HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 11-CO-Sustainability-001
Jane Goin
(303) 672-5440
For Release
November 22, 2011

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

FARGO - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban today announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling $1.5 million in North Dakota. The award is given to the Western North Dakota Sustainability Consortium and will impact 19 counties, 43 cities, by conducting a regional planning process to
address unprecedented growth dynamics resulting from the dramatic expansion of the oil production industry.

Nationally, 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.

"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," said Rick M. Garcia.

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."


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.


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


North Dakota

HUD Regional Planning Grant Award

REAP Investment Board/Western North Dakota Sustainability Consortium is awarded $1,500,000 for the development a regional sustainability planning process to address unprecedented growth dynamics resulting from dramatic expansion of the oil industry in western North Dakota. The Consortium consists of partners representing 19 counties, and 43 cities.

Western North Dakota is currently experiencing growth beyond the capacity and capability to shape such job
creation and investment in a manner that contributes to short-term livability and long-term economic diversification. It is the aim of this regional sustainability planning effort to conduct a series of initiatives, all designed to support a sustainable future for the region.

Anticipated Project Benefits:

  • Address immediate, short-term needs of communities and counties to meet growth management challenges;
  • Capitalize on one of America's strongest "rural" economies for entrepreneurial development;
  • Set the stage for economic diversification based on the strength of the oil and agricultural industries;
  • Establish and plan for a sustainable, diversified economy.

Funding Amount: $1,500,000

Core Partners: Southwest ND Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone
ND Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties

County's Included: Adams County, Billings County, Bottineau County, Bowman County, Burke County, Divide County, Dunn County, Golden Valley County, Hettinger County, McHenry County, McKenzie County, McLean County Mercer County, Mountrail County, Renville County, Slope County, Stark County, Ward County, and Williams County.


Content Archived: January 25, 2012