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A Vision of Regional Economic Development
Rick Garcia, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was joined by HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims. They invited economic development leaders, business CEOs, elected officials. They met to discuss how HUD funding can increase economic development in Colorado's front-range communities and throughout state June 20.
Alan Salazar, Chief Strategic Operations Officer for Governor John Hickenlooper, also participated in the panel by providing Colorado's economic development perspective.
Garcia advocated creating jobs and economic development using HUD funding. He said, "You can't spell HUD without the D." Regional Administrator Garcia outlined particular HUD programs. Those included Community Development and Block Grants, 108 loan guarantee provision and Sustainability Grants.
Sims encouraged the 60 business and development leaders to "use HUD funding as a catalyst to plan and build sustainable communities." He explained that people are seeking living quarters and job opportunities in the cities where there is a commitment to a clean environment, plenty of parks, arts and excellent schools. The Deputy explained the trend that people want to live in sustainable urban areas, not in large suburban homes.
Text version of handout:
HUD's Mission: Create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality, affordable homes for all.
Regional Economic Development Strategies: The foundation of regional economic development is to seize the opportunity for jurisdictions and business sectors to work cooperatively. By working together to form public and private partnerships, policies and make regional investments, the results will include industry growth, innovations and job creation.
Regional Economics/Industry Clusters/Competitive Workforce: Key federal agencies have begun to align singular goals and expected program outcomes by incentivizing the acceleration of manufacturing, suppliers, training programs, and hubs researchers within the same region. These clusters hold great potential for expanded economic growth and for example, are made up of firms and businesses that want proximity to collaborate on product design, be near research facilities and have access to a trained skilled labor force.
HUD's Role and Current Economic DevelopmentCDBG: The Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) remains the largest and most flexible community development program in the Federal portfolio. CDBG provides annual grants on a formula basis to states and entitled metropolitan cities and urban counties, which are cities with a population above 50,000 or more and counties with a population of 200,000 or more. These grants allow jurisdictions to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities for low and moderate income persons. Colorado's statewide funding allocation in FY 2011 totaled $34,036,991.
108 Program: Section 108 is the loan guarantee provision of the CDBG program and is one of the most potent public investment tools that HUD offers to local governments. Section 108 loans can be leveraged with CDBG funds into federally guaranteed loans large enough to pursue physical and economic revitalization projects that can renew entire neighborhoods or provide affordable housing to low- and moderate-income persons. Such public investment is often needed to inspire private investment by 10-15 providing the initial resources or simply the confidence that private firms and individuals may need to invest in economically distressed areas or in housing projects. Section 108 can be used to finance economic development projects, public facilities and improvements, housing rehabilitation, land acquisition, and related activities.Sustainability Housing and Communities Initiative: The objective of the Sustainable Communities Initiative is to stimulate more integrated and sophisticated regional planning to guide state, metropolitan, and local investments in land use, transportation and housing, as well as to challenge localities to undertake zoning and land use reforms. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an interagency collaboration was launched by President Obama in June 2009, between the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Sustainability Grants: The announcements represented a significant step forward in changing the way HUD operates by embedding sustainability qualities into regional and community development, and developing unprecedented collaborations with our federal partners. Together, for the first time in history, the two federal agencies joined forces to award $75 million in funding - $35 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants and $40 million in Sustainable Community Challenge Grants - for localized projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development. HUD also launched the first ever Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program, $100 Million designed to create stronger, more sustainable communities by connecting housing to jobs, fostering local innovation and building a clean energy economy. The single largest federal investment in regional planning in a generation was awarded competitively in 2011 to multi-jurisdictional and multi-sector partnerships as well as regional consortia consisting of state and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), educational institutions, non-profit organizations and philanthropic organizations. The FY2011 HUD Regional Sustainable Planning Notification of Funding will be announced soon.
Contact: Rick M. Garcia, Regional Administrator Rick.M.Garcia@HUD.gov (mailto:Rick.M.Garcia@HUD.gov)
Content Archived: October 24, 2013