October 20, 2010
HUD AND DOT AWARD $1.5 MILLION TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE LIVABLE COMMUNITIES IN PENNSYLVANIA
Unprecedented joint funding to foster integrated approach to housing, jobs and transportation
PITTSBURGH - In an unprecedented collaboration between two federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today jointly awarded $1.5 million
to help stimulate a new generation of sustainable and livable communities in Pennsylvania, connect housing, employment and economic development with transportation and other infrastructure improvements. The joint HUD-DOT funding will support 62 local and regional partnerships seeking to create a more holistic and integrated approach to connecting affordable housing, job opportunities and transportation corridors.
"Today two federal agencies come together to produce a win-win for local communities around the country," said
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We're helping local and regional planners connect all the dots in their efforts to
make their communities more sustainable and livable. These grants will help communities to hit on all cylinders, producing more affordable housing near good jobs and commercial centers which will help to reduce our energy consumption and increase competitiveness."
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said, "With the investments HUD and DOT are making today, we are strengthening neighborhoods by connecting housing with affordable and sustainable transportation choices. This is a win-win for people who live in these communities because they will have travel options to better serve them."
HUD is awarding $40 million in new Sustainable Community Challenge Grants to help support local planning designed
to integrate affordable housing, good jobs and public transportation. Meanwhile, DOT is awarding nearly $28 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants to implement localized plans that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development (see attached funding chart).
The City of Pittsburgh will be awarded $1,500,000. The Allegheny Riverfront Green Boulevard Planning project
will develop a plan to transform an existing six-mile stretch of rail right-of-way into a green riverfront rail and trail corridor extending from downtown Pittsburgh to the eastern edge of the city. An engineering study will determine
how to best transform the corridor into a multi-modal transportation network including: time segregated passenger and freight rail operations and parallel bicycle and pedestrian trail. Planning will build on recently completed
community master plan, including strategies for housing and ecological restoration along the corridor.
Anticipated Project Benefits
- Planning for redevelopment along the corridor has the potential to become a catalyst for sustainable development within the City of Pittsburgh and in the neighboring riverfront communities in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties. Planning features strong partnerships and could provide an example for other communities.
- Increased transportation choices, particularly for non-drivers will be evaluated throughout the grant period
and include tracking Bicycle and Pedestrian Level of Service, reduced traffic congestion and vehicle miles traveled, and comparison of private, public and active transportation costs per mile and per trip.
- Create Location-Efficient, Inclusive Communities: Reuse of vacated industrial land to promote transportation choices
Core Partners: City of Pittsburgh, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, Riverlife, Allegheny Valley Railroad
Contact: Ms. Lena Gabriela Andrews, Planning and Development Specialist, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, (412) 255-6439
HUD's Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants will foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. These funds will be used by communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. When these activities are done in conjunction with transportation projects, they can greatly increase the efficiency and access of local transportation while
encouraging mixed-use or transit-oriented development. Such efforts may include amending or updating local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes to support private sector investment in mixed-use development, affordable housing and the re-use of older buildings. Other local efforts may include retrofitting main streets to provide safer routes for children and seniors, or preserving affordable housing and local businesses near new transit stations.
TIGER II Planning Grants will prepare or design surface transportation projects that would be eligible for funding
under the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program. These projects include highways, bridges, transit, railways, ports or bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Rather than require applicants to navigate two separate grant application procedures that might be on different timelines and with different requirements, HUD and DOT joined their two new discretionary planning program to
create one point of entry to federal resources for local, innovative sustainable community planning projects.
The Community Challenge grants compliment the 45 Sustainable Communities Regional Grants announced last week
by HUD. The Challenge Grants help to support local communities seeking to integrate housing, transportation, and environmental strategies that will enhance local economic development, provide greater housing and transportation choices, and develop long-range visions for how they want their community to grow.
The new HUD-DOT program also builds on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative new interagency collaboration, launched by President Obama in June 2009, between the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Guided by six Livability Principles, the Partnership is designed to remove the traditional federal government silos that exist between departments and strategically target the agencies' transportation, land use, environmental, housing and community development resources to provide communities the resources they need to build more livable, sustainable communities.