Tuesday, August 2, 2011

HUD Releases Two Sustainable Communities Grant Applications

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the availability of $95 million to support the Sustainable Communities initiative. A partnership between HUD, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sustainable Communities grants will support planning efforts intended to expand housing choices, integrate transportation, workforce and infrastructure investments and address several community revitalization initiatives, including: 1) economic competitiveness, 2) social equity, inclusion and access to opportunity, 3) energy use and climate change, and 4) public health and environmental impact. 

Two grants are available: The Regional Planning Grants will support large metropolitan and multi-jurisdictional planning efforts while the Community Challenge Planning grants will address single jurisdictions and more localized planning. Both grants must utilize the Sustainable Communities' six Livability Principles as a guide for long-term development initiatives.

Regional Planning Grants
With approximately $67 million in total funding, two types of Regional Planning Grants are available based on a region’s stage of sustainable development planning:
  • Regional Plans for Sustainable Development Grants: This grant category will support the formation of Regional Plans for Sustainable Development (RPSD) that address housing, economic development, transportation, education, workforce development and environmental quality in regions that do not currently have RPSDs. Grants will support the involvement of region residents and various stakeholders in developing a vision and making investment decisions.
  • Detailed Execution Plans and Programs Grants: This grant will support the fine-tuning of current regional plans to ensure that such plans meet the Sustainable Communities’ six Livability Principle requirements in an integrated fashion. Regions in this category must have already adopted a long-range plan for sustainable development, as well as have the capacity to implement the development plan with committed stakeholders.
HUD has developed an “evaluation tool” that communities can utilize in deciding which Regional Planning Grant to apply for. The evaluation tool, as well as more specific information about the Regional Planning Grant, can be found in the Full Announcement.

Regional Planning Grants will be awarded to multi-sector partnerships that include local, state or tribal governments, as well as nonprofit partners, with awards ranging from $400,000 - $5,000,000 based on the size of the region. Pre-Applications are due August 25th, 2011 with the full application deadline expected to be 30-45 days later.

Community Challenge Planning Grants
Approximately $28,000,000 is available for Community Challenge Planning grants, which will be awarded to address local sustainability efforts. Using the Sustainable Communities’ six Livability Principles, Community Challenge Planning grant activities may include creating community development plans or amending building or zoning codes that reduce barriers to housing in effort plan for the revitalization of current housing infrastructure. More specific details can be found in the Full Announcement.
Eligible applicants include state, local and tribal governments. Grant awards will range from $100,000 to $3,000,000 with applicants required to provide a 20% match. Grant applications are due September 9th, 2011.

Please continue to check HUD's Sustainable Communities page for updates on both the Regional Planning and Community Challenge Planning grants.

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