|HUD Reg. VI: 10-66
(817) 978-5974 / (817) 961-9741
October 14, 2010
HUD AWARDS $710,000 TO ARKANSAS ORGANIZATION TO PROMOTE SMARTER AND SUSTAINABLE PLANNING FOR JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
Part of Obama Administration's Partnership for Sustainable Communities
LITTLE ROCK - For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding $710,000 to Southern Bancorp Capital Partners, a non-profit organization in Helena, Arkansas, to support more
livable and sustainable communities in neighboring Coahoma County, Mississippi. The funding announced today will support a new initiative by Southern Bancorp to build economic competitiveness in the county by connecting
housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.
HUD's new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program is providing $98 million nationally in grants to
a total of 45 State, local, and tribal governments and metropolitan planning organizations, to develop and execute regional plans that integrate affordable housing with neighboring retail and business development and transportation. Many of the grants will leverage existing infrastructure and all reward local collaboration and innovation.
"Regions that embrace sustainable communities will have a built-in competitive edge in attracting jobs and private investment," said HUD Regional Administrator C. Donald Babers. "Planning our communities smarter means parents will spend less time driving and more time with their children; more families will live in safe, stable communities near good schools and jobs; and more businesses will have access to the capital and talent they need to grow and prosper."
These grants are part of the Obama Administration's Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which brings EPA,
HUD, USDA and DOT together to ensure that the agencies' policies, programs, and funding consider affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection together. Interagency collaborations achieve better results
for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. Reflecting this new collaboration, these grants were
judged by a multidisciplinary review team, drawn from eight federal agencies and from partners in philanthropy.
Shelley Poticha, the director of HUD's new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, said, "The response to
this program has been huge. We were inundated with applications from every state and two territories – from
central cities to rural areas and tribal governments. This program was designed by people from local government,
and incorporated local input at every stage."
The grants are being awarded in one of two categories: grants for regional planning for sustainable development where such plans do not currently exist (SBCP's grant falls in this category), and grants that support the implementation of existing sustainability plans.
Southern Bancorp Capital Partners of Helena, Arkansas, will use its grant to develop a detailed plan for revitalizing
the physical and economic infrastructure of neighboring Coahoma County, Mississippi, including the areas of housing, transportation, natural resources, economic development and water systems. Stakeholders and members of the general public will be involved in developing the plan.
Core partners include: Southern Bancorp Capital Partners (SBCP); The Delta Bridge Project Steering Committee; the Aaron Henry Community Health Services Center (AHC); Jonestown Family Center (JFC); Clarksdale Revitalization, Inc. (CRI); Institute for Community; Delta State University (ICBR); City of Clarksdale; and the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors.
The core partners will provide additional leveraging funds of $358,300; the contact at Southern Bancorp is Lois McMurchy, 662-624-5776.
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.