HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 11-39
Rhonda Siciliano
(617) 994-8355
For Release
November 21, 2011

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

BOSTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling over $97 million nationwide. Twenty seven communities and organizations across the country 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 Regional
Administrator Barbara Fields. "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 percent 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," she added.

In Connecticut, The Town of Mansfield will be awarded a Community Challenge Grant in the amount of $610,596 to proactively plan for anticipated growth, maintaining their rural character while providing access to jobs and housing that are the foundation of the town's long-term sustainability; and the City of Stamford will be awarded a Community Challenge Grant in the amount of $1,105,288 for the Vita Health and Wellness District. The plan will
focus on development of a new, $600 million expansion and reinvestment of the Stamford Hospital campus by Stamford Health System with an adjacent health and wellness district. (Please see attached for more information on the grants).

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 $97 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 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

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 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."

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

Community Challenge Grants Awarded in Connecticut

The Town of Mansfield will be awarded $610,596 to proactively plan for anticipated growth, maintaining their rural character while providing access to jobs and housing that are the foundation of the town's long-term sustainability. The Town will use the funds to: remove regulatory barriers to business growth; identify tools to increase the type
and amount of affordable housing available within close proximity to job centers and transit connections; strengthen the agricultural community; restore balance between owner occupancy and rental units in established neighborhoods; and identify uses and densities needed for transit-oriented development. This will be codified through the
development of new zoning and subdivision Regulations that incorporate the recommendations from the projects
listed above and are user-friendly in their language and organization. They will ensure that zoning regulations support housing choice and business growth through identification and removal of regulatory barriers and improving predictability of the development process.

Anticipated Project Benefits:

  • Facilitate job creation by removing regulatory barriers to business growth into the planning process.
  • Preserving agricultural land while allowing farmers to recognize value from land holdings.
  • Increase the number of affordable housing units, particularly within walking distance of job centers and transit connections.
  • Expand community participation in the decision-making process to a broader cross-section of the community, and keep those participants involved after the conclusion of the project.

Funding Amount: $610,596

Core Partners: University of Connecticut, Windham Region Council of Governments, Center for Land Use Education and Research, Community and Natural Resources Planning Program

The City of Stamford will be awarded $1,105,288 for the Vita Health and Wellness District. The plan will focus on development of a new, $600 million expansion and reinvestment of the Stamford Hospital campus by Stamford Health System with an adjacent health and wellness district. The project will provide for development of mixed-use and affordable housing by Charter Oak Communities including through land acquisition and initiatives by both the public
and private sectors to rehabilitate blighted housing and buildings in the existing neighborhood, and improvement of transportation corridors to provide better walking, transit, and vehicle access into and within the Vita district connecting to Stamford's downtown transportation hub, jobs center, and to the broader region.

Anticipated Project Benefits:

  • Development of consumer-based health facilities including an urban farm, obesity-prevention program, and community health center
  • Development of mixed-income housing, multi-family units and mixed-use properties by the private sector
    through the deployment of a village commercial district and improvements to the West Side master plan,
    in coordination with the development of the new hospital complex;.
  • Planning walkable/bikeable access routes, as well as between the Vita district and a planned walking bridge,
    a key connection to downtown and the intermodal center;
  • Planning for the reconfiguration of transportation chokepoints to provide better circulation within and access beyond the district

Funding Amount: $1,105,288

Core Partners: Stamford Public Housing Authority, Charter Oak Communities, and Stamford Hospital


Content Archived: April 17, 2013