HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD Region V No.2.2010-10-14
Laura J. Feldman
(312) 913-8332
For Release
October 14, 2010

Part of Obama Administration's Partnership for Sustainable Communities

CHICAGO - For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding more than $6 million to support more livable and sustainable communities in three regional areas in Illinois. The funding announced today will support Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Peoria, and Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning, through a new initiative intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.

"Regions that embrace sustainable communities will have a built-in competitive edge in attracting jobs and private investment," said U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. "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. In awarding these grants we were committed to using insight and innovation from
our stakeholders and local partners to develop a 'bottom-up' approach to changing federal policy as opposed to
'top-down.' Rather than sticking to the old Washington playbook of dictating how communities can invest their
grants, HUD's application process encouraged creative, locally focused thinking."

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning of Chicago will be awarded $4,250,000. This grant will link transportation, land use, housing, economic growth, the natural environment, and human and community development, with the overarching goals of improving livability and bringing about sustainable prosperity. The
agency will create a new program to instill the region's existing GO TO 2040 plan and advance the GO TO 2040
Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program
creates new resources for technical assistance and coordinates with existing technical assistance activities. It will result in a series of innovative, replicable neighborhood-based
projects in the Chicago region that support livability principles, implement GO TO 2040 objectives, and build
capacity in local communities. LTA's focus on the community level is deliberate - in this region, land use regulation
is a local responsibility, and the community level is where livability principles and place-based solutions must be applied.

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) of Peoria on behalf of The Heart of Illinois Sustainability Consortium will be awarded $1,200,000. TCRPC serves as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Peoria-
Pekin Urban Area in central Illinois. Its staff will provide coordination and quality control for all planning efforts. Over the past three years TCRPC staff has been working diligently to integrate planning disciplines of land use, economic development, environment, and transportation to assure synchronistic execution of community visions and goals. A core goal of the process is to leverage the resulting sustainability plan to reverse patterns of segregation within
the region as a way to create renewed economic opportunity for traditionally marginalized populations.

The Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning of Rockford will be awarded $600,000. The grant request will
fund the development and future implementation of a regional plan for sustainable development that will be guided
by several cornerstone efforts already underway. The sustainability planning process will investigate regional governance models and an integrated planning approach, eliminate the once-disparate silo business model, and
allow elected officials and the public the opportunity to embrace a single, coordinated vision and action plan.

HUD's new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program will support a total of 45 State, local, and
tribal governments, as well as metropolitan planning organizations, in the development and execution of regional
plans that integrate affordable housing with neighboring retail and business development. Many of the grants will leverage existing infrastructure and all reward local collaboration and innovation.

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. 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. At a time when every dollar the federal government invests in jumpstarting the economy is critical, the President's plan ensures that all these agencies are coordinating efforts and targeting resources with precision. Reflecting this new collaboration, these grants were judged by a multidisciplinary review team, drawn
from eight federal agencies and from partners in philanthropy.

HUD's inaugural grants under this program will support metropolitan and multi-jurisdictional planning efforts that incorporate housing, land use, economic development, transportation and infrastructure. This holistic planning approach will benefit diverse areas across the U.S. including $25.6 million split evenly between regions with populations less than 500,000 and rural places (fewer than 200,000 people). HUD is reserving $2 million to help
all of these areas build the needed capacity to execute their plans.

The grants are awarded through one of two categories. One category of grants will assist regional planning for sustainable development where such plans do not currently exist. A second category of funding will support the implementation of existing sustainability plans.

Shelley Poticha, the director of HUD's new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities said, "The response
to this program is 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."


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