to describe their sites within the request form.
How to Apply:

The Community Change Equitable Resilience Technical Assistance program is now live. Please complete the following form to request assistance:

Technical Assistance Request Form (when completing this form, please include the addresses of the specific site(s) to assist with design assistance.

You can find a full list of the request form questions HERE. Please note, you must submit the form electronically using the link above.