HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 11-CO-Sustainability-001
Jane Goin
(303) 672-5247
For Release
November 22, 2011

Grants will create jobs, improve housing, transportation and economic vitality of urban and rural regions

DENVER - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Regional Administrator Rick M. Garcia, joined by U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, U. S. Representative Diana DeGette, Governor John Hickenlooper, Regional Mayors, County Commissioners and City Council Members today announced the Colorado recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling $4.5 million. The funding will impact nine counties and promote job creation in the Denver metro region.

Twenty seven communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants. The goal of the Sustainable Communities grants 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 is dependent upon how quickly and efficiently
we can connect our workers and families to education and employment opportunities," said HUD Secretary Donovan.

"This year we are especially proud that we had a particular focus on funding proposals that included more chambers
of commerce and economic development corporations as core partners. These grants will be leveraged with local funds more than doubling the investment and, helping to create new visions for how communities and regions plan for housing, transportation, workforce development and the quality of life of their residents for generations to come. When 52% of the average working family's income is devoted to housing and transportation costs alone, we know that we have a responsibility to fix that and to provide housing and transportation options that can improve their quality of life and economic stability," said Rick M. Garcia.

"The joint efforts by Colorado's communities can be an example across the country," said U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. "These resources will help the entire metro region develop comprehensive plans to mitigate traffic, urban sprawl, and pollution while leading to new job opportunities and economic development."

"I want to congratulate DRCOG on this important grant award which is a testament to the importance of working together to revitalize our communities. Smart and sustainable growth policies along transit corridors will help promote long-term economic development, jobs and energy efficiency," stated U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07).

HUD's Community Challenge Grants aim to reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. The funds are awarded to communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. 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.

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 will place a priority on partnerships, including the collaboration of arts and culture, philanthropy, and innovative ideas to the regional planning process. Recognizing that areas are in different stages of sustainability planning, HUD has established two categories for the Regional Planning Grant program. The first supports communities that are beginning the conversation about how best to align their housing, transportation, environment, and other infrastructure investments. The second recognizes that some communities have already achieved significant momentum and are prepared to move toward completion and implementation of regional plans for sustainable development.

As was the case last year, the demand for both programs far exceeded the available funding. This year 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 in available funding. 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 grant
s 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.

Community Challenge Grants and Regional Planning 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 for Sustainable 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. This interagency collaboration gets better results for communities and uses taxpayer money more efficiently.

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.

"The demand for sustainability grants is very high; we would have needed $500 million to fund all proposals we received this year," said HUD Office of Sustainable Housing Communities (OSHC) Director, Shelley Poticha. "We are confident that the mix of rural and urban proposals that we selected this year will have a great impact in their communities and will create nearly 2,000 jobs."


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.

Rick M. Garcia, Regional Administrator
November 22, 2011

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


HUD Regional Planning Grant Award

Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is awarded $4,500,000 for the Metro Vision – From Regional Framework to Strategic Action Plan. Due to the recent construction of six (6) new fix-rail corridors, DRCOG anticipates a region with greater access to job opportunities across the entire income spectrum, lower combined transportation and housing costs, reduced consumption of fossil fuels, and ultimately the development of concentrated, mixed-use, pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly "urban centers" along transit lines that allow residents to easily access their daily needs. The planning process is divided into five main categories, with the first three
(regional, corridor, and site specific) representing district inter-related planning levels and the remaining two (stakeholder engagement and outcomes assessment; knowledge sharing) cut across and support planning efforts at all three levels. The overall goal of this proposal is to align investments, programs and policies to generate benefits beyond the transit lines themselves.

Anticipated Project Benefits:

  • Detailed execution planning at the corridor level will bring Metro Vision closer to implementation, and will focus on the three transit corridors currently under construction as part of the EAGLE P3 public-private partnership.

  • Corridor-level planning will lead to identification and selection of three Catalytic Projects (one at each of the corridors) at specific sites that offer the potential for transformational changes.

  • Valuable Lessons for other transit station areas throughout the region will result from pre-development
    planning, environmental review and policy changes that catalyze redevelopment at these sites.

Funding Amount: $4,500,000

Core Partners: Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative Reconnecting America
  Enterprise Community Partners Urban Land Conservancy
  Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation The Piton Foundation
  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory Transit Alliance
  The University of Colorado Denver PlaceMatters
  FRESC: Good Jobs, Strong Communities Regional Transportation District



Content Archived: January 24, 2013