Thursday, June 23, 2011

HUD Releases Advance Notice for Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants

On Monday, HUD released an advance notice detailing the requirements for the FY2011 Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants Program. HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative is part of a larger collaboration between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stimulate comprehensive regional and community planning efforts that integrate transportation and housing investments. Through the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant program, HUD expects to increase the capacity of communities to modernize land use and zoning plans.
The grants will be awarded competitively to multi-jurisdictional and multi-sector partnerships as well as regional consortia consisting of state and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), educational institutions, non-profit organizations and philanthropic organizations. This year’s funding was approved by Congress in HUD’s 2011 budget, as part of $100 million devoted to the agency’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.With up to $70 million in available funding, the grant program requires eligible applicants to:
  • Identify affordable housing, transportation, water infrastructure, economic development, land use planning environmental conservation, energy system, open space, and other infrastructure priorities in the region;
  • Clearly define a single, integrated plan for regional development
  • Use geo-coded data sets and other metrics in developing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing the performance goals of various reinvestment scenarios
  • Provide detailed plans, maps, policies, and implementation strategies to be adopted by all responsible implementing entities(public, nonprofit, or private) and funding sources;
  • Show how the proposed plan will establish consistency with HUD, DOT, and EPA programs and policies; and
  • Engage residents and other stakeholders substantively and meaningfully in the development of a shared vision and its implementation early and throughout the process, including communities traditionally marginalized from such processes such as the elderly or persons with disabilities.
Although the full application is not yet available, communities can review the application requirements and begin to identify potential partners.

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