HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD Region V No. 11-173
Laura J. Feldman
(312) 913-8332
For Release
November 23, 2011

Michigan awarded more than $7 million

CHICAGO - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling over $97 million. 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. Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator announced today that communities in Michigan received more than $7 million (see below for grant summary).

"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," he added.

"Michigan received two Community Challenge Grants and two Regional Planning grants totaling over $7 million," said Riley. "The grantees are using new tools to solve old problems and the results are dynamic initiatives to create jobs, build economically competitive, environmentally sustainable communities of opportunity and transportation corridors to help position the state within the global economy."

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 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 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."

Michigan Sustainable Communities Award Recipients:

Community Challenge Grant Award: The City of Grand Rapids will be awarded $459,224 for the Michigan Street Corridor Plan. The plan will engage urban anchor institutions, particularly institutions of higher education and academic medical centers, in a collaborative partnership with local government, community stakeholders, landowners, neighborhood residents, and business owners to develop a comprehensive, integrated model that will advance housing, economic and community development, transportation, and environmental outcomes to ensure a sustainable future for Grand Rapids and the West Michigan region. Multiple transportation modes, land development capacities, housing types and price points, target markets and accessibility/mobility options must be thoroughly examined to alleviate traffic congestion, accommodate additional land development, and ensure access to housing and needed services for disadvantaged populations if desired outcomes are to be achieved. The strategy will work to balance quality housing choices to serve populations that can benefit from being in close proximity to jobs, employment centers, and educational institutions in order to insure that neighborhood services are available to residents and workers; with the proper transportation and green infrastructure is in place that will create a sustainable and livable community.

Anticipated Project Benefits: Devise a comprehensive transportation strategy and corridor plan Develop a housing investment program to increase the number of employees, students, and faculty living in or around the Michigan Street corridor. Create and/or preserve affordable housing within the Michigan Street corridor area

Funding Amount: $459,224

Core Partners: Grand Valley Metro Council, Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority, Grand Rapids Parking Services, The Rapid, Grand Valley State University, Michigan Street Corridor Association, Frey Foundation, Dyer-Ives Foundation, Grand Rapids SmartZone, MSHDA, Grand Rapids Community Development Department, Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

Community Challenge Grant Award: The County of Washtenaw will be awarded $3,000,000 for the Washtenaw County Sustainable Community project. Today, 64% of the residents in Washtenaw County live in the urban core which runs from Ann Arbor (largest city) to Ypsilanti (second largest city), connected by Washtenaw Avenue. This corridor is the busiest road in the county yet few housing options presently exist directly on the corridor with mostly low-density neighborhoods in their place. The goal of this project is to remove barriers and create a coordinated approach to affordable and energy-efficient housing, as well as to connect these affordable housing options to job centers and healthy food through via an enhanced multimodal transportation corridor. By strengthening public transit and non-motorized travel modes, this project will rectify the disparity between isolated segments of the community, providing a catalyst for revitalization efforts with green building practices, increased energy efficiency, reduced housing costs in rental housing, and enhanced connections to job centers for low-income and working class residents.

Anticipated Project Benefits: Creation of a market-driven strategy to educate consumers about housing energy costs to pressure property owners to invest in energy efficient improvements Each target neighborhood will have a redevelopment strategy specific to its needs. The county will work with the four municipalities to create strategies to increase accessibility, safety, and multimodal transportation on the corridor. A green affordable demonstration project will be developed on the west end of the Washtenaw Corridor.

Funding Amount: $3,000,000

Core Partners: City of Ann Arbor, City of Ypsilanti, Pittsfield Charter Township, Ypsilanti Charter Township, Ann Arbor Area Transit Authority, Ann Arbor DDA, Habitat for Humanity, Ypsilanti Housing Commission, Michigan State Housing Developing Authority, SPARK, Growing Hope, Eastern Michigan University

Regional Planning Grant Award: The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, will be awarded $3,000,000 to create the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability. The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission will provide more detail on the existing regional planning effort, Choices for our Future, specifically in the areas of governmental issues, a healthy economy and healthy environment, transportation and other infrastructure, open space and  resource protection, and growth and redevelopment. Some initiatives related to these planning areas are well developed, with concrete objectives and benchmarks, some are in development, and others have received little attention to date and represent gaps that need to be addressed.

Anticipated Project Benefits: Build on existing regional planning investments to create fine-tuned execution plans for high priority initiatives in Choices for our Future Better integrating planning and developing performance measures for housing, economic development, and infrastructure to guide difficult decisions on where to strategically invest, and disinvest, in the region Building capacity for local sustainability planning and better coordinate efforts at the regional level through a Consortium that includes offices, agencies and stakeholders in Clinton, Ingham, and Eaton Counties of mid-Michigan.

Funding Amount: $3,000,000

Core Partners: Greater Lansing Housing Coalition, Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, Michigan State University, Michigan Energy Options, Ingham County, Clinton County, Eaton County, City of Lansing, City of East Lansing, City of Williamston, Village of Webberville, Township of Leroy, Township of Williamstown, Charter Township of Meridian, Charter Township of Lansing

Regional Planning Grant Award: The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments will be awarded $660,000 to develop the Grand Vision to Grand Action: Regional Plan for Sustainable Development. The purpose of the plan is to augment northwest lower Michigan's capacity to build economically competitive, healthy, environmentally sustainable, and opportunity-rich communities to create local economies through regional efforts. The plan will improve regional planning efforts that integrate housing, transportation, economic development and environmental infrastructure investment decisions and increase state, regional, and local capacity to incorporate sustainability principles and social equity into community planning.

Anticipated Project Benefits: Establish and secure coordinated contracts and intergovernmental agreements, analyze existing data and materials and implement additional research, data collection, assessments and analysis as necessary addressing such issues as land use, housing, economic development, workforce, environmental stewardship elements, transportation opportunities, energy use and reduction and many more. Align regional efforts with local master plans, zoning ordinances, and regulations to support economic development, and greater transportation and housing choices.

Funding Amount: $660,000

Core Partners: Northwest Michigan WORKS!, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan Land Use Institute, Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, SEEDS Inc., Traverse Bay Poverty Reduction Initiative, Disability Network, Human Services Collaborative Boards, Northwestern Michigan College, NorthSky Non-Profit Network.


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 at @HUDnews or on Facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


Content Archived: August 21, 2013