California’s New Community Resilience Centers Already Proving Worth
Large wildfire events are an increasingly common threat to life and property across western states. The 2013 Rim Fire, which ranked the third worst in California’s recorded history at the time, has already slipped to ninth place over the last decade. It is with this increasing threat in mind that, following the massive Rim Fire, state and county officials worked with Civix to create community resilience centers as resources for long-term disaster preparation and response.
Tuolumne County opened its two centers in November 2022. The new facilities are dedicated to community projects, sheltering, and disaster response. With Northern California experiencing severe weather this winter – bringing record-breaking snowfall, hail, flooding, and power outages – the centers have already been put to use as warming shelters for people seeking a place to get out of the cold.
The community resilience centers are funded by a $70 million federal grant that California received in 2016 through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition (CDBG-NDR). Civix has served as the primary outside advisor to the State on the CDBG-NDR award, providing expertise from the beginning application phase through subsequent grant implementation.
Civix grant experts have worked closely with State and local governments to plan, design, and implement innovative resilience programs and strategies. In addition to the community resilience centers, California’s CDBG-NDR award is also funding projects focused on forest and watershed health and a biomass and wood products fund.
These projects are part of Civix’s work supporting the implementation of over $240 million in CDBG-NDR projects across the U.S., ranging from critical blue-green infrastructure to economic revitalization, planning, and residential buyouts and acquisitions.
“The breadth of our work enables us to share strategic and actionable insights, perspective, and guidance as communities advance resilience initiatives,” said Ted E. Guillot, Civix Vice President of Community Planning & Resilience. “We’re proud to have worked alongside our partners in California to bring these community resilience centers from concept to groundbreaking to ribbon cutting, and to seeing them immediately serving residents as intended.”
Properly managing federal grant funds requires significant administrative capacity and regulatory knowledge. With expertise across the spectrum of federal grant programs, Civix specializes in HUD grants and has a wealth of expertise in CDBG, CDBG-DR, CDBG-MIT, CDBG-NDR, CDBG-CV, HOME, HOME-ARP, ESG, and CoC programs, as well as cross-cutting federal regulations. Civix experts work as integral team members with state and local governments, assisting with the full lifecycle of grant processes – including needs assessments, Action Plans, administrative and programmatic manuals, staff and subrecipient trainings, program implementation, monitoring visits, audits, compliance, and closeout.
Learn more about Civix federal grant services at https://gocivix.com/solutions/grants-management/.