HUD Archives: News Releases

Region VI: 12-15
Patricia Campbell (817) 978-5974
Scott Hudman (713) 718-3107
For Release
November 21, 2011

Metropolitan to Receive $1.4 Million Under the Program

LITTLE ROCK - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Regional Administrator C. Donald Babers announced that the East Arkansas Planning and Development District will receive a $2,600,000 Sustainable Communities Planning Grant. Metropolitan also received $1,400,000 through the program. Only 56 Grants were awarded nationwide. The goal of the program is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.

"Our nation's ability to compete in a global economy and create jobs depends upon how quickly and efficiently we can connect our workers and families to education and employment opportunities." said Mr. Babers. "This grant will help Arkansas to create new visions for housing, transportation, workforce development and the quality of life of their residents for generations to come."

The Regional Planning Grant program encourages grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate
housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments in a
manner that empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to create more jobs and economic opportunities. The program places a priority on partnerships, including the collaboration of arts and culture, philanthropy, and innovative ideas to the regional planning process. See the grant descriptions below for partners
and full details.

Nationally, HUD received over $500 million in funding requests from communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for the $96 million available. This year's grants will impact 45.8 million Americans by helping their communities and regions become more efficient and competitive while improving quality of life. Combined with
the 87 grants funded last year, this program is providing opportunities for the more than 133 million Americans who live in regions and communities working to shape local plans for how their communities will grow and develop over the next 50 years.

This year's grantees continue to reflect a diverse group of states, regions and communities that believe in sustainability. Grants were awarded in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.

Sustainable Communities grants are also significantly complimented and leveraged by local, state and private resources. This year, HUD's investment of $95.8 million is garnering $115 million in matching and in-kind contributions
- which is over 120% of the Federal investment - from the 56 selected grantees. This brings to total public and private investment for this round of grants to over $211 million.

These grants are part of the Partnership forSustainable Communities, which is represents an association between HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the agencies' policies, programs, and funding consider affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection together. Coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services meets 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.

East Arkansas Grant Summary:

The East Arkansas Planning and Development District will be awarded $2,600,000 to develop an East Arkansas Regional Planning Consortium Sustainability Plan. This effort will support a community and multijurisdictional planning effort that integrates housing, land use, economic development, transportation and infrastructure investments. The project will assist area jurisdictions and the region in addressing challenges that are interrelated but are often not addressed comprehensively, including such challenges as revitalization, access to jobs, education and services, energy and other resource conservation and environmental impact. This three-year project will begin with a substantial community outreach component that will be supported by the development of a regional inventory of underutilized assets enhanced by digital modeling tools to help communities envision the greater outcomes such assets can provide as strategies are implemented.

Anticipated Project Benefits:

  • Regional studies will be integrated into this process addressing issues including housing, transportation, water infrastructure, energy, local food, and access to each of these.
  • Collection and management of data will be carried out to ensure decisions are well-informed and
    communicated across all jurisdictions.
  • The Arkansas Development Finance Authority will use the housing element of this project for inclusion into the broader statewide housing market analysis and needs assessment to provide the required planning and documentation for applying for other non-federal entitlement, federal competitive, and foundation/private

Funding Amount: $2,600,000

Core Partners: Life Options of Eastern Arkansas, Crossroads Coalition, NE Arkansas Coalition, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Arkansas State University, Five Community Colleges, JQuad Planning Group

Metropolitan Grant Summary:

Metropolitan will be awarded $1,400,000 to develop Metro 2040: Blueprint for a Sustainable Region in order to create a regional sustainability plan for the Central Arkansas region. The target area is located in the heart of Arkansas, where the Mississippi Delta meets the Ouachita Mountains. Anchored by Little Rock and North Little Rock, the Central Arkansas region is comprised of four counties and has a population of 675,000. This effort will align
current efforts to holistically address transportation, housing, development patterns, health and environmental
needs, and economic development. The Blueprint will develop a comprehensive regional plan for the sustainability of the Central Arkansas region, addressing the full complement of Livability Principles in an integrated fashion, with a
30-year planning horizon. With the support of seven institutions of higher education and other partners, the Central Arkansas Sustainability Consortium is poised to help make Central Arkansas a better place to live, work, play, and learn.

Anticipated Project Benefits:

  • The plan will focus on deeper public engagement through paying community liaisons who will conduct focused interviews to provide meaningful stakeholder input into the plan.
  • Funding will provide for the coordination of new partners and integration of services across the region.
  • Funding will provide the resources needed to take the plan from the regional level down to the local level by coordinating at least five technical planning studies for the area projects.

Funding Amount: $1,400,000

Core Partners: Little Rock Housing Authority, Benton Housing Authority, Arkansas Coalition of housing and Neighborhood Growth for Empowerment, Arkansas energy Office & Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Pulaski Technical College, Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, Central Arkansas Planning and Development District, Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention & Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Baptist College, Hendrix College, University of Central Arkansas Center for Community and Economic Development, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Philander Smith College, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Boys and Girls Club of Central Arkansas

For a complete listing of this year's grantees and their proposals, please visit


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 and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


Content Archived: May 8, 2013