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StopWaste Coalition Wins One of 60 National Build Back Better Challenge Grants

December 15, 2021

Oakland, CA – A coalition of public, nonprofit, and academic partners led by StopWaste is one of only 60 groups nationwide to be named as a finalist in the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The Challenge is a key part of the American Rescue Plan, aimed at boosting pandemic-related economic recovery. Coalition partners include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the East Bay Economic Development Alliance, UC Berkeley, the City/County of San Francisco, Build It Green, and the Rocky Mountain Institute. 

The coalition will establish a construction innovation cluster to bring to market new technologies and products that aim to address the converging crises of housing, economic inequity, supply chain volatility and climate change in the Bay Area. Through material efficient and low-carbon construction strategies, the cluster’s goal is to increase housing production and affordability while creating employment opportunities, reducing waste and lowering the construction sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

"Innovative, multi-disciplinary partnerships are critical for advancing solutions that not only stimulate equitable economic investment, but also take on the climate challenge,” said StopWaste Board President Shelia Young. “I’m excited for this award and for what our coalition can do.”

As a finalist, the coalition will be awarded $500,000 to create a plan to develop testbeds, incubators, and training programs, and to engage suppliers, the construction and design industries, and policymakers to realize innovations in the construction sector. In March 2022, the coalition will submit a proposal to compete for up to $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding to develop and scale the construction innovation cluster in the Bay Area. Expected benefits of the work include increasing housing production and affordability, creating higher wage jobs to help fill the middle-wage employment gap, and manufacturing high-value products from the region’s waste streams. Read the full press announcement from the U.S. Economic Development Administration here.