|HUD Region V No. 11-174
Laura J. Feldman
November 23, 2011
HUD ANNOUNCES 2011 SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES AWARDS
Warren, Ohio receives nearly $360,000
CHICAGO - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's(HUD) 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 Administratorannounced today that Warren, Ohio is awarded a Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant of nearly $360,000 (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.
"Warren is using new tools to solve old problems and the result is a dynamic initiative to promote sustainability at the local neighborhood level by developing affordable housing through the incorporation of inclusionary zoning ordinances and creation of a housing information database," said Riley.
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."
Community Challenge Grant Award: The City of Warren will be awarded $356,964 for the Warren Community Challenge Program. The project will l promote sustainability at the local neighborhood level by developing affordable housing through the incorporation of inclusionary zoning ordinances and other activities. A review of the city's current, historical, and emerging needs has led to the development of an action plan that will include a parcel inventory in five targeted corridors to identify vacant housing and vacant land; collaboration with Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation (TCLRC) to acquire and transfer ownership of property to owners who have demonstrated an ability to do rehabilitation; reinvigoration of the city's code enforcement system; assessing vacant land for viability for land recycling; and a comprehensive review of Warren's zoning code to remove regulatory barriers to developing affordable housing and recycling land.
Anticipated Project Benefits: The parcel inventory will result in a local database of housing information that will assist the city in prioritizing action steps to achieve optimal outcome for each property. Performing assessments on vacant parcels and homes will help locate the best parcels to invest in to return land to neighborhoods in ways that are accessible, sustainable, and healthy for communities and their residents. The review of the zoning code will remove local regulatory barriers and the update of ordinances to reflect changes in land use that will serve the needs of the community.
Funding Amount: $356,964
Core Partners: Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative
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.