WASHINGTON, DC – June 20, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Transportation celebrated the second anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an interagency effort to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment and people’s health.
Since announcing the partnership, the agencies have dedicated more than $2.5 billion in assistance to more than 200 communities in 48 states to help meet housing and transportation goals while simultaneously protecting the environment, promoting equitable development, and addressing the challenges of climate change. Of that funding, $238 million was focused on America’s rural communities.
As part of the anniversary, the partnership highlighted the resources available at http://www.sustainablecommunities.gov/, a one-stop shop for best practices, grant announcements, and accomplishments of the partnership.
The joint website serves as a resource to grantees, local governments and American families seeking to incorporate the partnership’s six livability principles into their community. The website includes contact information for each agency’s sustainability office, ongoing project updates for sustainable community grantees around the country, and recent news and grant information from the Partnership’s newsletter, “Partnership in Action.”
“When EPA, HUD and DOT pool our knowledge and our strategies in this Partnership, we’re better equipped to build solutions that lower transportation costs, reduce harmful emissions and improve our health and the health of our environment,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “In the first two years of this partnership, we have united our efforts to strengthen communities across the country and we’ll be working hard to continue that record of success.
“I am pleased to be joined by my colleagues at DOT and EPA to commemorate the second anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Through President Obama’s leadership, we are continuing this unprecedented effort to help America’s rural, urban and suburban communities realize their visions for building more livable, walkable, and environmentally sustainable regions.”
“Over the past two years, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities has helped make America’s neighborhoods safer, healthier and more vibrant,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. “Through our partnership with EPA and HUD, we will continue to help communities provide affordable, efficient transportation options that improve access to jobs and quality of life for all Americans.”
In 2009, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and U.S. Transportation Ray LaHood announced the interagency partnership to help improve access to affordable housing, provide more transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment and health of communities nationwide.
This year, the partnership is continuing its work to provide communities with faster, more streamlined access to its programs and resources and is working closely with other federal agencies, states, and local governments to ensure that partnership programs use federal resources as efficiently as possible to meet the needs of communities around the country. The partnership will help its current grantees succeed by providing technical assistance and tools, building capacity in federal field offices, and giving grantees better access to local networks and resources, while using the lessons learned to help future grantees.
In addition, the partnership will also continue to help cities, suburbs, and rural areas use sustainable community strategies to create jobs, generate economic growth, and encourage redevelopment. With better transportation options, more housing choices, and a healthier environment, communities can attract new jobs and investment.
EPA: EPA Press Office, / HUD: Ashley Gammon, (202) 708-0685, www.hud.gov/news/DOT: Justin Nisly, (202) 366-4570