|HUD No. 11-35
Joan K. Spilman
November 21, 2011
HUD ANNOUNCES 2011 SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES AWARD TO BUFFALO NIAGARA CONSORTIUM
BUFFALO - Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión, was joined by Representative Brian Higgins, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and members of the Buffalo Niagara Consortium to announce the award of a 2011 Sustainable Communities Grant totaling $2 million. The grant will be used to develop a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development for the Erie and Niagara counties that make up the Buffalo Niagara region.
"The goal of HUD's Sustainable Communities grant program is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation" said Carrión. "With this Sustainability Grant to the Buffalo Niagara Region, the Consortium will be able to build on the region's momentum toward sustainable development, fill key gaps in planning, and set the stage for a more vital future for Buffalo Niagara."
"These resources will provide direct support to the community to proactively address how we can better connect and enhance our business districts and neighborhoods toward the goal of a comprehensive community revitalization effort," said Higgins.
"I'm excited about this award, and honored that the Buffalo Niagara Consortium was one of 27 communities, out of 468 applicants, to win this competitive grant. This funding will join together housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure planning for a complete blueprint for a better Buffalo. The grant will allow Buffalo and the region to achieve our goal to strive for a healthy resilient economy by linking housing with good jobs, education, and transportation," said Brown.
The $2 million in funding will be used to develop a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development for the Erie and Niagara counties that make up the Buffalo Niagara region. The group will develop sustainable development strategies, fill key gaps in planning, and set the stage for a more vital future for the Buffalo Niagara Region. Funding will support the creation of a Citizens Planning School to build capacity around sustainability issues and facilitate techniques and hold six regional sustainability visioning sessions. They will work to develop a regional housing plan, a climate change adaptation strategy, and a food access plan. Partners in the Buffalo Niagara Consortium are NFTA, LIUSC, the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Belmont Housing Resources, and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA Executive Director said, "HUD funding will create exciting transit oriented development opportunities and attract more riders to our Metro system. Too often, transportation options are thought of after an investment is made. By planning together as a group, the Buffalo Niagara Consortium will be able to develop transit solutions first, and best support projects that are sustainable, environmentally friendly, and beneficial to the local economy."
HUD's Sustainable Communities 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 places 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.
"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. This grant will be leveraged with local funds more than doubling the investment and, helping to create new visions for how the community and region plan for housing, transportation, workforce development and the quality of life of residents for generations to come," said Carrión.
"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.
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 www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.