HUD Announces 2011 Sustainable Communities Awards of Over $6 Million in North Carolina

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

[Photo: (L-R) U.S. Representative Mel Watt, Shelley Poticha, HUD Office of Sustainable Housing Communities (OSHC) Director, City of Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick Cannon, CCOG Chairperson and City of Albemarle Council member Martha Sue Hall, Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Jennifer Roberts]
(L-R) U.S. Representative Mel Watt, Shelley Poticha, HUD Office of Sustainable Housing Communities (OSHC) Director, City of Charlotte Mayor Pro-Tem Patrick Cannon, CCOG Chairperson and City of Albemarle Council member Martha Sue Hall, Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners Chairperson Jennifer Roberts

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities Director Shelley Poticha recently announced that three State of North Carolina recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants were awarded a total of $6,276,685.

"These recipients are well deserving of these awards. The demand for sustainability grants is very high; we would have needed $500 million nation-wide to fund all of the 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."

In today's ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Centralina Council of Governments was awarded $4,907,544 to develop the CONNECT Vision: Connecting Vision to Plan. The goals of the project are to translate the adopted CONNECT Regional Vision, a values-based document, into an implementable planning document with performance metrics in a way that fully engages the full diversity of the region's population. Also recognized were Cape Fear Council of Governments award of $1,130,000 to develop a Lower Cape Fear Regional Plan for Sustainable Development. The Regional Plan for Sustainable Development will integrate choices and decisions surrounding housing, economic development, transportation, energy, water and environmental quality.

The City of High Point was also awarded $239,141 for the Urban Placemaking to Develop and Transform the Economy of High Point (UPDATE High Point): Preparing for the 21st Century - An Ordinance Rewrite for a Sustainable Community project. UPDATE High Point will create a new ordinance that enhances the vibrancy and vitality of Downtown High Point.

Nationwide 27 communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants totaling $97 million. 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.

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.

For a complete listing of this year's grantees and their proposals, please visit


Content Archived: January 3, 2014