WASHINGTON, DC – August 17, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — In an historic collaborative effort to assure the success of previous federal investments, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today competitively awarded $5.65 million to eight organizations to help existing federal grantees work together to solve common problems. These organizations will form capacity-building networks among the grantees to exchange ideas on successful strategies, lessons learned, emerging tools, and public engagement plans. This work will strengthen the capacity grantee communities to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, make more efficient investments in water and wastewater infrastructure, and build vibrant, healthy and economically prosperous neighborhoods for American families.
Each award will go to a team or teams of organizations with the collective expertise and experience to build the capacity of sustainable communities grantees in six outcome areas. The lead organization or organizations for each outcome area is below:
- The Institute for Sustainable Communities (Montpelier, VT) will create a National Sustainability Learning Network;
- The University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc. (Louisville, KY) will address the need for incorporating water infrastructure planning and investments with other planning efforts;
- The Coalition for Utah’s Future/Project 2000 (Salt Lake City, UT) will work to build skills in Scenario Planning techniques and tools;
- Reconnecting America (Washington, DC) will develop effective implementation strategies for economic development and local and regional plans;
- PolicyLink (Oakland, CA) and Place Matters, Inc. (Denver, CO) will work with communities to advance social equity in planning, participation, and decision making; and
- The NADO Research Foundation (Washington, DC) and the Minnesota Housing Partnership (St. Paul, MN) will target their efforts in strengthening sustainability practices for tribes, small towns, and rural places.
The awards build upon the work of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative interagency collaboration, launched by President Obama in June 2009, between HUD, EPA and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to lay the foundation for a 21st century economy by creating more financially, environmentally and socially sustainable communities. Award recipients will form a national leadership network of existing and future HUD and EPA grantees that are advancing sustainable local and regional planning and development in their respective areas. The Capacity Building for Sustainable Communities grant program will award funds to capacity building service providers who will work directly with grant recipients from the FY2010, and FY 2011 HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning and Community Challenge, HUD Preferred Sustainability Status Communities, and EPA Brownfield Area Wide Planning grant programs and technical assistance from EPA’s office of Sustainable Communities.
The Partnership’s interagency collaboration gets better results for communities and uses taxpayer money more efficiently by coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services that meet multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives with each dollar spent. The Partnership is helping communities across the country to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses. At a time when every dollar the federal government invests in jumpstarting the economy is critical, the President’s plan ensures that all these agencies are coordinating efforts and aligning resources. This grant program will reinforce the principles of the Partnership, and provide the grantees with the necessary tools to build economic competitiveness in their regions.
HUD took the lead in administering the notice of funding availability (NOFA) while both agencies collaborated in the review and selection process. The awardees demonstrated significant knowledge, skills, experience, and a cohesive plan for delivering the specific skills and tactics necessary to build the capacity of existing sustainability grantees. Both HUD and EPA contributed funding to the grant opportunity.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews or on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD.