|Rhonda Siciliano (617) 994-8355
Kristine Foye (617) 994-8218
October 20, 2010
HUD AND DOT AWARD $1.8 MILLION TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE LIVABLE COMMUNITIES IN SOMERVILLE
Unprecedented joint funding to foster integrated approach to housing, jobs and transportation
In an unprecedented collaboration between two federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today jointly awarded $1.8 million to help stimulate a new generation of sustainable and livable communities in Somerville, connect housing, employment and economic development with transportation and other infrastructure improvements. The joint HUD-DOT funding will support 62 local and regional partnerships seeking to create a more holistic and integrated approach to connecting affordable housing, job opportunities and transportation corridors.
"Today two federal agencies come together to produce a win-win for local communities around the country," said
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We're helping local and regional planners connect all the dots in their efforts to
make their communities more sustainable and livable. These grants will help communities to hit on all cylinders, producing more affordable housing near good jobs and commercial centers which will help to reduce our energy consumption and increase competitiveness."
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said, "With the investments HUD and DOT are making today, we are strengthening neighborhoods by connecting housing with affordable and sustainable transportation choices. This is a win-win for people who live in these communities because they will have travel options to better serve them."
HUD is awarding $40 million in new Sustainable Community Challenge Grants to help support local planning designed
to integrate affordable housing, good jobs and public transportation. Meanwhile, DOT is awarding nearly $28 million
in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants to implement localized
plans that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development.
The City of Somerville will be awarded $1,800,000. The Preparing for Transit in the 21st Century project will prepare for six transit stations that will be built in Somerville by 2015. Somerville will complete a citywide comprehensive plan, complete station area planning and implementation, re-write the Somerville Zoning Ordinance, streamline the permitting process, and create a land bank for affordable housing. This project aligns with a
significant ongoing planning effort and will bring back the rail access that Somerville was built on.
"This federal funding will help the City of Somerville as it prepares for the Green Line, increasing the resources available to implement a thoughtful approach to transit oriented development planning. It is one more important
step toward making the Green Line extension a reality, which will improve transit throughout the region," said Congressman Mike Capuano.
HUD's Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants will foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. These funds will be used by communities, large and small, to
address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. When these activities are done in conjunction
with transportation projects, they can greatly increase the efficiency and access of local transportation while encouraging mixed-use or transit-oriented development. 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.
TIGER II Planning Grants will prepare or design surface transportation projects that would be eligible for funding
under the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program. These projects include highways, bridges, transit, railways, ports
or bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Rather than require applicants to navigate two separate grant application procedures that might be on different timelines and with different requirements, HUD and DOT joined their two new discretionary planning program to
create one point of entry to federal resources for local, innovative sustainable community planning projects.
The Community Challenge grants compliment the 45 Sustainable Communities Regional Grants announced last week
by HUD. The Challenge Grants help to support local communities seeking to integrate housing, transportation, and environmental strategies that will enhance local economic development, provide greater housing and transportation choices, and develop long-range visions for how they want their community to grow.
The new HUD-DOT program also builds on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative new interagency collaboration, 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). Guided by six Livability Principles, the Partnership is designed to remove the traditional federal government silos that exist between departments and strategically target the agencies' transportation, land use, environmental, housing
and community development resources to provide communities the resources they need to build more livable, sustainable communities.